A divorce lawyer who made a crack about an “illegal alien” on the other side of a custody battle has been suspended by Indiana’s highest court.
Joseph B. Barker was representing the father in a fight over child visitation when he sent the following letter to the mother’s attorney, according to the opinion posted by the Legal Profession Blog on Sunday:
[Father] told me this week that he has only seen his baby . . . one day all year. Your client doesn’t understand what laws and court orders mean I guess. Probably because she’s an illegal alien to begin with.
I want you to repeat to her in whatever language she understands that we’ll be demanding she be put in JAIL for contempt of court. I’m filing a copy of this letter with the Court to document the seriousness of this problem. [emphasis in original letter]
The judge in the case got that letter, too. The high court didn’t buy Barker’s argument that his illegal alien comment was “legitimate advocacy” that aimed to connect the mother’s immigration status with her alleged violation of court-mandated visitation.
Barker got suspended for 30 days for making a biased comment and for “using means in representing a client that have no substantial purpose other than to embarrass, delay, or burden a third person.”
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