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Lawyer Found In Contempt for Calling Prosecutor ‘Little Lady’

June 24, 1992

INVERNESS, Fla. (AP) _ A lawyer who addressed a prosecutor as ″little lady″ was found in contempt of court when he refused to apologize.

″I meant every word I said,″ Bill Reed said at a hearing Monday. ″For her to be insulted and for us to be here in this position now is absolutely stupid.″

County Judge Gary Graham placed Reed on probation for six months and ordered him to do 50 hours of community service. He also fined Reed $90.

″It was a sexist remark and meant to be demeaning, and it offended me,″ Assistant State Attorney General Liz Osmond said Tuesday. ″I have never, never, never seen this behavior in court.″

Reed and Ms. Osmond were picking a jury for a drunken-driving trial Monday when they went to the judge’s bench to argue an issue. As they returned to their places, Reed said, ″I take my orders from the bench, not you, little lady.″

Ms. Osmond asked for another conference with Graham, who told Reed to apologize. The judge found him in contempt when he refused.

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