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Archive for Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Judge won’t release Topeka man in lawyering case

August 19, 2009

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— A federal judge refused Tuesday to free a Topeka man ordered jailed indefinitely by the Kansas Supreme Court for practicing law without a license.

David Martin Price has been in the Shawnee County jail since Aug. 6 and had asked the federal courts to order his release. But U.S. District Judge Carlos Murguia rejected the request, ruling that the issues leading to Price’s jailing are matters purely for the state courts, not the federal system.

And the Kansas court — which cited Price for contempt — has ordered him to remain behind bars until he agrees in writing not to give legal advice to others. Price contends he’s broken no laws, and his wife said he won’t sign any agreement.

“I don’t blame him; I wouldn’t sign it, either,” Rosemary Price said. “It says he’s guilty of something he’s not guilty of.”

The attorney general’s office declined to comment about Murguia’s ruling. It has tried for more than three years to stop Price from advising others on legal matters.

State judicial branch officials can’t recall another case of the Supreme Court having someone jailed for contempt, or arrested, as the high court did after Price didn’t show up for a July 20 hearing. A 1989 case is believed to be the last one before the Supreme Court involving someone accused of illegally practicing law.

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