Lawyer Misses Client’s Murder Trial, Says He’s on Sabbatical

A Las Vegas personal injury lawyer known for his colorful commercials failed to show up last week to defend a client accused of murder, telling a prosecutor he was on sabbatical out of state.

Glen Lerner left a voice mail with a county prosecutor saying he wouldn’t return to defend the client, and "if the judge wants to sanction me, she can sanction me," the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

Law professor Martin Geer of the University of Nevada told the newspaper that the judge overseeing the case could hold Lerner in civil or criminal contempt of court for missing the trial. “It's an outrageous thing to do," he said. "A lot of judges would have issued a warrant for his arrest immediately,” he said. “I've seen it happen when someone is late."

Lerner, who calls himself the Heavy Hitter, told the Review-Journal in an earlier article that he is in Pennsylvania writing a book and re-examining his life. "I've been living the life of a rock star for so long," he said.

He said he had tried to reach a deal with the prosecutor in the murder case, and when it didn’t work out, he asked for more time to prepare for trial. "I'd rather be sanctioned than railroad my guy into accepting 25 years in prison," he said.

Details here from the ABA Journal.