Richard Fine, Lawyer Who Accused Superior Court Judges Of Being Biased In Cases Involving L.A. County, Freed After 18 Months Of Jail For Civil Contempt
Quixotic Tarzana attorney Richard Fine thought he could fight the justice system itself. He ended up in jail for a year and a half as a result. And while he might have lost the war, he one a battle: He was released from Los Angeles County Jail over the weekend.
Fine's main bone of contention was that, in his civil suit against a Marina Del Rey development involving county territory, a judge who gets some of his salary from the county should have stepped away from the case because of possible pay-related bias. That judge, David P. Yaffe, however, disagreed. And he ordered Fine to divulge personal assets and pay more than $50,000 in attorneys' fees as a result of his case against the county. Fine refused.
He was thrown in jail for contempt of court. He vowed to take the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and at one point it looked like the high court would take it up. But no.
That meant Fine could have kept in jail indefinitely. It's not clear to us what Yaffe changed his mind Friday.
A press release from backers of Fine stated that the judge reaffirmed his incarceration Thursday but then "on the next day, Judge Yaffe abruptly reversed himself and ordered the release of Dr. Fine."
Fine has proven that you can fight the man -- and lose.