In the suit filed Monday, defence lawyer James Crawford claims that investigator Dillon Alley punched him repeatedly, breaking a bone in his face and leaving him with cuts and bruises, according to The Orange County Register
A report by the same publication earlier this year includes photos of a bruised and bloodied Crawford
after the incident happened on the 9th of March in a courthouse hallway.
The incident happened as Crawford was fresh off beating prosecutors in a case over misuse of jailhouse informants.
The county’s Sheriff’s Department as well as state prosecutors conducted an investigation into to fight, but could not decide who was at fault because both side had witnesses supporting their stories.
In his lawsuit, Crawford said he and Alley were arguing about access to a witness in a criminal case when things got physical.
After Alley called him a “sleaze,” Crawford shot back with an expletive. Alley then reportedly slammed Crawford’s face into a wooden bench and repeatedly punched him in the face.
The Orange County Register noted that tensions between local prosecutors and defence attorneys have flared in the past two years as attorneys have been getting more decisions from judges in favour of their cases.
A lawyer who figured in a courthouse scuffle earlier this year is suing California’s Orange County for USD30m.