A Texas lawyer is defending his First Amendment rights after a judge called him out over Facebook posts in which the lawyer talks about his personal faith.
"If you want to pick a fight with me about my religion, you've probably picked the wrong person," Mark Griffith, a defense attorney in Waxahachie, told WFAA-TV.
The Ellis County district attorney's office last week filed a motion alleging that Griffith violated state ethics rules by posting too much information about one of his ongoing cases. The office included several of Griffith's Facebook posts, which it deemed inappropriate.
In one post, dated March 24, Griffith recalled when he was cross-examining a witness in court and "got stuck for a second and was at a loss for the right questions to get to the truth."
"So I said a prayer. It was answered immediately, and we got to the truth with this hostile witness," Griffith wrote.
In another post, dated Aug. 12, Griffith explained his plans for starting the morning on the day of a new trial: "Monday will begin with me on my knees asking God for his wisdom, his peace and his passion as I stand as the voice for my client."
Griffith told WFAA that he made the argument to the judge that he has a right to post such things under First Amendment religious and speech protections.
The district attorney's office insists it's not the religious component that raises a potential issue. Rather, they say that Griffith was commenting on the “character, credibility, reputation or criminal record of a party, suspect in a criminal investigation or witness, or the expected testimony of a party or witness," which, if true, is against state ethics laws. Still, Griffith maintains it's all much ado about nothing.
"How ridiculous to abandon him [God] when I am representing one of his children. I am going to ask for his guidance, and I will continue to do so," Griffith said.
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