The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals had an uncharacteristically busy day last week, releasing eleven opinions on Friday. Out of the many interesting holdings from the day's bounty comes the appeal of civil contempt findings against the two Department of Justice (DOJ) attorneys involved in the late Sen. Ted Stevens' prosecution.
The two attorneys, William M. Welch and Brenda K. Morris, were held in civil contempt by U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan for violating a court order to turn over documents to Stevens' defense team.
Now, what kind of contempt they were held in became the issue, and the case became a primer in the difference between civil and criminal contempt.