Lawyer who called cop “dumbass” has to pay €75

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So who’s the dumb ass now? Some might say it’s the lawyer who on Tuesday was ordered by a court in Breda to pay €75 in damages to a policeman he had called “sukkel!”, the Dutch word for dumbass!

The policeman had taken the stand in 2009 during the hearings of a drug case that got thrown out because (other) policemen had botched a crucial statement by a suspect. The cop faced four lawyers and appeared to be having difficulty responding to their barrage of questions.

Lawyer Erik Thomas, frustrated by the “stiff and unpleasant” interrogation, sighed and called the officer “sukkel”, within earshot of everyone else in the courtroom.

It was cause for a separate case, which was brought on by the Prosecutor’s Office against the lawyer. The demand was for €500 in damages.

The court agreed that the attorney’s behavior had been inappropriate. “We tend to expect that a lawyer shows a certain amount of professionalism in a setting like this,” the court reasoned. It didn’t deem punishment necessary, because the case has been drawn out very long and the lawyer does not have a criminal record.