A Connecticut lawyer who was seen slapping another attorney during a verbal altercation in front of a courthouse has been sentenced after admitting to assault.
Robert Serafinowicz, 44, had recently pleaded no contest to assault and received a sentence of almost a year in jail — although that sentence was suspended, according to court records. Serafinowicz will serve two years of probation, court records show.
Video taken on Sept. 7, 2022, shows attorney Serafinowicz exchanging words with defense lawyer Edward Gavin, local outlet News 12 CT reported. As the two men stood in front of the courthouse, Serafinowicz could be heard berating Gavin.
“Standing in front of me, talk s— to me now,” Serafinowicz is heard saying while standing close to Gavin. “No, I’m not calming down; this is all coming out, and everybody knows that. And I got a f—— list. Do you want to talk s— in front of me now? Do you want to f—— apologize?”
According to a report by the ABA Journal, Serafinowicz said that his beef with Gavin went back 10 years, and it stemmed from Gavin’s defense of a judge Serafinowicz had criticized — criticism which earned him a 120-day suspension from practicing law in 2015. Serafinowicz was suspended for 120 days beginning in 2015 for his disparaging remarks about the judge.
The slap itself can also be clearly heard on the recording.
Serafinowicz told the ABA Journal that he took a plea in the case because he wanted to put the situation behind him. As part of his suspended sentence, Serafinowicz said that he was ordered to undergo mental health treatment for anger management, according to the ABA Journal.
Serafinowicz pleaded guilty on Nov. 16, court records show.
State bar records show that Serafinowicz has a history of discipline and grievances. In October, he was placed on administrative suspension for failing to pay a client security fund fee as required by state practice guidelines. In 2017, he was suspended from practicing law for 120 days, and — in addition to the 2015 suspension — he was temporarily suspended from practicing in 2013 as well.
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