Michigan lawyer James Heos fined for middle finger during court hearing

LANSING — The Michigan Court of Appeals has fined a lawyer $3,000 and referred him for possible further discipline after determining he raised his middle finger to an opposing lawyer during recent oral arguments.

But James Heos, the veteran East Lansing attorney who made the gesture, said Friday he thought he was giving the finger to his blank computer screen — which was not working — and he had no idea the three judges on the panel or anyone else could see him.

“It’s a very embarrassing situation,” said Heos, 74, who said he has already mailed his check to the clerk of the court.

“I’ve been a lawyer 46 years,” and “I’ve never been accused of inappropriate, unruly, or rude conduct in the courtroom.”

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