Tom Dunnwald in the news!

February 18th, 2011

Just the kind of press we all love, getting ejected from a hearing for calling the other side on their “crap.” In a criminal case, the prosecutor is required to turn over everything they’ve got against the defendant. The prosecutor hasn’t, and yet the judge seems to think it’s OK to go forward without it, and that it’s a problem to object.  EH???? So there’s Tom, defending his client and their right to get the info, and the judge is telling him to shut up.  AND THEN THE PHONE RINGS!!!  Oh great… (hope the phone tune was a good one!)

Back at Clean Water Action, I learned from exchanging spitballs in board meetings that Dunnwald has an attitude a lot like mine, and he’s had some great legal successes in the shit-strewn land use area of feedlots. And he represented my buddy Victor in the Northfield shit-storm mess.  Yes, there’s a theme.  And he’s one of the few attorneys I’d recommend.  That’s Tom Dunnwald, partner of the equally talented Sonja Peterson, hence Dunnwald & Peterson!


Here’s the article about yesterday’s hearing, it was copied in the STrib.


Attorney’s outburst halts hearing

February 17, 2011

By Dan Nienaber The Mankato Free Press
Thu Feb 17, 2011, 08:20 PM CST

MANKATO — A court hearing scheduled for an alleged drug dealer came to a quick end Thursday when his attorney was kicked out of the courtroom.

It didn’t take long for tension to build during the hearing for 32-year-old Cedric Lamont Berry. He is facing racketeering and drug charges for allegedly using gang connections to sell cocaine in Mankato. He was one of several people arrested after a Minnesota River Valley Drug Task Force investigation last fall.

District Court Judge Kurt Johnson showed his first sign of irritation when Berry’s attorney, Thomas Dunnwald, said he wasn’t ready to argue his motion. Dunnwald said he wasn’t getting the evidence he needed from Chris Rovney, assistant Blue Earth County attorney.

A task force report was short dozens of pages that had been turned over to attorneys working for other defendants in the case, Dunnwald said. He also said he was waiting for a recorded interview Berry had with Hennepin County investigators, which took place after Berry’s arrest in Minneapolis.

Dunnwald’s argument came to an abrupt halt when his cell phone received a call. And Johnson just stared as the phone played its tune. After fumbling through his jacket pocket for a few seconds, Dunnwald eventually silenced the digital music.

Things got worse after Johnson asked Rovney to explain why Dunnwald hadn’t been given the information he needed. Rovney was explaining that the recording, which allegedly includes Berry saying he can sell large amounts of cocaine, isn’t clear. Rovney said he would provide a copy of the DVD after the sound is enhanced.

“The defendant is a mumbler,” Rovney said.

Dunnwald stood up, waived his arm toward Rovney and barked at Johnson.

“This is utter crap,” he said. “Never in court have I seen this.”

As a bailiff made his way toward the attorney, Johnson told him to calm down.

“Mr. Dunnwald, sit down and be quiet or I will have a bailiff remove you,” Johnson said.

Dunnwald said he would remove himself. Johnson said he should.

“Are you ordering me out?”

“I’m ordering you out. Go ahead.”

Once Dunnwald was gone, Johnson told Rovney to turn over a copy of the recording as soon as possible. Rovney said this isn’t the first time the two attorneys have butted heads while on opposite sides of a case.

Johnson said they needed to find a way to get along before ending the hearing.

“It’s not Mr. Berry’s fault that you two don’t get along,” he said.