Steve Turer has rubbed more than a few people the wrong way in his 45-year career as one of Santa Rosa’s most aggressive criminal defense lawyers.
But after hundreds of trials, the New York native famous for his courtroom bluster has only been cited once for contempt.
Turer apparently met his match in Judge Gary Medvigy, a former prosecutor and Army Reserve brigadier general.
In a recent trial, Medvigy found Turer in contempt twice, fining him $500 and $750.
Medvigy ruled Turer was “disrespectful” in violating his order involving the manipulation of witness lists. He also cited him for introducing speculation in his closing argument about a victim’s immigration status.
Turer maintains he did nothing wrong and is challenging the citations.
“He has an attitude about me,” Turer said. “I don’t know where it came from. I think he wants to show that he’s the general.”
Medvigy declined a request for comment, citing the pending case. A new trial for Todd Albers, who is accused of shooting co-worker Sergio Mendoza in the face, is expected in January.
Meanwhile, the growing feud between Medvigy and Turer has set tongues to wagging at the courthouse. Some say Medvigy’s punishments are over-the-top while others accuse Turer of legal bullying.
One lawyer familiar with the situation described it as a standoff between Cold War superpowers.
“It’s really just two massive, massive egos going head to head,” said the lawyer who asked to go nameless. “It’s two boys on the same block who each want their own way.”