Leeds returns to law after contempt conviction and suspension

Leeds returns to law after contempt conviction and suspension

POSTED: Wednesday, January 8, 2014 - 9:51pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, January 8, 2014 - 9:52pm

It's back to the law books and the courtroom for long-time local defense attorney Stuart Leeds, who was convicted last year of contempt of court.

Not only was he arrested but Leeds' law license was suspended for six months, after a judge found him guilty for lying about documents he filed in the trial of Shawntrell Dawkins, a woman who was ultimately convicted of killing her goddaughter.

In his time away from the courthouse, Leeds says he completed required continuing legal education, went on vacation to San Francisco and Hawaii with his little sister, and worked on projects for his home in Central El Paso.

When asked if he was sorry about his actions, Leeds said, "I understand what the judge did. I don't necessarily like what he did. But I made the most of it, I did what I had to do. I'm glad to be back."

According to him, he's picking up where he left off.

Most of his clients had their hearings and/or trials postponed until after his suspension could be lifted, he said.

"Already picked up four new clients," he said. "Everything's good."

As for his counterpart in several recent trials, Theresa Caballero, he said "it remains to be seen" if they will work together again.

Above all, Leeds said, he thinks he'll be a better defense attorney; now that he's been in the shoes of some of his clients.

"I believe it's not so much what happens to you, but how you react to it," he said.

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