An embattled Blacksburg attorney made a little more headway this week toward remedying his own legal troubles.
On Thursday, Jonathan P. Fisher saw a contempt of court conviction in Roanoke withheld on appeal.
Judge Chris Clemens said he found sufficient evidence that Fisher was guilty of not coming to court on Feb. 28 to represent a client on a DUI charge — a misdemeanor offense on Fisher’s part — but would take the matter under advisement and review it again in two years.
“If I see you miss another case, we’re going to come back here and we’re going to do something about it,” Clemens said to Fisher.
This week, Fisher also resolved another contempt charge in Pulaski County General District Court, where he was charged last year after failing to appear for a case. The Pulaski charge had been taken under advisement for a year , and on Tuesday, Judge Woody Lookabill dismissed the case.
Those are but two links in a chain of professional issues Fisher, 43, has faced of late, most involving his failing to arrive for court cases in which he was representing clients.
Fisher’s past contempt cases include deferred dispositions or dismissals in Botetourt, Montgomery and Roanoke counties and in Salem. In March he was fined in Floyd County for tardiness and sanctioned after he swore at a prosecutor.
That leaves just one more unheard case, in Salem, where on July 17 Fisher is scheduled to appeal a contempt conviction from late last year.
Fisher recently talked to The Roanoke Times about his legal problems and his health issues, including osteogenesis imperfecta, also known as brittle bone disease, the effects of which require him to use forearm crutches to walk. But during his hearing Thursday in Roanoke, he spoke candidly with the judge about his professional over-extension.
“The problem I had last year is I had too much going on, too much on my calendar,” he said and called himself “A victim of my own success.”
“It made the situation completely overwhelming,” Fisher said. “Having a bunch of pots cooking on the stove, not knowing which one was going to boil over.”
Fisher apologized at length for the situation and told Clemens he’s now working with a lawyers’ assistance program, has reorganized his office and has cut his caseload “in half.”
“Mostly it’s been embarrassing,” he said. “I know I’m better than this.”
Clemens said he hoped that embarrassment might serve as sufficient punishment.
“It looks like you’re sincere today, and I hope so,” he told Fisher, but added, “The proof is in the pudding.”
Staff writer Mike Gangloff contributed information to this report.