(CBS/AP) CHICAGO - A Chicago lawyer says his opponent in a small claims case is using an unfair tactic - sitting a big-breasted woman next to him at counsel's table - to distract the jury.
Do you sense an upcoming episode of Law and Order?
Attorney Thomas Gooch says the woman's sole purpose "is to draw the attention of the jury away from the relevant proceedings" - a dispute over a used car. He asks Cook County Circuit Judge Anita Rivkin-Carothers to order the woman to sit in the gallery with other spectators.
In responding to the pretrial motion, attorney Dmitry Feofanov said the woman is his paralegal assistant and contends Gooch cites no "good faith legal argument" why she can't sit at counsel's table.
Feofanov, who in the past has described himself as a "consumer protection lawyer," asked the judge to impose sanctions on Gooch for his motion.
Gooch told the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin he wasn't objecting to the woman because she is buxom, but because he doesn't think she is a paralegal.
"Personally, I like large breasts," he said. "However, I object to somebody I don't think is a qualified paralegal sitting at the counsel table - when there's already two lawyers there - dressed in such a fashion as to call attention to herself."
According to Feofanov, the paralegal, who the Law Bulletin says is identified in documents as Daniella Atencia, has been paid as a paralegal in two court orders by Cook County judges.
"That's not a qualification," Gooch said. "That means Dmitry (Feofanov) handed up a bill to a judge that said paralegal on it. I don't believe it's a legitimate thing. It's a sham."
The case, Song and Maria Sayavongsa v. Exotic Motors Inc., is scheduled for trial June 2.
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