‘A Story of Two Courtrooms’: Choose responds to attorney’s movement to have him recused

It’s a tale of two courtrooms, says Resident Superior Court Judge Robert C. Ervin about a defense attorney’s motion to have him recused from her cases.

Attorney Lisa Dubs filed a motion May 4 to have Ervin recused from her cases, attaching it to the case of David Andrew Barnes, a Burke County man who was charged in an August 2018 shooting death. Dubs alleged that Ervin knowingly published false information about her, communicated with her clients without her present and pressured one of her clients into accepting a plea deal.

In a response Ervin filed Thursday, he posed a different point: “Why is it so difficult to get Lisa Dubs to come to court?”

Triggs notice

The motion to have Ervin recused stemmed from a letter the judge wrote her March 22 about her absences from Caldwell County court in November and March.

Ervin ordered Dubs in the letter to make an appearance in each criminal superior court term in either Burke or Caldwell counties starting March 29. If she has any scheduling conflicts where she was set to have court in multiple counties, she was ordered to email judicial officials, including Ervin, about the scheduling conflicts no later than the Wednesday before the court term was set to start.

In the letter, Ervin referred to this as a Triggs notice, named after a former Burke County attorney, Gary Triggs, who had habitually failed to appear in court. Dubs called into question whether similar requirements had ever actually been placed on Triggs.

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