Lawyer A. Charles Peruto Jr. posted some strong words on a Facebook posting about a former Philadelphia judge involved in an assault case that Peruto won.
Former Common Pleas Judge Leslie Fleisher had alleged that an ex-boyfriend, former police detective Lewis B. Palmer III, had assaulted her. Palmer, represented by Peruto, was found not guilty Wednesday of the assault.
In the Facebook posting, Peruto wrote: "Dear Judge Fleisher, he who laughs last, laughs best. Up your ass."
Commenting on a reference to the fact that he gave a couple of arguments while sprawled on the courtroom floor, Peruto wrote: "Anything for a not guilty! (Not to mention getting even with the most evil judge ever.)"
Peruto, a prominent defense attorney given to occasional bursts of hyperbole, is not the least bit sorry he posted those comments.
In fact, he says, since the postings, he has gotten calls and Facebook comments from scores of lawyers and prosecutors applauding his position.
"I got about 40 comments on Facebook and many phone calls from people who were mistreated by Leslie Fleisher," he said yesterday in a phone interview.
"She was just absolutely nasty to lawyers. You came out of her courtroom just disgusted, thinking this is not the United States.
"She did mean things, and was just plain wrong on a lot of occasions, but she would never apologize. I could give you a list."
Fleisher did not return a message left last night by the Daily News at her Society Hill home.
Richard Seidel, chairman of the board of governors of the Philadelphia Bar Association, does not see a violation of ethical standards in Peruto's postings.
"There is a crossroad between social networking and rules of ethics, but I'm not sure where they meet or what issue could come out of it," Seidel said.
"I would hope that we would be able to be more collegial in our relations, able to address our differences in a better way."
A Common Pleas jury found Palmer not guilty of assault, but convicted him of illegally recording Fleisher's phone calls three days after the argument that led to the charges.
The prosecution had alleged that Palmer, 49, who was a detective with the local District Attorney's Office, attacked Fleisher, 48, when she complained about his watching a football game on TV.
Fleisher, the subject of numerous complaints about her behavior and conduct on the bench, resigned her judgeship in March. Gov. Tom Ridge had named her to fill a vacancy on the court, and she won election in 2003 despite being deemed unqualified by the Bar Association.
Actually, Peruto had some strong comments about Fleisher during the trial and said that Fleisher had tried to break the antenna on Palmer's Lincoln because "she's nuts!"