Can a prosecutor insult a defense lawyer at trial?
In the Texas 5th District Court of Appeals case, Gutierrez Jr. v. Texas, the issue known as “going over the shoulder of counsel” is argued. Surprisingly, prosecutors may sometimes throw an insult or two at the defense table. At times an objection can be made and the trial will proceed, but there are few instances where these insults can warrant a mistrial.
In the case mentioned above, the prosecutor told the jury “don’t believe what the defense attorney is saying, he is paid, he has been appointed in this case actually.” The defense counsel objected and moved for mistrial. The objection was sustained but the mistrial was denied.