UPDATE: Judge Smoak rules that Joe Francis is no longer required to be in the courtroom during proceedings.
UPDATE: Girls Gone Wild owner Joe Francis is no longer representing himself in a federal civil lawsuit.
During proceedings Thursday,, Judge Richard Smoak was informed that Francis was no longer representing himself and had retained the services of a husband and wife team of attorneys from here in Panama City.
In addition, Francis was fined $2,500 for contempt of court, and must be paid by 8:30 a.m. Friday morning.
Girls Gone Wild owner Joe Francis was held in contempt of court and fined by Judge Richard Smoak this morning.
Francis is defending himself in a federal civil lawsuit in Bay County court.
Judge Smoak ruled that Francis was in contempt for violating an evidentiary rule during cross examination of a witness and ended Francis’ cross examination of that witness immediately.
Judge Smoak had to instruct Francis how to cross examine the plaintiff. “Everything you say needs to have a question mark after it,” Judge Smoak said.
Francis replied, “I’m going to make it like Jeopardy, your honor.”
Court proceedings started shortly after 8:30 a.m. in federal court this morning. By 9 a.m., Francis had six comments stricken from the record and had five individual sidebars with Judge Smoak.