SALT LAKE CITY – A California attorney has been fined $3,000 for zapping a witness with a trick pen during a Utah trial over whether electrical currents from a power plant are harming cows.
Fourth District Judge James Brady this week ruled Los Angeles-based lawyer Don Howarth's conduct amounted to "battery of a witness."
While testifying against dairy farmers who claim currents from the Delta power plant harm cattle, expert Athanasios Meliopoulos said 1.5 volts couldn't be felt by a person.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports Howarth, who represented dairy farmers, gave a child's gag pen to Meliopoulos, told him it contained a 1.5-volt AAA battery and challenged him to push it.
Brady says Meliopoulos "received a strong electric shock" because the pen also contained a transformer that boosted the battery up to 750 volts.