Judge Gets Attention By Banning Asbestos Attorney

Cleveland (AP) - A normally low-key judge in Cleveland says he's fed up with disrespectful behavior by an attorney.

Cuyahoga Common Pleas Judge Harry Hanna has created a stir by banning from his courtroom the lawyer from a nationally known San Francisco-area law firm that handles asbestos-related lawsuits coast-to-coast.

Hanna accuses Christopher Andreas and his law firm of trying to withhold evidence and lying about how it handles claims. The attorney will try to gain re-admittance to the court at a hearing scheduled Tuesday.

The 66-year-old judge is one of three handling 37-thousand asbestos lawsuits in a consolidated docket similar to those elsewhere. Vast numbers of lawsuits have been filed over asbestos causing lung damage and cancer.