B. Direct Contempt

The essence of direct contempt is that the offending conduct obstructs or tends to obstruct the proper administration of justice.[10] Direct contempt is characterized by an unwarranted interruption of orderly court proceedings and for the most part is unrelated to the issues on trial. The interruption diverts attention from the trial and delays the proceedings until the interruption is addressed by the court. Direct contempt can be addressed by the court immediately unless the contempt involves an officer of the court.[11] However, the power to punish immediately for direct contempt flows from observing the conduct and the exigency of the situation. Once the immediate need to maintain decorum or address the interruption has passed, the power to punish summarily also ends.[12] Examples of Direct Contempt:

•   Refusal to obey a specific court order during trial proceedings;

•   Expressing improper remarks or indifference to the court’s actions

•   Disobeying the judge’s instruction to cease a disturbance in court