GILLETTE, Wyo. (AP) — Attorneys for Circuit Court Judge Paul Phillips contend that Phillips acted within his authority and interpreted state law correctly when he found State Public Defender Diane Lozano in contempt of court.

The Gillette News Record reports that the judge's attorneys made their arguments in a brief filed with the Wyoming Supreme Court last week. The case stems from Lozano notifying Circuit Court judges last May that her attorneys would no longer represent people charged with misdemeanors in Campbell County.

Lozano said a heavy workload prevented her attorneys from representing those who couldn't afford private counsel.

A couple of weeks later, Phillips found Lozano to be in contempt of court and fined her $1,500 a day. Lozano is challenging the judge's ruling.