Offbeat Legal News

Offbeat Legal News .

The Daily Caller reported on the internet this morning that a public defender in Brevard County Florida was called to a fistfight by the judge. Apparently his honor wanted the public defender to waive his right to a speedy trial. I do not know if this was a brief waiver to allow the judge to handle a scheduled matter and resume the Public Defender’s trial afterward or if the judge was just pressuring the defense attorney to waive his client’s rights in general.

The judge told the public defender that he was making him angry and that he would throw a rock at him if he had one. (In California, that could potentially be a violation of a criminal threat statute). The judge then asked the Public Defender to meet him in the hallway so they could settle this with their fists. The Public Defender made a statement about beating his ass, and so it goes.

Courts are very emotional places, but mostly for the defendants. There is more Kleenex in the courthouse than there is at a doctor’s office, for the tears of defendants, victims, and family members. Not a week goes by where I have not seen someone or a group of people in tears. Criminal Court is like the anti-Disneyland—the UN-happiest place on earth.

Fighting initiated by the judge is a wrinkle however. Judges are expected to keep their heads and listen dispassionately to smart lawyers, stupid lawyers, lying victims, defendants, and witnesses, tearful and impassioned family members who surivive a tragedy. All in a day’s work. When this is the backdrop, is it any wonder that a defense attorney who is, after all, supposed to be a “hired gun”, and a judge might finally reach fisticuffs? I suspect this sort of thing has happened over the years many times.

After all, two U.S. vice-presidents were killed in duels!

If you or someone you know is accused of a crime, arrested, or contacted by police, contact San Jose criminal defense attorney Maureen Baldwin at (408) 279-4450 to learn your options today!

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