This morning, while waiting for my case to be called, I popped into another courtroom after hearing a police officer in the hallway say "man, he's on the warpath today."
Upon entering the judge's courtroom, I heard lots of yelling, from the judge.
"WHERE'S YOUR CLIENT?"
"WHERE'S YOUR LAWYER?" "YOU BETTER CALL HIM AND GET HIM HERE."
Over and over again.
"Call and get him here?"
Now as lawyers, especially criminal lawyers who are normally in court several days a week, we know how this works. On any given day a judge is "tired of" clients being late, lawyers being late, interpreters having to be in other courtrooms, court reporters being late (and heavens forbid needing a break), and all the other typical "stuff" that occurs in criminal court.
I understand. But you're the judge, and yelling about it, resolves nothing.
There are things in life called "traffic" and "accidents" and "lines at security." I know you don't drive in the same traffic, as you travel like the Jetsons. I know you have reserved parking, and don't wait in line. Most others do.
With all due respect, deal with it. There's a difference between someone willfully not showing up to court, and someone who is trying their best in the big city.
Deal with it.
And one more thing; stop yelling at the client because his lawyer is not there. His lawyer was paid to be in court and is responsible for him or herself. That poor client did nothing but write a check and follow directions. Why are you stressing him out for something he didn't do?
Say what the other judge said today; "We'll pass the case for your lawyer." Then you can tell your assistant to go yell at the lawyer.
And use your inside voice.
Brian Tannebaum is a criminal defense lawyer in Miami, Florida practicing in state and federal court. Read his free ebook The Truth About Hiring A Criminal Defense Lawyer. To learn more about Brian and his firm, Tannebaum Weiss, please visit www.tannebaumweiss.com
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