Many moons ago, before we humans invented a civil justice system, we resolved our disputes by brute force. Might made right. In the words of Thomas Hobbes, life was “nasty, brutish and short.”
Then trials and courtrooms evolved. We put down our fists and swords and let judges and juries hear our stories and resolve our disputes.
We’ve come a long way, baby.
Well, not all of us.
I’ve been is some pretty hot courtroom battles, and I’ve seen some angry lawyers and judges, but in my many years in the courtroom I’ve never seen a lawyer or judge come to fist-a-cuffs. But that’s what happened in a Brevard County Courtroom in Florida the other day.
You can see what happened by viewing the video imbedded below. Quick overview: The judge apparently gets angry with the public defender because he won’t waive his client’s “speedy trial” rights. The Judge angrily tells him, “if I had a rock I would throw it at you”. Then all hell breaks loose. The Judge tells the lawyer, who has refused his instruction to sit down, that “if you want to fight let’s go out back and I’ll just beat your ass.” The lawyer then eagerly heads to the back corridor. We then hear the judge yelling, “do you want to fuck with me”, and some noise that appears to be blows landing.
Now here’s the most disturbing part of the video: The judge comes back into the courtroom, takes his seat, the lawyer never reappears, and the courtroom erupts in applause. Apparently, the public wanted to congratulate the judge for beating the lawyer up.
Moral of the story: Our justice system is a superficial coat of civility which conceals the brutish animal lurking underneath, the one that prefers to take justice into its own hands, and the one that applauds those who do.
In the end, though, civility prevails. The pugilistic Judge has been forced to take a leave of absence for anger management. He will probably lose his job. In the end, justice prevails.
Keep safe (and Civil!)
Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org I’d love to hear from you!
Michael G. Bersani, Esq.
michaels-smolak.com Central NY Personal Injury Lawyers
Michaels & Smolak, P.C.