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Judge Beats The Crap Out of Public Defender in Court

 
 
Miller
 
Reply Wed 4 Jun, 2014 01:52 pm

Awkward: Judge Beats The Crap Out of Public Defender in Court
By William Peacock, Esq. on June 3, 2014 11:02 AM

We cover a lot of lawyers and judges acting like idiots around here. In fact, it's secretly our favorite kind of post, even more so than Supreme Court coverage.

But we've never seen this: a judge challenging a public defender to a fight, from the bench, and the public defender taking him up on the offer. When Brevard County Judge John Murphy and Public Defender Andrew Weinstock threw down, just outside the courtroom, the most important question was: who won? And beyond that, what happened to the case?

Hah. Bench Slapped.

Awkward, right? It's hard to imagine what led to a judge hopping off the bench and on to an attorney, but let's over-analyze, shall we?

Weinstock has an unusually snippy tone, one that is absolutely deference and respect-free. He cuts off the judge and tries to speak over him. Judge Murphy, meanwhile, immediately jumps to an annoyed, confrontational tone, then tries to kick him out of the courtroom, then challenges him to a fight.

Clearly, there is some underlying backstory, one that would also explain why, after Judge Murphy slapped him around, according to WFTV, Weinstock declined to press charges.

Judge Wins and Loses

It goes without saying that judges aren't supposed to put a hold on proceedings, step off the bench, and beat up the attorneys, especially when that attorney was declining to waive his client's speedy trial right.

Plus, if you watch the far less exciting conclusion to the proceedings, Judge Murphy comes back, makes a joke about catching his breath, and continues with hearings. One wonders if his next move, talking to the PD's client without his attorney present, might also be an issue.

ABA Model Rule 4.2, obviously, bans lawyers from talking to represented parties. Florida's Code of Judicial Conduct, meanwhile, contains the standard "uphold the integrity" and "appearance of impartiality" provisions that might apply to judge-on-client ex parte communication as well.

Canon 4 tells judges to conduct quasi-judicial activities so that they do not:

cast reasonable doubt on the judge's capacity to act impartially as a judge;
undermine the judge's independence, integrity, or impartiality;
demean the judicial office;
interfere with the proper performance of judicial duties;
lead to frequent disqualification of the judge; or
appear to a reasonable person to be coercive.

Is it coercive to beat up a man's counsel? (Apparently not, as the defendant persisted in exercising his speedy trial rights.) Does it demean the judicial office? One could argue that most of these (all but the "frequent disqualification" point) are triggered by throwing bows in the hallway.

Judge "Dred" Murphy may have won the fight, and may not face criminal charges, but an ethics matter? That seems like a strong possibility.

www.blogs.findlaw.com
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Type: Discussion • Score: 3 • Views: 913 • Replies: 13
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Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jun, 2014 02:26 pm
@Miller,
My guess is that Murphy is not long for the bench.

No matter how long or involved the history between the two...no matter how distasteful the demeanor of Weinstock...the actions of the judge were way over the line.
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jun, 2014 02:26 pm
@Miller,
Thank u, Dr. Miller.

I sent this to a trial judge of my acquaintance, by email.





David
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jun, 2014 02:28 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Frank Apisa wrote:
My guess is that Murphy is not long for the bench.

No matter how long or involved the history between the two...
no matter how distasteful the demeanor of Weinstock...the actions of the judge were way over the line.
I m pretty sure that u r right.

He must have been in mental ill health to do that.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jun, 2014 02:56 pm
@OmSigDAVID,
OmSigDAVID wrote:

Frank Apisa wrote:
My guess is that Murphy is not long for the bench.

No matter how long or involved the history between the two...
no matter how distasteful the demeanor of Weinstock...the actions of the judge were way over the line.
I m pretty sure that u r right.

He must have been in mental ill health to do that.


Exactly, David.

The guy was either a bit nutty...or very stupid. I'd rather think of a judge being a bit nutty...than stupid.

I don't think I've ever heard anything even close to this in a judge/lawyer confrontation.
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jun, 2014 03:04 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Frank Apisa wrote:

OmSigDAVID wrote:

Frank Apisa wrote:
My guess is that Murphy is not long for the bench.

No matter how long or involved the history between the two...
no matter how distasteful the demeanor of Weinstock...the actions of the judge were way over the line.
I m pretty sure that u r right.

He must have been in mental ill health to do that.


Exactly, David.

The guy was either a bit nutty...or very stupid. I'd rather think of a judge being a bit nutty...than stupid.

I don't think I've ever heard anything even close to this in a judge/lawyer confrontation.
Its a first for me.
I emailed the story to a friend of mine who is a trial judge.
He 'll get a kick out of it.

I don t believe any trial judge can be THAT dum.
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jun, 2014 03:17 pm
In the last three months we have three repeat three female judges arrested for DUI in Broward county.

One pass out and ran into a wall in the court parking lot, however she blow a .000 so it might had been drugs or a medical conditions in her case.
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jun, 2014 04:31 pm
@BillRM,
BillRM wrote:
In the last three months we have three repeat three
female judges arrested for DUI in Broward county.
Did U take them out to dinner n get them drunk????
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jun, 2014 04:48 pm
@OmSigDAVID,
Quote:
Did U take them out to dinner n get them drunk????


LOL David what are you trying to do drum up divorce business for yourself?
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Jun, 2014 07:38 am
@BillRM,

Quote:
Did U take them out to dinner n get them drunk????
BillRM wrote:
LOL David what are you trying to do drum up divorce business for yourself?
U wanna meet somewhere for dinner in a good restaurant ?





David
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Jun, 2014 08:07 am
@OmSigDAVID,
Quote:
U wanna meet somewhere for dinner in a good restaurant ?


I would enjoy doing so but it might need to wait until my wife is back in town as I am at the moment the only care giver for my 93 years old mother so it would be hard to get away for now.
Miller
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Jun, 2014 08:52 am
@OmSigDAVID,
I'll bet that made his day.
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Jun, 2014 09:26 am
@Miller,
Miller wrote:
I'll bet that made his day.
We 'd be very Honored, by your presence
if u 'd join us for dinner, somewhere in Florida, Dr. Miller.
Maybe I can talk Bill into bringing his mom along.





David
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Jun, 2014 09:34 am
@BillRM,
BillRM wrote:
Quote:
U wanna meet somewhere for dinner in a good restaurant ?
I would enjoy doing so but it might need to wait until my wife is back in town
as I am at the moment the only care giver for my 93 years old mother
so it would be hard to get away for now.
I 'd LOVE to meet your mom.
We cud compare and contrast
how things were in the 1920s and decades since.

I 'm in West Palm Beach; where r u ?





David
0 Replies
 
 

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