It’s Friday, so it’s time to take a break from casenotes and share some stories.
Lawyers are fond of the self-image of Olympian detachment. We don’t always live up to it, of course. In a recent hearing I may have furiously snarled “oh, this is bullshit!” at opposing counsel in response to a particular line of argument.
It’s not new, of course. Famously a courtroom fight between a court clerk and a lawyer in about 1705 resulted in the latter’s right forefinger bitten off: Cockroft v Smith (1705) 6 Mod. 230. And last month a Californian lawyer was reported by the ABA Journal to have had the worst of litigation surrounding a punch-up with an investigator –
Jurors found Crawford and Alley were both liable for battery, and they were responsible for paying each other’s medical bills. The bills were $11,400 for Alley and $15,215 for Crawford. Jurors found that Alley did not use excessive force and did not violate Crawford’s right to free speech. … Jurors imposed punitive damages based on its finding that Crawford had acted “with malice, oppression or fraud” against Alley.
All of which has me wondering: when have you seen red in the courtroom? And how did it work out for you?