I was kicked out of a courtroom when I raised my voice to a judge who seemed to be favoring an assistant district attorney who wanted my client removed from hospice because he hadn’t died soon enough after I got him out of jail.
The judge allowed the transfer after hospice officials contacted me and secured a location for him. He had access to a phone and evidently contacted some of his children. He had once been charged with reckless endangerment of the kids and the ADA wanted his dying days to end back in prison.
She was the ADA that lost the endangerment case in front of Judge Anthony Defino.
She was out to get him because of that. Yes, I raised my voice unable to control my anger. The judge had sheriffs escort me into lock-up where I remained until supervisor came to court and got me out with a vow that I would never return to her courtroom.
The judge and the ADA are no longer working in the court system. But I won’t reveal their names until they die. I joked with friends that I would make a contribution to my old law school to create a urinal with the ADA’s name on top. She could get people really “pissed off.”
The judge is the only jurist I had ever requested a recusal when she showed her bias in trying a rape case. There is a provision in PA law that allows a lawyer to request a jury trial when appropriate.
My client had mental health problems and had to reveal that when he agreed to have her hear the case. I believed she held that against him from the start. I secured the testimony of a highway patrol cop who spoken to the alleged victim shortly after the incident but she said nothing. A rape victim would immediately tell a cop she was assaulted but she said nothing. And what could she tell her husband about staying out all night with another man?
I even introduced “character” evidence to show that my client – a boxer – had never been convicted before. The witness was the president of the Philadelphia NAACP, who later became a judge in Philadelphia’s common Pleas Court.
I cried like baby in the small visiting room after he was sentenced. I never felt that before or after in my career. And I still am guilty of holding contempt for this court.