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Lawyers: Don't Tell Bad Judges They're Bad

By William Vogeler, Esq. | Last updated on

Words to the wise: don't tell bad judges they're bad.

It's like bringing a knife to a gunfight. It's not going to end well, even if you do get in a few digs.

Attorney John Carter learned that lesson the hard way. Like his client said: "You know it's a bad day when your lawyer goes to jail."

A Bad Day

Somebody was having a bad day in a Palm Beach courtroom. Carter said it was the judge.

"Never in my 35 years of practice have I ever experienced anything like this," he complained before saying "something is wrong with you" to the judge -- repeatedly.

Judge Marni Bryson fired back once.

"Mr. Carter, what's wrong with you?" she asked. "I mean, are you under the influence of something?"

Res Ipsa Contempto

There was an actual legal dispute in the case, but it didn't matter at that point. After more chest-pounding, Carter was headed out the door -- in handcuffs.

The judge sentenced him to 30 days in jail, but the local appeals court intervened. Carter was out the same day.

The judge was already backpedaling. She said she sent the lawyer to jail for claiming he never received a notice to appear on the underlying case.

In the meantime, she's been reassigned. Not saying she's bad or anything. Actually, not saying anything at all.

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