Tuesday, June 03, 2014

How A Florida Judge Deals With An Attorney He Doesn't Like


This display in Judge John Murphy's Brevard County courtroom is not likely to endear public confidence based upon the courtroom demeanor he displayed when a public defender, Andrew Weinstock, appeared with his client for his initial appearance and appeared to anger the judge when he declined to waive his client's right to a speedy trial. It was all caught on the Florida courtroom's video camera. "You know, if I had a rock I would throw it at you right now," Murphy tells Weinstock. "Stop pissing me off. Just sit down." "You know I'm the public defender. I have a right to be here and I have a right to stand and represent my client," Weinstock responded. Judge Murphy shot back, "If you want to fight, let's go out back and I'll just beat your ass."  Weinstock accept the judge's invitation and the two leave the courtroom, whereupon you can hear several loud thuds and what appears to be the voice of Judge Murphy yelling, "Do you want to f_ _ _ with me? Do you?

Judge Murphy returned to his courtroom without Weinstock to the applause of other defendants awaiting their court appearances. Apparently, sheriff's deputies broke up the altercation where Judge Murphy allegedly grabbed Weinstock by the collar and began striking him in the head. Weinstock's supervisor told a local TV station that Weinstock did not leave the courtroom to engage in a fight with the judge; rather, he believed the two were just going to discuss the matter outside the courtroom. Weinstock didn't press charges against Judge Murphy, but the public defender's office indicated that they planned to report the matter to the state bar authorities.

It's incredible that Judge Murphy wasn't arrested on the spot if he truly began punching Weinstock without provocation. He set a very poor example for the people who appear in his courtroom who are expected to remain calm and not allow their emotions to get the better of them when they don't like how things are going for them in court. Some of the people present believed Weinstock was being rude to Judge Murphy, but from what is captured on video, he was not out of line to resist the judge's insistence that his client waive his right to a speedy trial if that's what his client had instructed him to do. It was bad enough that the judge threatened to throw a rock at him, let alone take him outside and begin pounding his head with his fist. The man is clearly unfit to serve on the bench if he loses control of his temper that easily.

UPDATE: It looks like Judge Murphy will be taking a leave of absence from his job in order to seek anger management counseling.
 

6 comments:

local landlord said...

Is this how low we have sunk? Are we really watching a Judge beat up counsel because he won’t agree to waive speedy trial as if it were reality tv? Is there anyone who feels the Judge’s behavior is defensible? Because I don’t. This is absolutely unacceptable. The Judge needs to be relieved of his responsibilities, fired from his job, and lose his law license. I have been a businessman and property owner here for decades and I can tell you that half the lawyers in Marion County are thinly disguised crooks. And many of the Judges I have appeared before as a landlord were seriously challenged, flawed people. The level of professionalism is sadly below acceptable, national standards. Don’t let your children go to law school. The thing that they become is ugly, and cheap. It used to be that people looked up to doctors and lawyers as pillars of the community and role models. But now it seems that lawyers are little more than sheisters with their hand in the public till out to get whatever they can without regard for moral parameters. Forget about professionalism. Judges used to keep attorneys on their toes. Now they’ve sunk to their level. God help us, how can it get any worse

Gary R. Welsh said...

There are still good people in the practice of law. It just seems like you have to look a little harder than you should sometimes to find them.

Anonymous said...

This is not surprising. Judges are just cops. This judge has a cop's temper.

When you go into a courtroom, you're simply walking into another room of the police station.

You folks need to understand what America really is.

Anonymous said...

Like what Landlord said, It used to be that people looked up to doctors and lawyers as pillars of the community and role models. But now it seems that lawyers are little more than sheisters with their hand in the public till out to get whatever they can without regard for moral parameters. Forget about professionalism. Judges used to keep attorneys on their toes. Now they’ve sunk to their level. God help us, how can it get any worse

Anonymous said...

He could have challenged the DPD to
a duel, both with sabers like Zorro
had or firearms at 50 paces.

C. Roger Csee said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KECS7AHJoI