Court personnel never know what kind of unique situation, clothing ensemble (or lack thereof), funny comments, or intriguing people we will come in contact with on any given day. Most of the time it’s just business as usual, run-of-the-mill day. But some days… it’s just worth being there.
The day the attorney was thrown in jail for being drunk was just such a day. It was obvious he wasn’t at his top performance since he was sitting at counsel table falling asleep.
So when the judge came back in from recess, and slammed a big, thick statute book down on the bench, and the sleeping attorney never even twitched, we were all standing/sitting with our jaws hanging open. The eyes of his poor little client, which were already big and round with uncertainty, (he, coming from the north down to Podunkville and not knowing what to expect) (the movie Deliverance comes to mind) got even bigger and rounder.
Ms. Public Defender, who was seated next to Mr. Incapacitated-At-The-Moment Attorney, was requested by the judge to wake up our offending attorney. She takes her finger and pokes his arm several times until he eventually in a sleepy stupor raises his head and looks toward her.
Ms. Public Defender then takes that same finger and slowly points it and her outstretched arm toward the front of the courtroom at the judge as Mr. Incapacitated-At-The-Moment follows her movement and eventually makes eye contact with our judge at the bench. The judge called him to the bench for the “have-you-been-drinking” discussion whereupon the attorney adamantly declared his innocence, not a drop of alcohol had passed his lips today, although he did lean in a little closer to say, “But I really tied one on last night.”
After consenting to a breath analysis, and blowing a .06 (legally intoxicated is .08), the sheriff’s deputy brings Mr. Getting-More-Alert-All-The-Time back into the courtroom before His Honorable. The lecture was, as succinctly as I can put it, “You’re going to jail; don’t show up like this again.”
So having been found in contempt of court, off Mr. Boy-Did-I-Screw-Up go, never once making eye contact with his young, round-eyed client.