Today in courthouse stupidity….

Before my client’s case was called down at the District Court of Maryland for Baltimore City, I watched an idiot come within about 10 seconds of getting herself locked up for aggressive disrespect, whining and snideness towards a pretty even-tempered member of the City’s Bench.

Idiot had not filed her notice of intention to defend (while non-compliant with the instructions right on the complaint, that lapse didn’t necessarily make her an idiot.) The Court went out of its way to warn the idiot that she might be in jeopardy for non-filing, and encouraged her to file it promptly. Idiot’s response was to whine to the court that the process server had not served her properly and to make persistent, snide, almost sub-audible comments about the judge’s “role.” Idiot had nothing to say, but wouldn’t shut up – for the longest time. Idiot grew increasingly snide in her nonsense chatter in the face of the judge’s attempt to get the case moved along after granting the plaintiff’s request for a continuance. The judge called out to have a bailiff enter the courtroom to have the idiot removed, but the idiot left the courtroom before I got to watch contempt proceedings, which the judge did threaten on the record for this persistent failure to know when to shut up or how not to speak when the Court is speaking.

Some days I am just amazed at the level of maurylogic that survives. I am not a hard “law and order” sort of person – if anything, I am not sure I want a government big enough to run a wedding reception with firmness, let alone a whole society. But a friend of mine tells me that America would get a lot of the stupid out if we just had 10 years of martial law, where maurylogic and dumbth resulted in severe punishments. I don’t agree and wouldn’t want it for America, but somedays the stupidity of people just reaches out and slaps my face hard right on top of the razor burn.

What strikes me most about this sort of “dumbth” is that it is extremely easy to stop it, but the idiot wants to keep it going and therefore does. Any brief “I apologize, Your Honor, thank you” would have neutralized this nonsense. But no.

Before court entered session, I reminded my client that his job was to remember that it is IMPOSSIBLE to show too much respect to the Bench; it’s like being too healthy or your nieces and nephews being too cute. But I didn’t expect to have that lawyer-client instruction reinforced with such a blunt and absolutely unnecessary counterexample of courtroom stupidity. Looking back, I wish the idiot had spent 20 minutes in lockup.

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