Monday, October 17, 2005
This situation actually happened to me.
A few years ago during oral arguments, a lawyer kept asserting facts that the judges (one of whom was me) didn't recall from the record. We kept pressing him to give us the page and line references for his assertions and he would not answer the questions. Finally, one of us (it may even have been me) pointed out that it was unprofessional to try to mislead us by asserting facts not in the record (nobody raised their voice and no one was particularly "aggressive" and certainly not "brutal" although I have no doubt that the lawyer didn't enjoy the comments) and the next thing we knew, he was hitting the floor like a sack of potatoes - out cold.
One of the other judges and I rushed off the bench and cleared his airway and checked his pulse, etc. The third judge ran back to chambers until the fuss was over (she didn't know what happened to the lawyer and thought he might have been assaulted and that she might be next). Our courtroom bailiff just sat there and watched all this until I told him to "get off [his] ass" and call for a rescue unit.
It turned out that the lawyer had suffered an epileptic seizure and recovered in a few minutes. We continued his case and told him to allow the paramedics to check him over.
We all felt pretty bad after that but we didn't have any problems with any of the other lawyers that day.
Thanks to Appellate Law & Practice for the link.
Posted by Have Opinion Will Travel at 5:14 PM