The Daily

“(Judge) Smith said he wouldn’t consent to delaying the trial for any reason “up to and including a zombie apocalypse”.

Federal District Court judges wield an awful lot of unappreciated power. I was joking with a colleague about the “tells” they use – a ‘menacing cough’ came up more than once. Early in my career, I hadn’t been able to read a room that well. One judge actually told me to “stop talking” because “you’re winning”. That was about the level of subtlety my performance required in my raging bull in the china shop days.

After decades of experience, I learned to read a room a little better.

The Proud Boys trial began today after a week of jury selection, The Judge appears to be less than amused at the level of bickering. The defense lawyers earned his ire – during arguments about the admissibility of evidence – when they threatened to quit the case. Judges don’t respond well to threats: especially when your ability to do that depends on him. Threatening to gum up his trial – on purpose – is unlikely to produce a positive response.

“Prosecutors have not been saved from the judge’s scrutiny either — most notably when they claimed they couldn’t provide evidence binders to defense lawyers because their office had run out of dividers, and they hadn’t been authorized to buy new ones.”

 

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