Yesterday I had a case before a judge that I have not been in front of often.
I knew her, and her reputation, but I guess she didn't know me.
I got to the courtroom and let the clerk know I was there. The clerk told me it would be a little while - they had another matter on trial in the same court room, and they were going to try to hear my case quickly during the jury's next break.
I went to the pens and spoke to my client. My client asked me to call his mother - she might be able to make bail for him.
I went back into the courtroom to get my cell phone. I whispered to the clerk that I was going to take my cell phone into the hallway, and that I'd be back in a minute.
"Take your time," he told me, "We just started with this witness."
I took my cell phone in the hallway, made a call or two, but couldn't get in touch with my client's mother. I was about to leave a message, when an officer came out of the courtroom and said, "We're going to take out the body that's on trial and do your case quick. Come on in."
(That's what they call people. "Bodies." Whatever it takes to dehumanize.)
I closed my phone, made sure it was off, and then followed the officer into the courtroom. Except that the courtroom door was locked. Another officer who was standing in the hallway with me said, "They have to lock this door when they're moving a body. They'll unlock it in a minute."
I stood there for about a minute and sure enough, I heard the click of the door unlocking, and I went in the courtroom.
The judge on the bench saw me entering the courtroom. She must have just seen that the officer had literally JUST unlocked the door. Which means they must have JUST taken "the body" out of the courtroom from the case on trial.
And she said to me, "Counselor? Are you here on this case? Well, come in. You're keeping my entire court staff waiting. Not to mention the entire jury for the case on trial. Have you even put your appearance on the record yet? Well, what are you waiting for? Put your appearance on the record!"
I can't tell you how deep the teeth marks on my tongue must have been, but it was killing me.
What could I have said? "Judge, did you want me break in the door? Because it was locked. And the reason I haven't given my appearance yet is because you haven't stopped shouting at me from the second the door was unlocked."
But, I guess part of being a grown-up and doing a grown-up job is that sometimes you have to suck it up, and get yelled at for nothing at all. Responding would've just made things worse for my client.
So, that's what I did. I sucked it up. But that doesn't mean I can't vent about it on my blog.