Friday, April 07, 2006

A speeding ticket moment

I just have to describe an interesting moment in one of my favorite courts. This particular court gets a lot of Thruway speeding tickets. I had been told that one of the judges is married to a retired Trooper, and might be a bit partial to the Troopers.

So I get there, and the Trooper on my case isn't there. In many courts around Albany, you wait about an hour, and then judges will call your case and dismiss the ticket if the Trooper's not there. After about 45 minutes I checked with the clerk. She told me she was surprised because this particular Trooper is usually there every week. She assured me the judge would call my case in a few minutes.

The judge called me and I moved to dismiss as the Trooper wasn't there. The judge exclaimed in a loud voice how the Trooper had been there, in front of the bench, only moments earlier.

The clerk then interrupted - "Your Honor, may I speak with you for a moment?" They went in the back room. I was trying to suppress my own laughter, and heard them laughing in the back.

The judge came back out and apologized, saying that it was the Trooper's brother who had just been there, and apologized for the mistake.

In case you're ever wondering why defense lawyers sometimes think courts can be biased in favor of the police or against defendants.

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