Long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, on my very first day of law school, I learned an invaluable lesson. It was scrawled across a large chalkboard in the lecture hall for my Civil Procedure class by one of my all-time favorite professors (who later went on to be identified by Bernard Goldberg as one of the 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America – but that’s a story for another time.)
What was that Number One lesson of Civil Procedure?
DON’T PISS OFF THE JUDGE.
Which sort of seems obvious, I realize — but you’d be surprised how many people (even lawyers, who should well know better) don’t follow it. Me? I internalized it and it resounds loudly in my head every time I’m in court to this day. It’s stood me in good stead.
20-year-old Spencer Boston of Carthage, Tennessee, might want to keep that lesson in mind in the future — or, at least, its corollary: Don’t light up in front of the judge. Yes, you read that right. It seems that Mr. Boston took the occasion of his appearance in court on a marijuana charge to spark a spliff.
Per WKRN and Fox2Now:
LEBANON, Tenn. (WKRN) — A man who appeared in court on a marijuana citation was charged with contempt of court after lighting up in front of the judge.
Spencer Boston pulled out a marijuana joint and lit up in a packed courtroom Monday, and it was caught on video at General Sessions Court.
Boston, 20, was standing at the podium before Judge Haywood Barry. The two discussed the case briefly, then the judge looked down.
Boston then reached into his coat pocket, pulled out a joint, struck a match and lit up. He puffed on the joint then turned to the packed audience and said, “The people deserve better.”
Court officers say many laughed out loud.
Never fear, though. Mr. Boston was promptly attended to by the bailiffs who took him into custody, where he was sentenced to 10 days in jail for contempt of court. Something tells me he’s not really sweating it, though.
You can watch the courtroom video of the incident below: