Have you heard of the plastic surgeon who attended court from the OR? COVID-19 has been a shock for all of us. But for the many judges that are over the age of 65 years old, it’s been particularly difficult. Courts and technology do not go hand in hand.
This last month has been an interesting time for the COVID-19 Zoom courts. Things started off with a lawyer in Peru who was caught having sex during a hearing.
This was followed by a lawyer who appeared in Zoom court as a cat and had to convince the judge that they were, indeed, not a cat. This video went so viral, that even my friends in China sent it to me.
Now a doctor has appeared in a California traffic court while doing surgery on a patient. The doctor had to appear in virtual court to dispute a ticket he received. You can see the video here.
The judge said, “so unless I’m mistaken, I’m seeing a defendant that is in the middle of an operating room, appearing to be actively engaged in providing services to a patient.”
Photo source: SACRAMENTO SUPERIOR COURT
The judge then continues “I do not feel comfortable for the welfare of the patient.” The trial was adjourned to another date.
There are many ways to get a trial adjourned, which normally includes trying to find a new lawyer or providing a note from a doctor. Sometimes trials are adjourned because the two sides have entered settlement discussions. But being in the middle of an operation is new to me, and mostly, also new to the judge.
Plastic Surgeon Attends Court
The new trial date for the doctor is March 4, 2021. Hopefully this time he will be dressed in a suit.
Just like the “lawyer cat” the doctor said that they were willing to go ahead with the trial.
Part of a judge’s job is to maintain the integrity of the courts. They don’t want people to just “show up” and argue. The judges want people to dress appropriately and show respect to the judicial process.
The Medical Board of California is now investigating.
Court From The Operating Room
I’ve had my own challenges during COVID-19. I had to do a court hearing from a park because there was too much noise in my condo building. The other day, a lawyer’s microphone stopped working during an examination for discovery (deposition) which caused delays.
While I strongly support legal innovation, I have no doubt that once COVID-19 is over, the courts won’t be moving to virtual hearings. Many people take advantage of the situation, like showing up to a trial while performing surgery, or having sex.
A plastic surgeon attends court… What’s next?
Alistair Vigier is the CEO of ClearWay Law, a website where people can find a law firm to hire.