While COVID has certainly robbed us of a good many different things, it has made us realize that there is more than one way to deal with a problem.
Like the notion of communicating with folks. I had used FaceTime here and there talking with people or wanting to ask my wife about something at the grocery store but had never used it long-form until all of this stuff started happening last year.
Now, we have a big family thing with folks across the country where we set our phone up on a little camera stand and then project the other person’s video onto our television so we can sit and talk comfortably. It’s amazing the things that video conferencing has been getting used to lately. It’s so awesome. Even court proceedings.
That being said, if you think that court proceedings have stopped being weird just because they are happening in people’s spare rooms, you are sadly mistaken.
Unique courtroom events have captured the media’s eye for ages. From outbursts to brawls and disputed cases, the legal system has displayed contentious courtroom drama. But even now, in the age of virtual hearings, these predicaments continue.
Louisville, Kentucky, attorney Shameka O’Neil’s outburst during a recent Zoom court hearing offers one recent example of the captivating legal system.
According to Kentucky Today, O’Neil’s outbursts came while discussing her male client’s plea agreement with Jefferson District Judge Julie Kaelin in January.
In the Zoom video, O’Neil first states that her client has mental incapacities, which led the judge to refuse to accept any plea since he might not understand the agreement, according to WDRB-TV.
“You’re working with someone who’s not operating at full capacity, ma’am,” O’Neil said of her client, who was accused of misdemeanor criminal mischief.
O’Neil’s client quickly denied that he had “undiagnosed bipolar schizophrenia,” as his attorney previously said, prompting the ugly meltdown that will follow this lawyer for a while.
O’Neil immediately motioned to withdraw from the case and remove herself as her client’s attorney, a motion Kaelin denied.
The lawyer responded to the denied request with more disparaging comments against her client, citing that she had visited him in jail five times, but he refused to acknowledge her legal advice and that he had been problematic while in custody.
“You are now disparaging your client to this court,” Kaelin said.
Kaelin then denied the lawyer’s second attempt to withdraw from the case, prompting O’Neil to say: “I bet I don’t appear again. Goodbye,” before she abruptly exited the Zoom meeting.
Shock then appeared on the faces of those involved in the hearing.