Do any of you work before a judge who doesn't take a lunch break? By that I mean, does he or she skip lunch and force everyone else in court to go without lunch too, working until 3:00 or 4:00pm every day? (Not during jury trials, but every other day.)
Maybe some of you who have been in this situation can provide some assistance to a fellow prosecutor in that position. How would YOU handle it?
Posts: 2412 | Location: TDCAA | Registered: March 08, 2002
One thought I had: bring a sack lunch, and when noon rolls around, make a motion that anyone who had the foresight to bring a lunch can eat it while conducting business. In the business world this is called a "working lunch."
I never had a judge who wouldn't stop for dinner eventually. In one county, a judge was notorious for holding a docket until 12:20 or so, and then order everyone back by 1 p.m. The only thing you could do in that courthouse with with that amount of time was to eat a candy bar and a Coke at the snack bar, if you wanted to be certain about being back by 1 p.m. He usually strolled in around 1:20 or 1:30.
I heard that after I left, the prosecutor in his court went to his office, across the street from the courthouse, and found himself in a phone conversation when he looked at his watch and realized it was almost 1 pm. He shouted to another prosecutor who did not work in that court--I'll call her Susan--and asked her to cover for him.
Susan didn't waste time with the elevator; she flew down the back stairs like a fireman going to a 3-alarm, then sprinted across the street to the courthouse, then ran up the stairs to the courtroom, arriving about 1:02 pm. This was the one day this judge was on the bench at 1:00. Boy was he burned up. He held her in contempt, and had the bailiff put her in the holding cell. When he said court would resume at 1 pm he meant business! No exceptions!
I dunno, JB. I used to work for my grandfather as a house painter. He never took lunch before I started working for him, and only grudgingly would do so for the sake of a scrawny 14 year old who needed to eat 4000 calories a day. I sure do miss him.
To this day, I usually brown bag it and read documents during lunch.
Perhaps if the judge wants to work through lunch, he should schedule other types of matters for that period, so that the attorneys practicing before him can plan their lunch time late or early to accommodate a noontime plea or meeting. The biggest problem would seem to be personnel like bailiffs, court reporters, and clerks who are generally subject to federal hourly work rules.
Posts: 2135 | Location: McKinney, Texas, USA | Registered: February 15, 2001
I have to agree with JB--the Monument Cafe in Georgetown rates five stars! All their food is great, but I love their chocolate sheet cake with fudge frosting sprinkled with chopped pecans and served with ice cream. It's so good it's positively sinful.
Posts: 674 | Location: Austin, Texas, United States | Registered: March 28, 2001
We have both types. One judge who'll break at 12 for lunch no matter what your doing, even if you only have 15 minutes of matters left and another who will keep working until the docket is finished, the court reporter gets her to break or she has to leave for her own personal reasons.
Last week we had a visiting judge who became progressively later each day. By Friday, with a full docket, he didn't show up until a few minutes before noon. We worked through lunch to handle all the pleas that were stacked up and ready.
I always thought that lunch was mandated by the Constitution. Isn't it in the Bill of Rights? Or isn't it at least an emanatition from the penumbra of the Bill of Rights? In fact, if memory of Con Law class serves me, I believe there is a Constitutional right to a Free Lunch. Or am I mistaken by that?
If I remember correctly--and most of Con Law is a blur--the right to government sponsored healthcare was included within the penumbra of rights, but a free lunch was explicity excluded. Really suprised me because the authoring justice was Felix Frankfurter.
I'm sorry--couldn't resist.
Posts: 476 | Location: Parker County, Texas | Registered: March 22, 2002
What if several people fainted around lunchtime? Either real of feigned fainting? Some could claim to be diabetic or hypoglycemic and just be worthless until they're allowed to eat. I suspect your judge is just an inconsiderate control freak.
Posts: 515 | Location: austin, tx, usa | Registered: July 02, 2001