Today I had a most unusual experience. I have never seen this before in 25 years of practice.
In court room 1804, Judge Stuart, while I was attending a hearing on the Sykes case, the bailiff walked up to me and took my laptop! She didn’t ask me to put it away. She just took it. I told her that the courts allow electronic note taking, but she took it anyway.
This is at a hearing where Adam Stern and Peter Schmeidel were going on and on about how I was disqualified from representing Gloria for notarizing one document and how I was running a blog about the Mary Sykes case (horrors)!
Some have speculated (this is only a rumor now) about how I might have been blogging about the case in the court room!
The court personnel (where were they during 6th grade US constitution exam) thought I couldn’t take notes because I was not a court reporter. Interesting, but no cigar. The reality is, I cannot take the place of a court reporter because they have specialized training and a license. But as a US citizen in an open court, I do have the constitutional right to take notes.
The big questions are tho: 1) why are Adam Stern and Peter Schmeidel and the court so overly concerned about my running a court room blog? 2) No one has asserted how anything posted on this blog is untrue (other than Cynthia Farenga, and adequate evidence was attached to a communication sent to her that completely dispels this notion) and 3) why is it no one in that count room seems to know that blogging, public dissemination of court room proceedings are a basic and important US constitutional right?
Open courts are inimical to a free and just society. It is of the most urgent importance that reporters, bloggers and anyone with a quest for truth and justice be allowed to enter into any US court room and take notes and publish them anywhere there is an audience interested in the proceedings and the free and open flow of information (or in this case, lack thereof).
We all have an interest in keeping our courtrooms open and free. By that we can ensure that justice is done there.
Sadly, today it was severely lacking. And even more sad was a courtroom filled with about a dozen people that didn’t seem to know or care about how important that right was.
I recall getting 100 on my 6th grade US and Illinois constitution exam. I guess it’s sad when you put the people that got all the low scores in charge of the courtroom!
PS–the files on my laptop go back to documents and emails prepared for clients back to 1990! I wonder how Judge Stuart is going to explain to clients why their information was placed into the hands of a court room bailiff who knows nothing of them or their business. She was a part of it. I will publish the transcript when I get it.
PPS–there are devices on the market that can scam a hard drive via an open port in minutes! Why did the judge allow a meagerly paid court room bailiff access to a lap top of an attorney that had years of confidential and highly sensitive client information which should have the eminence of attorney client privilege on it with very little apparent forethought and absolutely no safety precautions for the data contained therein?
All good questions.
Another day in probate. Another day with more questions than answers.
Although this is obvious, no person in this blog has been accused of any wrongdoing, crime or even arrested unless stated otherwise from a website reporting actual arrests and convictions. We are stating our opinions and we have the right to do this. Only the particular author is responsible for his or her content. (So don’t blame me if you dislike some posts from someone else). This site is newsworthy because it is picked up automatically by many other blogs and is therefore protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Illinois State Constitution and violations will be taken serious with charges under the Illinois Citizens Participation Act. We ARE participating in government here–we are lawyers trying to make a difference to make things better for grandma and grandpa. We don’t care how much money you’re making–directly or indirectly from Probate or a nursing home or home health care wired-in business. Do yourself a favor and get a different job, it’s not worth it.