Livestream Error Results in Judge’s Recusal

The law has never been exactly funny. Yet today, it is becoming funnier and funnier. Now that live-streaming is being used in courts to deal with the pandemic, several extremely funny things have happened. It is important to understand, however, that these things are not funny for any of the individuals involved.

Among the funniest things to happen in the era of courtroom live streaming, a couple was caught apparently having sex during a hearing, a federal informant divulged that he was an informant over YouTube, and now a judge made inappropriate comments concerning defense counsel after a hearing. 

In the last case, the judge did not realize that his conversation with two district attorneys and a public defender was still being broadcast over YouTube. During this banter, he made comments such as, “Can you imagine waking up next to her every morning?” The judge, apparently, did not like the way the lawyer conducted herself. The attorney interrupted him on multiple occasions and apparently moved her hands and arms in an agitated manner. 

When the judge called on the attorney to act “more professional” after she shook her head, she responded with “You know what’s professional? Telling the truth and understanding the law. That’s professional. Telling the truth and understanding the law is more professional than me shaking my head. I would ask that people state the law and the record correctly.” We concur.

However, the conversation did not stop there. It continued with the judge and various counsel poking fun at her “man-child” of an associate and other dismissive and sexual comments about the attorney. At some point, the judge realized the conversation was still live streaming and shut down the feed. However, the attorney in question has moved to preserve the footage so that she can file a formal complaint against the judge. Kim Foxx’s office released a statement that the judge’s conduct was unprofessional and violated the values of the administration. Two attorneys from the state attorney’s office have apologized to the attorney as well as Kim Foxx herself. 

The Story Within the Story

The attorney who was mocked by the judge is the same attorney who represented Bill Cosby during his appeal, successfully getting the charges against him dismissed after he allegedly drugged and raped several women. Jennifer Bonjean is also signed on to defend R. Kelly from charges of pedophilia, sexual abuse of a minor, and child pornography charges. In other words, she takes a lot of high-profile sex crime defendant cases. 

Bonjean was able to get Cosby off on a gentlemen’s agreement made with a predecessor DA not to charge Cosby. The DA claimed he was not required to honor that agreement and the agreement was never put into writing. Bonjean successfully argued that the original agreement should have been enforced meaning that the prosecution was illegal and Cosby was free to go. He served three years of a 10-year sentence before his relief. Victims have expressed disappointment in the result and fear this will prevent more sexual assault victims from coming forward. 

Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Today

If you are facing criminal charges in the Chicago area, call David Freidberg today at (312) 560-7100 to discuss the matter in further detail and we can begin preparing your defense immediately.

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