You Can Keep the Damn Phone

by Jamison Koehler on September 11, 2012

The General District Court in Arlington County, as it turns out, has a policy of confiscating lawyers’ cell phones when they go off in court. I know, I know. It is very annoying and also disrespectful, particularly when you are standing at the bar of the court when it happens. But we are only human.

The bailiff, always very courteous, tells you that you can pick it up the following afternoon from the clerk’s office. He usually waits until you are actually addressing the court before telling you this.

With a trial scheduled for today, I couldn’t afford to be without my phone, even for an afternoon. So I ran to the local Apple store to buy myself another one.

2 Comments on “You Can Keep the Damn Phone

  1. There was once a time when lawyers could try cases without a phone. Not for an afternoon. Not even for the whole trial. And it worked out pretty well.

  2. Last time I was on a jury, in the middle of the judge giving us some pre-trial instructions, a cell phone went off. I was expecting him to ream somebody out, but he just reached into his robes and pulled out his cell phone. “It’s my wife,” he said, and I could seem him think about it for a second, but then he silenced it and we moved on.

    I suspect the court will be less uptight about cell phones when the court begins to look at photos of the grandchildren on Facebook.

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