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So I've been hesitantly covering court work for my agency when they find themselves up a tree. I've been covering a trial downtown this past week. It's scheduled to go all month. It's a complex, multi-party case.
Here is a quote from the judge as he was scolding the parties that more needs to be done to stay on track and get the case done expeditiously.
"One thing I can do, since you've hired a court reporter, is I can overwork her. I can work her through lunch, and I can work her late, and we can get a third relief if we need to. But my court staff I need to release on time."
Seriously pisses me off that now that the "officials" have been laid off, this judge has taken it as a license to mistreat and overwork us. I understand they have time issues, etc. Maybe it's just his brazen attitude. Had he said that we all need to work a little harder, take less brakes, shorter lunches, stay a little longer, I wouldn't have been so offended.
All I can say is what a jerk!!
Bring in the feds: OSHA, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, work hours, breaks, lunches.
Unless it has to do with job safety (like OSHA), employment laws do not apply to self employed people. The Judge simply wanted to move the trial along and get it done, so he could move on to the next matter. I was wondering about the jury though. No one said anything. I wouldn't want to be a juror staying until when the Judge and attorneys were too exhausted to go on.
Good point. Maybe it was a bench trial. They usually don't mistreat the jurors! And in this case, I would make sure there were three reporters a day to switch out so no one is being abused and the record can be prepared timely.
When I was at the criminal court complex years ago, the purpose was to get done, not to work a certain amount of hours in a day. Quite few times when the jurors were there until 10:00 (we started jury delibertions at 4:00 or 6:00). I was there one night until 1:00 a.m. - when the jury got done and read the vedict, and the Judge finally said we were done.
When there were courtrooms that were operating longer than the normal workday, where the reporter could no longer report,without detriment to the record, the reporter would tell the judge, "Judge, I'm sorry, but I've been reporting all day, etc., etc., and I simply cannot report any more today." You could try saying something like that to an insensitive person such as that, who has no idea that the people in his courtroom are human beings. Jurors are working, too, but they are seated, albeit thinking, but not seated, thinking, and subject to the physical stress of reporting; the court reporter, the hardest-working person in the courtroom. If no one will look out for you, you look out for yourself. The worst that can happen is that you will not work in that courtroom again, but that would actually be the best that could happen. So, if the reporter manager can't find a post-5:00 relief, speak up. Good luck.
I just had a similar disheartening situation happen to me yesterday, the fourth day of a trial I've been working my butt off on all week, writing flawless realtime on a very technical case. The judge, through his secretary, complained to my firm that he was "disturbed" by my interrupting to request attorneys to speak into their microphones (when they jump up in the back of the courtroom with inaudible objections). My firm owner told them she would have done the same thing and that the judge should really request attorneys be speaking into their mikes. Still disappointing to me that that's the attitude the judge chose to take. I was then instructed by his secretary to inform all the attorneys they shoudl turn their mikes on.....sighhhh, as if I hadn't done that since the first day.
He'd rather have no record and have a mistrial? I'm sorry to hear that, Cynthia. Glad to hear your agency backed you, though. So many back down and don't support the reporter.