My “Famous” Courtroom Fainting Spell

Vertigo on the Bench

One morning I was on the bench with a huge docket of cases. The audience chairs were filled, and the custody cage was full of prisoners.

Feeling the back pressure of the caseload I started talking faster and faster. (I was probably hyperventilating.)  All of a sudden, I felt light headed and things started spinning. I thought I might pass out.

 I signaled for my bailiff to approach the bench.  I told him that I thought I might pass out, and I asked him to help me get to my chambers.

I carefully walked down the few steps and through the door into the back security hallway. This put my bailiff in a dilemma. He couldn’t help me, because he had a cage full of prisoners he had to keep an eye on. So, he leaned me against the wall for support, and he left to return to the courtroom. 

There I was all alone, with vertigo, leaning against the hallway wall. Sliding against the wall I drifted to my chambers.  On reflex, I closed my door, and then I crashed on my couch so I wouldn’t fall down.

Since neither I nor my bailiff had communicated with my clerk, the person who really runs everything, she was bewildered. She finally forced her way into my chambers and saw me lying on the couch, conscious. ( I never did faint or pass out.)  She had the presence of mind to call the paramedics

Paramedics and Ambulance

It was probably just a simple fainting spell, but with my health history, my clerk insisted that the paramedics transport me to the hospital. They put me on the gurney, wheeled me down the security hallway, down the judges’ elevator, into the judges’ secured parking, and into the ambulance.

My bailiff sat in the front of the ambulance next to the driver. My bailiff is a jokester.  We call him the “court jester.” He is always teasing people and playing pranks.

From the back of the ambulance I heard him call out:

Bailiff: Turn on the siren! 
Driver: No! The hospital is just four miles away on the freeway and there is no

Bailiff: Go faster!
Driver: No! We are not in that much of a hurry.
Bailiff: But I always wanted to see if you could get one of these ambulances up
                        on two wheels. 

 Driver: What’s wrong with you?

Hospital Emergency Room: “America’s Most Wanted”

As we backed into the hospital emergency entrance by bailiff jumped out of the ambulance. The local hospitals are familiar with our deputies transporting prisoners to the emergency room (ER).  As they opened the back doors to wheel me out, my bailiff put his hand on his holster, held his other hand up, called out.  “Stand clear!  Danger!  This is one of America’s most wanted!” 

He kept repeating that over and over again as they wheeled me into the examining room. He stood in the doorway of my room facing the hallway with his hand still on his holster.  “Stand clear.  This is one of America’s most wanted.” 

I felt sorry for the ER staff.  I was lying on the bed giggling.  

At one point, the lights flickered in the ER. My bailiff called out, “They executed another one!”

After a couple hours of tests and observation I was released. But because of my bailiff, I became “famous” in that emergency room, and everyone recognized me whenever I returned for procedures. “Oh, you’re THAT judge.”


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