My Highway Patrol Uncle Gave His Wife and President McKay Speeding Tickets

"Court Case Friday" My grandfather's brother, "Uncle Ted," served in the Utah Highway Patrol (UHP), rising from trooper to acting colonel/superintendent. He had a reputation for absolute integrity. He firmly believed in equal justice - “No one is above the law.” He Gave His Wife a Ticket Trooper Ted gave his wife a traffic ticket. … Continue reading My Highway Patrol Uncle Gave His Wife and President McKay Speeding Tickets

Defendant: “I am a God! You are a mere mortal!”

"Court Case Friday" One afternoon I had a large group of prisoners in the “cage” in my courtroom. I started advising them of their constitutional rights. One of the women suddenly interrupted me and screamed, “I don’t recognize you.” I thought to myself, “I don’t’ recognize you either.” She continued: Defendant: “I am a God! I don’t … Continue reading Defendant: “I am a God! You are a mere mortal!”

“My” Prisoner had been “Executed” and then “Resurrected”

"Court Case Friday" One afternoon, I was discussing a felony case with the district attorney and the public defender at my bench. The woman defendant was in custody in the “cage.” Public Execution All of a sudden, the she screamed at me: Defendant: “What are you doing?” Judge: “I am discussing your case with the … Continue reading “My” Prisoner had been “Executed” and then “Resurrected”

The Paranoid Defendant – “Constantly Surrounded by Mormons”

"Court Case Friday" I was presiding over the high volume arraignment calendar in my OC courtroom, when I called the case of a criminal trespasser. As I thumbed through the police report, I noticed that the defendant was arrested for disrupting an LDS stake conference. I also learned that the LDS Church had obtained a … Continue reading The Paranoid Defendant – “Constantly Surrounded by Mormons”

“The Hulk” Came to My Rescue

"Court Case Friday" I presided over a case of a developmentally disabled young man who lived in a care home. He was a huge fan, ("Hulkster") of Hulk Hogan, "The Hulk," the giant world-famous wrestler and celebrity.  One morning, while this young man was waiting for the public bus to take him to an assembly line … Continue reading “The Hulk” Came to My Rescue

Murder at “Mormon Night”

"Court Case Friday" "Mormon Nights" Over the decades, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sponsored annual “Mormon Nights” at Dodger Stadium, Angel Stadium, and Disneyland.  (Disneyland routinely scheduled nighttime"private parties" from 7pm to 1am on non-peak days. "General Public not admitted.") There were discount tickets. For example, in 1970 the tickets for “Mormon … Continue reading Murder at “Mormon Night”

The “Exploding Dog” Case

"Court Case Friday" My favorite law school civil torts case was: the case of the “Exploding Dog.” Here are the facts: A landowner had a vacant lot downtown between high-rise buildings.  He wanted to improve the property, and so he hired a land developer. However, there was a giant tree stump with deep roots in … Continue reading The “Exploding Dog” Case

Officer Shot and Killed a 5-Year-Old Boy

"Court Case Friday" In 1983, my colleagues and I in the OC District Attorney’s Office evaluated a heartbreaking, tragic case. Stanton Police received a 911 call complaining about suspicious noises coming from an “empty” apartment where a single woman lived with her 5-year-old son.  The caller was also worried that the boy had not been … Continue reading Officer Shot and Killed a 5-Year-Old Boy

Kids Keep Adults, even Judges, Humble

"Court Case Friday" Over the years, I have hosted dozens of court tours for youth groups. My Bailiff seats the group in the jury box and at the counsel table. I then give a 10-15 minute talk, sharing my most entertaining and humorous court case “war stories.” One afternoon, I had a large group of … Continue reading Kids Keep Adults, even Judges, Humble