Blawgletter has noticed that judges have started letting people in their courtrooms to sip from bottles of water.  The practice contrasts with the days of yore, when lawyers and judges — but hardly anyone else — could drink stale government tap water from styrofoam cups or plastic cones that would tip over unless you put them in a flimsy holder.  Trial lawyers with more experience knew to write their names on the cups to avoid drinking from someone else’s.

Judges may start directing their bailiffs to check the contents of water bottles as a result of a mistrial in a Jefferson County, Kentucky, civil case on January 22.  (Story here.)  One of the jurors fooled the judge (and helped pass the time) by swapping pellucid vodka for H2O in her bottle.  She drank so much that she couldn’t participate in deliberations, and her inebriation prompted Circuit Judge Geoffrey Morris to toss out the jury’s verdict and declare a mistrial.

Blawgletter has heard of blind justice but believes, with Circuit Judge Morris, that it oughtn’t result from blind drunkenness.  Cheers!


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