Today’s Dumbass: Judge Holds Himself In Contempt Of Court

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Credit: James Brey

Michigan Judge Raymond Voet is a law and order guy who won’t let his courtroom become a circus. That’s why he banned smartphones during trials. He even hung a sign on the wall to make the policy clear, and has fined “police officers, attorneys, witnesses, spectators and friends” for breaking it, according to the Associated Press.

Last Friday, though, while a prosecutor wrapped up his case, Voet–who’d just upgraded from a Blackberry to a Windows Phone, and didn’t understand its controls–accidentally activated voice mode. “SAY A COMMAND,” Voet recounts the phone vocalizing at top volume. “I CAN’T UNDERSTAND YOU…SAY SOMETHING LIKE ‘MOM.’”

Everyone in the courtroom, including the prosecutor, immediately realized the hypocrisy. “I felt my face starting to burn red,” said Voet, who’d just learned a lesson in karma.

The judge is Today’s Dumbass, true, but we actually come to praise him. Because he did the right thing: Held himself in contempt and paid the same $25 fine he demanded of others. “I broke the rule,” he said, “and I have to live by it.”

That’s not merely equal justice under the law…it’s Guy Code.

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Marty Beckerman (@martybeckerman) is the Associate Editor of Guy Code Blog