Having a much-needed bathroom break when you’re an attorney in court is an issue that has landed a US judge in the midst of an ethics investigation.
However the Judge’s own ‘evidence’ of the bathroom incident has resulted in conflicting testimony over the bathroom break.
Georgia judge Courtney Johnson was reported in the Atlanta Journal-Constitutionthere was a miscommunication during the June trial and she finds the lawyer’s claim to have urinated in her chair to be “suspicious.”
The Pubic Defender claims she had tried to catch the judge’s attention by mouthing the word “bathroom” and passing along a note.
“The chair wasn’t soiled and there was no liquid around her,” Johnson told the newspaper. “It’s very suspicious to me.” Johnson added that she never told the lawyer she couldn’t go to the bathroom.
The lawyer, Jan Hankins, said she had wiped the chair with paper towels before Johnson inspected it.
According to a sworn statement by Hankins, she raised her hand, caught Johnson’s attention, and mouthed the word “bathroom” during the murder trial, but the judge did not respond. About 10 minutes later, Hankins says, she wrote “bathroom” in large letters on a legal pad and showed it to a deputy, who passed a note to Johnson.
The Judge noted that Hankins was for some reason wishing to get her attention but she had been unable to hear what she was saying and the note that was evidently written did not reach her.
However a deputy in the courtroom said that he saw the judge shake her head “no” when she saw Hankins trying to get her attention. When he gave Johnson a note about Hankins needing to use the bathroom, she wrote a note that Hankins could wait, he said.