‘Let’s go out back’ judge tells lawyer — before allegedly punching him

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By Alex Aldridge on

There were shocking scenes in a Florida courtroom yesterday.


Footage has emerged of an extraordinary bust-up between a judge and a lawyer which culminated in what seems to have been a full-on fist fight.

The incident, which occurred yesterday, sees Judge John Murphy berate public defender Andrew Weinstock in a highly unprofessional manner after he became annoyed at his refusal to waive his client’s right to a speedy trial. The judge then invites the lawyer to “go out back” to an area of the court with no cameras. The courtroom camera captures audio of shouting, swearing and what seems to be a scuffle, with several loud thuds.

Afterwards, Judge Murphy amazingly returns to his seat and continues the case over which he was presiding. “I will catch my breath eventually. Man, I’m an old man,” he says as he gathers his composure.

According to WFTV, it doesn’t appear that charges will be filed. However, the public defender’s office said the incident will be reported to the Florida Bar.

Here is a transcript of the bust-up, which can be viewed in the video below.

Murphy: If I had a rock, I would throw it at you right now. Stop pissing me off! Just sit down! I’ll take care of it. I don’t need your help. Sit! Down!

Weinstock: I’m the public defender, I have the right to be here and I have a right to stand and represent my clients.

Murphy: Sit down. If you want to fight, let’s go out back and I’ll just beat your ass.

Weinstock: Let’s go right now.

They go outside

Murphy: (shouting) You wanna fuck with me? Do you?

Incomprehensible yelling

An extended version of the video, which includes the section where the judge returns to court and continues presiding over cases, can be viewed here.