And you thought ‘cat lawyer’ was strange
The shift to online court hearings in response to the coronavirus pandemic has thrown up a whole range of eye-catching headlines.
From a topless judge in Brazil to the global sensation that is ‘I’m not a cat’, Legal Cheek has covered it all. But this latest example, courtesy of a plastic surgeon from California, may just have topped the lot.
Dr Scott Green reportedly appeared before a US court dressed in full surgical scrubs and mask. Why? Well far from an ultra-cautious approach to the virus, reports claim Dr Green Zoom-ed into the hearing in the middle of a surgical procedure.
The case — conducted virtually due to the pandemic and live-streamed on YouTube — related to an alleged traffic violation.
The beeps of medical equipment could be heard during the Zoom call, and the patient’s procedure was taking place just out of shot, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Judge: “Unless I’m mistaken, I’m seeing a defendant who’s in the middle of an operating room appearing to be actively engaged in providing services to a patient. Is that correct, Mr. Green?”
Defendant: “Yes, sir.”
Judge: “Or should I say, Dr. Green.”
— Ajit Pai (@AjitPai) February 28, 2021
“So unless I’m mistaken, I’m seeing a defendant that’s in the middle of an operating room appearing to be actively engaged in providing services to a patient. Is that correct, Mr. Green? Or should I say Dr. Green?” Sacramento Superior Court commissioner Gary Link can be heard asking.
“I do not feel comfortable for the welfare of a patient if you’re in the process of operating that I would put on a trial notwithstanding the fact that the officer is here today,” Link adds.
Dr Green can then be heard reassuring the judge that there’s “another surgeon right here who’s doing the surgery with me, so I can stand here and allow them to do the surgery also”.
“Not at all. I don’t think so. I don’t think that’s appropriate,” Link responds. “I’m going to come up with a different date — when you’re not actively involved or participating and attending to the needs of a patient. Let me see if I can get a different date here.”
This prompted an apology from the busy surgeon. “I apologise, Your Honor, to the court. Sometimes, surgery doesn’t always go as…”, before the judge interjects, “it happens. We want to keep people healthy, we want to keep them alive. That’s important.”
The Medical Board of California is now apparently looking into the incident.