Florida Judge to Attorney: ‘If You Want to Fight, Let’s Go Out Back’

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Trial by combat was de rigueur in Germany around the Middle Ages, but legal fisticuffs seem to be making a comeback in modern-day Florida.

judge-public-dender-fight

A Brevard County judge is accused of grabbing a public defender and slapping him after a disagreement Monday, and the audio of the scuffle was captured.

Brevard County Judge John Murphy apparently went one-on-one with a public defender Monday after the pair exchanged words over whether a client should get a speedy trial date.

On Tuesday, Murphy took a leave of absence and agreed to “seek anger management counseling and treatment,” Chief Judge John M. Harris said in a statement. All Murphy’s cases were reassigned to other judges.

Trial by combat involves disputants fighting it out in single — sometimes mortal — combat. The winner was judged to have been in the right. The rule of law, with codified trial procedures, was considered a major step forward from the notion that that might makes right.

Click here to read the full story on LATimes.com.