Judge Robert Restaino is all too human. What is notable is the unspoken assumption that he is unusual. He is not. I acted once for a young female plaintiff in a minor civil action. She attended court in what would have been her Sunday best were it not for the shortness of her skirt. She was a striking figure.
On giving evidence to the effect that the defendant and his scrapyard employees had spoken roughly to her when she attended him to complain about the damage to her car, caused by his rubbish collecting truck, the judge directed the clerk to bring in the attending Garda and to lock the door of the court.
The case proceeded with the plaintiff, the defendant, the witnesses and the practitioners wrongfully imprisoned (in the sense they could not leave, not that they tried to).
Because the focus of presentation of the plaintiffâs case sensibly remained on the occasion of the damage, the case proceeded without reference to the unwarranted action of the judge and the plaintiff won her damages.