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Florida Judge Reprimanded for Insensitive Remarks in Court

June 05, 2003|From Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A judge who once showed his scorn for a lawyer's case by playing the sound of a flushing toilet was reprimanded Wednesday by Florida's Supreme Court.

The court said Broward County Circuit Judge Sheldon Schapiro had made courtroom remarks that were insensitive and inappropriate.

Schapiro, 66, stood silently while Chief Justice Harry Anstead scolded him for 13 violations of judicial rules.

"Conduct such as yours strikes at the very core of public trust in the judicial system," Anstead said.

Schapiro agreed to undergo counseling and write letters of apology.

Schapiro once refused to delay a case when a prosecutor was hospitalized because of pregnancy complications. She was forced to leave the hospital against her doctor's orders to complete the trial.

He also told a female attorney privately that she needed to emulate male attorneys because men did not get as emotional about their cases.

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