Judge as Impartial Arbiter
This case was over. Deutsche failed to meet its burden of proof, and an involuntary dismissal was required. The presiding judge knew it and admitted as much yet refused to rule accordingly. Instead, the court took a recess, went to its Chambers, sua sponte conducted a Google search to procure the missing evidence for Deutsche, resumed court, handed the internet printout to Deutsche, suggested Deutsche re-open its case, admitted the printout into evidence over objection, and used that internet printout as the basis for its ruling.
Those facts sound impossible to believe, right? That couldn’t happen in a Florida courtroom, could it? Unfortunately, that’s an excerpt from the appellate brief I’m filing today.
Some will question my paraphrasing of the facts, so take a look at the brief for yourself: it includes a verbatim cut and paste of the trial transcript reflecting these events.
I’ll refrain from commenting about the propriety of these events here. You can read the brief and see what I think of this case.