Practice Tip: Phrase “Oops, My Bad” Rarely Appropriate in Court

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For those of you wanting to be jailed briefly for contempt, this item offers some pretty good tips that you might want to jot down:

  1. You will be instructed to turn off all cell phones while in the courtroom.  Ignore this.
  2. Sit as close to the bench as possible.  If you can’t sit at the counsel’s table, sit in the front row.
  3. Set ringtone to some sort of rap song.
  4. If your phone rings, go ahead and answer it and carry on a conversation.
  5. When the judge becomes visibly angry and says "how dare you answer a phone in court," respond with "Oops, my bad."
  6. Bonus points if you are in court to face multiple burglary charges.

This got a 17-year-old Australian sent to jail for the rest of the day after he answered his phone in a magistrate’s court in Darwin.  That "is a serious contempt," shouted the irritated magistrate at the boy.  He probably still would have avoided jail at that point, but "[w]hen the teen waved it off as ‘my bad,’ [the magistrate] ordered he be taken away."

The boy ended up spending about three hours in a holding cell before he finally agreed to come back and apologize.

Link: (Australia)