On my way to the courthouse, I passed by a large gaggle of children waiting at a bus stop with their heads bowed down. Each of the back pack laden kids appeared to be furiously texting messages. They were so immersed in their task, I wondered which one would lift their head up to see if the school bus arrived. Apparently, texting has become a major problem in schools as students spend hours messaging each other in class. My teacher friend informs me that the LOL informal style of messaging has even shown up in their daily schoolwork.
Now it seems the problem has spread to our courthouses. A few days ago in Baltimore, 18 year old Demonte Jones was sentenced to a month in jail after being convicted of assaulting a deputy sheriff who asked him to stop texting during court proceedings. In Tooele, Utah, a woman was thrown in jail for two days after she sent texts from the courtroom in an attempt to warn her husband to hide some assets. And in Miami-Dade County, Florida, a Circuit Court judge dismissed a civil fraud case brought by a developer, when the court deemed text messaging between two of the developer's officials, one of whom was on the witness stand, as “completely…absolutely outrageous.
This is an exchange I observed in Superior Court:
Judge: Counsel are you available on the 7th.Editors note: In case your not familiar with that particular ditty....
Tech Lawyer: One moment your honor (lawyer hunches over and leers at his i Droidberry) beep boop beep bop beep. No, your honor.
Judge How about the 8th?
Tech Lawyer: beep boop beep bop beep (phone rings to the sound of LL Cool J's "Jingling Baby" ) I apologize your honor.
LL Cool J - Jingling Baby
If we continue at this rate, I imagine the next round of evolution will produce hunched over humans with small text friendly fingers. The question remains. Will we be seeing more cases of carpal tunnel syndrome, bursitis, tendonitis and cricked necks among our bar bretheren. Am I making a mountain out of a mole hill? Your thoughts...