Short-fused judge in Ed Schultz trial loses it, walks out of courtroom to ‘count to 100’

The federal trial on MSNBC host Ed Schultz’s breach-of-contract lawsuit came to a dramatic stop Thursday, when the judge stopped the proceedings to go to her chambers and “count to 100” to cool off.

Four days into the trial, plaintiff Michael Queen’s attorney made a motion to submit over 200 pages of emails as an exhibit. U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell was so annoyed by the request that she asked the jurors to step out of the courtroom. Then she zeroed in on attorney Catfish Abbott, The Daily Caller reported.

“Are you asking me right now to sit with you and [Schultz’s attorney] Mr. [John] Hayes to go through your proposed exhibit email by email?” Howell asked, according to The DC. “You’re asking me to grant your motion to accept your emails?”

Queen, an NBC producer and sound engineer, is suing Schultz for breach of partnership, claiming the host owes him for 14 months of work. Though Queen said he has 1,100 emails showing Schultz discussed promises to partner with him, the MSNBC host insists he made no such agreement.

judge edOn Thursday, Abbott asked to submit 226 pages of emails between Queen and Schultz to establish Queen’s state of mind and their 14-month relationship.

Hayes objected, saying Schultz couldn’t verify the accuracy or completeness of the emails because, in Hillary Clinton fashion, he deleted his own copies after his computer had been hacked.

Howell abruptly left the courtroom and returned a short time later, The Daily Caller reported.

“I had my opportunity to count to 100 in my chambers after being presented with 300 emails at virtually the end of this case,” she said. “Contrary to your opinion, they [the emails] are not just from the plaintiff to the defendant.

“They are NOT,” she repeated, banging her hand on the bench. “They are NOT.”

Though she finally accepted Abbott’s submission, Howell warned the attorney: “I don’t know how you tried cases back in Jacksonville, but we’re more buttoned up here in D.C. This document dump, you do this at your own peril in front of the jury.

“It’s a mess, this exhibit,” she added, emphasizing each word. “One could say it will make the plaintiff look like a mess to this jury.”

Frieda Powers

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