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Judge Tells Jury to Deliberate at 3 am to Save Her Vacation

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By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on February 15, 2011 5:47 AM

He who shall mess with the judge's vacation time shall find himself in contempt.

Well, not really. But it may seem like it.

Last year, Clark County District Court Judge Valorie Vega set aside four weeks on her calendar for a murder trial. When the trial took nearly two weeks longer, she held its participants hostage. Trial proceedings continued until 3 a.m., when the jury began deliberations, reports the ABA Journal.

Judge Vega told the jury that she had informed counsel that they must "be done by Thursday because I'm packing up and leaving town and going on vacation for two weeks." Defense attorneys Adrian Lobo and Norm Reed just went with it, trying not to earn anymore of her ire, notes the local news station.

The best part? She left court at 2 p.m. six times during the trial to watch her daughter's soccer games, as pointed out by the ABA Journal.

Judge Vega released a statement saying that she typically works more than 40 hours a week, but failed to address the fact that she has continued to take afternoon leave to watch soccer, reports KLAS-TV. State Assemblyman William Horne and representatives from the district and state supreme courts don't object to her practice, according to the station. As long as she's doing her job and not flouting justice, she's free to keep any schedule she'd like.

Now, what does this story teach us? That a judge's right to watch her child play soccer is greater than your client's right to a lucid jury. And that you should never, ever mess with a judge's vacation.

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