A Florida judge has beaten up a lawyer in his court.

The video of the incident shows Judge John Murphy reacting poorly when the public defender, Andrew Weinstock, refuses to waive his client's right to a speedy trial. "You know," says Murphy, "If I had a rock I would throw it at you right now". When Weinstock objects, Murphy interrupts, "Stop pissing me off, just sit down. I'll take care of it. I don't need your help".

But Weinstock continues to justify his existence as Murphy shouts, "I said sit. Sit down!" So the judge climbs from his podium, saying "If you wanna fight, let's just go out back and I'll just beat your ass".

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Weinstock replies, "Let's go", and follows Murphy out of the court to disbelieving laughter. Off-camera, sounds of scuffling and banging can be heard along with Murphy yelling, "You wanna fuck with me? Do you?" He returns, alone, to applause from the court. Breathing heavily and sounding rather shaky, as if he's begun to realise what he's just done, Murphy says, "I will catch my breath eventually. Man, I'm an old man".

Weinstock told reporters that the judge was lying in wait for him in the corridor, and had grabbed him by the neck and started hitting him.

Chief Judge John Harris said Murphy was taking a leave of absence and would undergo anger management counselling. Harris said, "People come to court seeking justice and a peaceful resolution to their conflicts, and they have the right to expect a much higher standard of behaviour from our judges than was exhibited in court yesterday".
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