This doesn’t happen in Cook County very often. I had a hearing in a Courtroom with a judge who is universally well-regarded. This particular judge is a seasoned, thoughtful, conscientious man who understands the stress that lawyers occasionally have to endure. The case in question is a mass tort sort of thing. Let’s leave it at that. In other words, lots of lawyers involved. The case was called and no less than 20 lawyers assemble before the bench. The Judge then announces to all that he wants to apologize to a lawyer. He goes on to explain that during a hearing the previous week he had cut the lawyer off and not allowed him to fully explain his position. The judge concludes by saying his conduct was improper, and that he wanted to acknowledge his error and apologize directly to the lawyer. A moment of complete silence – another rarity in a Cook County courtroom. I’m guessing none of the lawyers in the courtroom has experienced anything remotely similiar. I know I haven’t in 23 years of practice. The attorney in question, understandably, was a bit taken aback. To his eternal credit, he simply responded that the apology was totally unnecessary. And then we got to the hearing. A remarkably gracious act from a terrific judge. It would be really nice to see more people like him sitting on the bench.