“Oh my god,” said San Filippo during a Santa Clara County Superior Court hearing on April 21. “This f—ing judge is an idiot.”
San Filippo had been participating in the hearing through a remote Microsoft Teams call, and he made the blunt remark without muting his mic – which meant Judge Roberta Hayashi and the entire court heard his cursing.
“Well, I’m sorry you think I’m an idiot, but I really think you ought to mute your microphone before you say that,” said Hayashi, according to court transcripts obtained by Bay Area News Group. “And I would appreciate if you could not use any obscenities in the courtroom, whether you’re remote or not remote. That kind of language is not acceptable.”
Hayashi later instructed the jury to “disregard the comment” before calling recess.
The judge later requested an apology from San Filippo, but the agent constantly tried to justify his provocative statement as him voicing his frustrations over court proceedings. He also admitted to the judge that he forgot to mute his mic.
“I’m frustrated by all the moves,” the agent said. “I’m trying to calculate who every juror is, and I can’t keep track.”
“Mr. San Filippo, your personal frustration is not an excuse for inexcusably rude and disrespectful comments in open court in the presence of this jury,” the judge responded.
The conversation between San Filippo and Hayashi continued, with the agent interrupting the judge at multiple points. This prompted Hayashi to order the agent not to interrupt her while she was talking.
“You may think I’m an idiot, but I happen to be a judge of the Santa Clara County Superior Court and I am entitled to respectful treatment whether you are on the Zoom call or you are in my courtroom,” the judge said.
The rest of the trial proceeded without issue. Plaintiffs Silvia Rosaliano and Kevin Lazo were awarded $714,000.
SFGATE attempted to reach out to Kenneth Vierra, Luci’s attorney from Liberty Mutual, for a comment on the courtroom spat, but a response was not received in time for publication. Liberty Mutual also did not respond to a request for a statement on the matter.