Can you hear me now? Not in Johnson County courtrooms

An attorney is standing in the courtroom preparing to make the key argument in his client’s defense when the ringing of a cellphone stops everything.

All eyes in the courtroom turn toward where the noise came from, looking for the cause of the interruption. Johnson County Superior Court 3 Judge Lance Hamner brings the trial to a halt, asking the violator to step before his bench. An unfriendly tone is used to question the person on why a cellphone is being used in the courtroom.

Still, the distraction has occurred. The focus that the attorney built leading into that key point is gone.

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