Bad Lawyers

Drunk Judge Sucker Punched Legal Aid Attorney
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Judge Robert Beltrani in court. Photo courtesy of New York Daily News.

Summary: A criminal judge became a criminal.

A Manhattan criminal judge crossed over to the dark side when he punched a lawyer in the face. On Tuesday, Judge Robert Beltrani, 53, was charged with misdemeanor assault and harassment. Beltrani allegedly sucker punched Sam Roberts, a Legal Aid attorney.


On October 20, the two men were at a boozy law firm party in New York City, and somehow they started arguing. Beltrani was visibly drunk, and he suddenly punched Roberts, who had tried to walk away from him. According to the New York Daily News, Roberts suffered a separated shoulder, torn labrum, black eye and other injuries. The thuggish judge also allegedly screamed out, “Yeah, I’m the judge! I do justice and I f—ing kill people!”

The New York Post added that Beltrani, who weighs approximately 300 pounds, fell over after he swung at Roberts, 48, who fell to the ground immediately and hit his head. It was reported that Beltrani fled the scene of the party after the fight.

“It was nuts!” Roberts told the New York Post. “I was happy, I had just won a trial, I was with friends celebrating their new firm — until I ended up in the emergency room.”

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Beltrani was put on administrative leave after the incident, and he faces up to one year in prison.

Judge Beltrani previously oversaw parole cases for Rikers Island prison.

Beltrani was represented by attorney Daniel Ollen. The New York Post reported that after court on Tuesday, he left, muttering profanities under his breath. He was released without bail and an order of protection was given to his victim, Roberts.

Roberts told The New York Post that he had met Beltrani for the first time that night.

“He seemed somewhat belligerent and intoxicated,” Roberts said. “He was saying things like you could learn a lot from me, you better watch out, don’t disrespect me.”

What do you think will happen to Beltrani? Let us know in the comments below.



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