SAN JOSE – An insurance adjuster forgot to shut up when he profanely called a Santa Clara County Superior Court judge “idiot” last month, at the start of a civil trial over a car accident in 2016, according to with court records.
Judge Roberta Hayashi was deciding the jury seats when Vince San Filippo, who was monitoring the trial remotely, blurted out obscenity about her.
“Oh, my God,” said San Filippo during the April 21 hearing, according to the court’s minutes and a transcript. “That damned judge is an idiot.”
Hayashi heard the comment.
“Well, I’m sorry that you think I’m an idiot, but I really think you should silence the microphone before saying that,” said Hayashi. “And I would appreciate it if you didn’t use obscenities in court, whether you’re remote or not. This type of language is not acceptable. “
San Filippo said he “agreed”, but when Hayashi later demanded that he apologize to the court, he went on to explain the frustrations that caused him to explode.
But first, she sent the jury out of the courtroom so she could identify who had actually cursed the judge, as it was not immediately clear why some people were participating remotely.
A tense discussion ensued, in which Hayashi repeatedly tried to get San Filippo to declare his connection to the trial, but instead he alternated between concise excuses and insisting on saying his article, saying repeatedly that he was frustrated that he could not follow up on the discussion about jury seating arrangements.
“Who are you?” was followed by “Wait. Let me finish ”, and when the judge asked again, San Filippo launched himself into“ In my defense ”, before finally saying that he worked for an insurance company. San Filippo was a representative of Liberty Mutual monitoring the test through the Microsoft Teams videoconference program.
He told the judge that his comment was “totally inappropriate”, but also that she “should not penalize my insurer, my lawyer or anyone else for that”.
“I always mute my microphone. I have no idea how it went, ”continued San Filippo. “But I am – as I said, I am frustrated with all the moves. I’m trying to calculate who each judge is and I can’t keep up. “
“Mr. San Filippo, your personal frustration is no excuse for inexcusable and disrespectful comments in open court in the presence of this jury,” said Hayashi, a native of San Jose and a judge for six years.
Hayashi tried to continue his remarks, but the transcript describes people talking about each other, which ended with the judge saying, “Hey, listen to me. When I’m talking, don’t interrupt me. You may think I’m an idiot, but I happen to be a judge at the Santa Clara County Superior Court and I have the right to respectful treatment, whether you’re on Zoom’s call or in my courtroom. It’s clear?”
“Certainly,” replied San Filippo.
Then he mentioned his frustration again and repeated his bewilderment over how his microphone was connected.
“Mr. San Filippo, make sure your microphone is muted when you are monitoring these procedures,” said Hayashi.
“I will definitely be sure,” said San Filippo. “It wasn’t – my humble apologies. That was a comment made out of frustration. “
“So noticed. Thank you, ”said Hayashi.
“No, thanks,” said San Filippo.
Hayashi finally decided that since the jurors did not know who said the desecration when it was heard, it would not affect the progress of the trial.
The case involved a dispute over injuries and damages resulting from a car collision on May 3, 2016, when Doris Luci, who has passed away, crashed into the back of a vehicle carrying plaintiffs Silvia Rosaliano and Kevin Lazo on Fruitdale and Leigh avenues in San Jose. On Thursday, the plaintiffs received $ 740,000, just over a quarter of the $ 2.6 million they had sought in their original lawsuit.