Judge gets tough, won't take no for an answer

  Jonathan Lovitt


  USA Today


  Page 03A

  (Copyright 1996)


  Judge Hiroshi Fujisaki has set a no-nonsense tone by being a stickler for rules

  and brusquely rejecting potential jurors' excuses.


  Wednesday, he barred veteran courtroom sketch artist Bill Robles from the trial

  for drawing jurors. Robles, who was working for the media pool, said he was

  submitting the drawings for Fujisaki's approval, but the judge responded:


  ``Your orders were not to sketch any jurors or likeness of jurors. . . . Do you not

  understand English?''


  ``Yes, your honor,'' Robles responded. ``You are excluded from these

  proceedings,'' Fujisaki said.


  Earlier, a 20-year sales employee said the trial would interfere with her training.


  ``You're pretty well trained,'' Fujisaki said. ``And let's thank the James River

  Corp. for being so civic-minded by giving you unlimited jury service.''


  A musician in his 40s told Fujisaki he had to travel.


  ``Do you have any present gigs?'' Fujisaki asked.


  ``Yes, in Oakland this coming weekend.''


  ``That's not a problem,'' Fujisaki answered.


  ``I have one for the end of December in France,'' the man said.


  ``That's not a problem, either,'' Fujisaki shot back.


  A nurse in her 40s at first refused to walk to the bench, then said that the trial

  would be too hard for her to endure. ``I can't sit for long periods because of a bad



  ``I can't either,'' Fujisaki said. ``That's why we take recesses.''

  PHOTO, B/W, AP; Caption: Fujisaki: Kicked out sketch artist