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These motions will not be overruled

It was an emotional and heavy retirement ceremony at the District's federal courthouse on Nov. 13. Nancy Mayer-Whittington, the court's top clerk, was retiring after 18 years in that job. Friends, lawyers, judges and court officials testified for two hours about Mayer-Whittington's work ethic and dedication to her family. Tears were shed.

Then a group of clerks strode to the front of the large ceremonial courtroom and broke into a rendition of Monty Python's "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life."

Everyone laughed and clapped. It was a great release and a rare moment from a federal court -- getting to see a bunch of normally staid bureaucrats singing and dancing to a Monty Python song in a courtroom whose walls are adorned by portraits of very serious judges. And it was all captured on video!

I needed an order from Chief U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth to get the video from Juan Rivera, a clerk whose camera phone captured the moment. The federal courts don't allow video recorders into court proceedings. I'm only sort of joking about the order. Enjoy.

From left to right are: Ernest Gambrill, Juan Rivera, Reggie Johnson, John Cramer, David Scott, Nick Blend, Greg Hughes and Bryant Johnson. I'm told they are are thinking about booking some other gigs.

-- Del Quentin Wilber

By Del Wilber  |  November 23, 2009; 9:57 AM ET
Categories:  Del Quentin Wilber , From the Courthouse , The District  
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