You are 38 weeks pregnant with your first child, but your client has been charged with murder. You are therefore in court to hold a preliminary hearing on the case. In fact, you are so often in courtrooms that you have joked with friends and family about not giving birth in one. And then it happens – your water breaks in the middle of a hearing. How's it going?
You finish the hearing without a break before going to the hospital and giving birth to a healthy boy.
Meet Marni Jo Snyder, 39-year-old criminal defense attorney who opened her own law firm after serving with the Defender Association of Philadelphia and Fox Rothschild. Last week, Snyder was in the process of defending a client along with her husband and legal partner Stephen Stewart, Jr., 32, when their water broke. "I didn't panic because he was there to calm me down," Snyder said during an interview with TODAY Parents. Here are some additional details about what happened next:
After Stewart verified she was okay, he took the lead and sent a note to court staff to inform them of the situation. Within minutes, Snyder said, the entire courthouse knew what was going on, with responses ranging from asking if they should call 9-1-1 to whether Snyder could finish the rest of the hearing.
Because she was in no pain or went into labor, Snyder told the judge she wanted to go on without a break and stop hearing the evidence since there was only one witness left.
"The judge was kind of freaked out," Snyder said with a chuckle.
After the hearing ended, Snyder, who had been sitting for much of the hearing, stood up and stained her shoes with amniotic fluid before going to the hospital. "We were the only ones who came to Labor and Delivery in a tailored suit, dress and ruined shoes," she said.
Snyder gave birth to Stephen Stewart III on October 15. "I always thought he'd come to court with us at some point, but I thought it was a little different."
Congratulations to Marni Jo Snyder on her new boy and kudos for showing the world and the legal profession that women can and will do anything in the name of justice.
When her water broke in the courtroom, this lawyer ended her hearing [TODAY]
Staci Zaretsky is Senior Editor at Above the Law, where she has been working since 2011. She would love to hear from you. Please send her an email with tips, questions, comments or criticism. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.