Yesterday was supposed to be the start of jury selection in the murder trial of Paul Cortez. But lawyers for Cortez, a personal trainer and yoga instructor accused of killing his girlfriend, didn't even show up. Instead, defense attorneys Laura Miranda and Dawn Florio faxed an excuse to Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Carol Berkman, who then said, "I'm supposed to believe this" and later "I'll have [Miranda] arrested."

Apparently Miranda's excuse was that her mother had a "medical emergency." Then it turned out Miranda had gone to Puerto Rico! Justice Berkman has now ordered Miranda to appear in court this morning to explain why she should not be held in contempt (and if she's guilty, she'll face a fine or prison time). Florio's uncle died, so that's why she wasn't in court either.

Miranda and Florio had been complaining they might not be ready for the case.