Attending Judicial Council committee meetings can be a chore. But that doesn’t justify closing up the store, a court of appeal panel ruled last week.

The panel tossed out the results of a preliminary hearing held last summer for two men charged with special circumstances murder. The reason? The magistrate presiding over the prelim — Los Angeles Municipal Court Judge Stephen Marcus — put the case on hiatus for a day so he could attend a Drug Court Task Force meeting in San Francisco.