17 May 2005

More on Court Fashion

Remember the prior discussion on what men wear to court? Well, today a lawyer showed up in court with a brown blazer, a tie, jeans, and black gym shoes (or at least I thought they were gym shoes - a colleague thought they were boots).

He sat in the lawyer section for at least a hour before his case was called. I left the court to do a couple things and returned just as the lawyer went to the bench with his client. Then I went over and sat next to a friend who had waited after his case was finished specifically to see what was going to happen. The deputy on our side of the bench did a double-take then looked over at us and pointed at her pants; we just nodded.

Me: "If he gets away with that I'm wearing jeans from now on."

Colleague: "I'm gong to start coming to court in sweats so I can be comfortable like my clients."

The lawyer waived his client's preliminary hearing and the judge didn't say a word to him the whole time. Not a word.

Does anybody know where I can buy some decent jeans?


Anonymous said...

...and the race to the bottom begins.

Indefensible said...

I've gotten away with black jeans when I really didn't feel like dressing up. I also showed up in night arraignments one night in blue jeans, cowboy boots, a black t-shirt and black leather jacket--a client had called while I was out. I asked the judge if he'd mind and he had no problem with it.

Gotta love Brooklyn.

Keep up the good fight BTW...

St Yves said...

This winter Birkenstocks (the closed toe ones) were big among women and men down here- even saw them in Bankruptcy Court although not Fed. District Ct. I loved it. I now have "formal" (shined leather) birks for Court.

Anonymous said...

From a male trial judge's perspective, the clothes thing is not simple. Sure, jeans are out, shorts are out. Men's clothing is easy (hey CrimLaw, if you went to W&L, you know how easy it is; I was there in the '60s when they stopped requiring ties and jackets, although the tradition remained). Women's clothing is much tougher. Culottes? Are they shorts? I have some female colleagues who say lawyers should never appear bare-legged. Damned if I'm going to get involved in that one. Okay, men have to wear ties; now we have string-ties. Does Charlie Pride get kicked out? Nehru jackets? Leisure suits? Yes, I'm an old guy and I never wore either. Sleeveless blouses for women? And what about the hat thing on litigants; some judges (and bailiffs) go nuts. Does anyone wear morning suits before the supremes any more?

Anonymous said...

I guess I'm old-fashioned. I would never wear culottes, or bare legs in court. Suit and pumps with stockings, and NO spike or even very high heels!

Putting on a suit before I ever step into a courtroom is what transforms me from wife-mom-good neghbor to the aggressive, competitive, sharp-minded, quick-thinking defense attorney I aspire to be.

Race to the bottom, indeed. I plan to stay on top! (Although I agree responding to your client for a last minute night court appearance is more important than your attire...especially since you had the courtesy to acknowledge non-confomity to the judge).

from San Francisco, CA