It's a courthouse, not a nightclub

May 24, 2012
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The Grant County courts would like you to put on real pants and shoes before you come to court. And make sure those real pants are pulled up high enough to not show your underwear.

An order issued May 22 applies to anyone appearing in the five county courts, but based on the clothing banned, it’s obvious the order is aimed at the general public. Most likely, it is aimed at people who are coming to watch trials or are appearing in court unrepresented. I can’t imagine an attorney would allow his or her client to wear pajamas, see-through clothing, or slippers to court.

(In fact, attorneys often want to check out what their clients are wearing before heading to court, and some defense attorneys keep a stock pile of acceptable clothing  on hand for just this very thing, as Jenny Montgomery writes about in the latest issue of IL.)

People will no longer be able to enter court wearing: short-shorts, micro-mini skirts, (but mini skirts are OK?), tank tops, muscle shirts, tube tops, hats or head coverings – unless for religious purposes – slippers or pajamas. Clothing that shows illegal activity, sex acts, violence or profanity, or clothing that shows your midriff or underwear is also prohibited.

Have you ever been in court and seen someone wearing something on this banned list? Are there other courts around the state with a similar explicit dress code?

 

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  • And Worse
    I've been practicing law since 1976 and am contantly amazed at the dress, or lack thereof, in the courts. One of my earliest cases involved a buxom Mrs. who wore a tank top to her final hearing in a divorce. Everytime she bent over, which was often, the court would suddenly go silent, awe struck as it were. The Judge leaned over so much that I thought he would fall off the bench. My opposing counsel would start to stutter. My favorite story though involved a former colleague, John "Kit" Carson. Kit told his client to dress nicely for his criminal trial. His client showed up in a rented dayglow tuxedo from the disco era. I agree with the dress code and suggest one more addition. I think attorneys should be required to show up in robes, just like in England. Just think, one black former choir robe with a fee pocket added on the back and you would be ready to go. No more expensive suits!

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