No socks, big problem for 1 attorney

September 4, 2014
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Let’s talk about the lawyer who doesn’t like to wear socks.

The order from Blackford Circuit Judge Dean Young has made headlines this week, requesting that Marion attorney Todd A. Glickfield put on some socks before heading to court.

Glickfield “hates socks,” according to the order, and he plans on continuing “his habit of appearing sockless in court” unless the judge could show him orders or legal authority that says otherwise.

I would like to point out that the attorney has been practicing in Indiana since 1993, so is this sockless habit new or as he been getting away with no socks for years now in court? Young, who was admitted in 1981, has been on the bench since 2007.

Young must not have appreciated Glickfield’s response to the court’s private conversation with him that he is not dressed appropriately for court in the judge’s eyes. As such, Young proceeded to write a three-page order explaining why Glickfield’s sockless feet should never set foot in his courtroom again.

The judge explained that the local rules require male attorneys to wear socks in the courtroom, and if Glickfield shows up without socks again, he’ll be sanctioned.

Glickfield also has come to court without wearing a tie, something that Young pointed out in the order is not appropriate business attire.

This incident made the news because, frankly, it’s hilarious and a bit absurd. When I picture a male dressed in a suit with no socks, I immediately imagine Don Johnson’s Sonny Crockett from “Miami Vice.”  (Tubbs wore socks, and sometimes a tie, so I bet he’d be welcomed in Young’s courtroom, unless the judge has a problem with double-breasted suits and colored shirts.)

That the judge decided to take time out of his day to write this order calling out Glickfield could mean several things, including Young is tired of Glickfield not presenting himself the way Young believes male attorneys should while in court; or Young really hates seeing other people’s ankles.

The judge makes the point in his order that socks constitute “appropriate business attire” for male members of the bar while in court. Does that mean female attorneys who practice before him should be wearing hosiery or socks with their suits, or is it just men that should have to have their feet and ankles covered?

The order brings up the age-old question: What is appropriate for an attorney to wear in court? Must he only wear dark-colored suits, with a white shirt, muted tie and dark colored socks? Would a seersucker suit or colored patterned suit ever be appropriate, as long as it’s worn with a tie and socks? And would the judge have a problem if Glickfield came to court sporting neon-colored socks, or socks sporting images of eggs and bacon, or footballs?

  • profession
    The Order is a wake-up for the profession as a whole. In civil litigation, an attorney not wearing a tie to a deposition is noticeable but excusable. However, now I am seeing attorneys show up to depositions in golf shirts!
  • It's the slippery slope meme
    Casual business attire for the office is de rigeur in New York City. That attire seems to be subject to interpretation. The definition seems to lie in the eye of the beholder. Interpretation ranges from golf shirts worn outside for men to a tea shirt worn over leggings for women. The outcome of the well-intended business casual is a sloppy appearance by lawyers. I believe the judge is trying to maintain a modicum of civility, and his policy is intended to prevent the same slippery slope that has occurred in the office from occurring in his courtroom, as is his right.
  • Not sock-less by personal choice.
    There is a compromise to wearing socks that may cause discomfort to the foot, and it is from XOSOX. They are currently running a Kickstarter campaign and, typing "xosox" and "kickstarter" into your search engine will get you there. You can also find their Facebook page.
  • Really?
    I particularly could care-less if my attorney is wearing socks or not. I am more concerned about the his/her capability to make eloquent arguments in my defense. My lawyer is not there to play dress up and the Judge's priorities should not lie on other's attire. Law is not and should not be consider a business! It is social work and if this people are not doing their jobs appropriately. It is our society which ends up losing in the end.
    • ???
      I'll bite. How much less could you care? You obviously care says simple sentence structuring.

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    1. Don't we have bigger issues to concern ourselves with?

    2. Anyone who takes the time to study disciplinary and bar admission cases in Indiana ... much of which is, as a matter of course and by intent, off the record, would have a very difficult time drawing lines that did not take into account things which are not supposed to matter, such as affiliations, associations, associates and the like. Justice Hoosier style is a far departure than what issues in most other parts of North America. (More like Central America, in fact.) See, e.g., When while the Indiana court system end the cruel practice of killing prophets of due process and those advocating for blind justice?

    3. Wouldn't this call for an investigation of Government corruption? Chief Justice Loretta Rush, wrote that the case warranted the high court’s review because the method the Indiana Court of Appeals used to reach its decision was “a significant departure from the law.” Specifically, David wrote that the appellate panel ruled after reweighing of the evidence, which is NOT permissible at the appellate level. **But yet, they look the other way while an innocent child was taken by a loving mother who did nothing wrong"

    4. Different rules for different folks....

    5. I would strongly suggest anyone seeking mediation check the experience of the mediator. There are retired judges who decide to become mediators. Their training and experience is in making rulings which is not the point of mediation.