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Briefs in Court, Not Boxers

Were it not for today's Blawg Review #115 hosted by the U.K. blog Nearly Legal, I might never have known about a moment in the annals of courtroom evidence that ranks up there with the glove that did not fit. Seems that while bloggers on this side of the Atlantic were getting their trousers in a bunch over a D.C. judge's pants suit, one of Britain's most senior judges was in court displaying a pair of his Calvin Klein briefs.

Lord Justice Stephen Richards of the Court of Appeal stood accused of exposing himself on a commuter train.  Claiming himself a victim of mistaken identity, Sir Stephen won acquittal, but not without indignity. To help firm up his case, the judge submitted his briefs as evidence. A news account described what happened:

"As he gave evidence at City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court, the judge held up a pair of black Calvin Klein briefs similar to those he normally wears.

"He was asked by David Fisher QC, defending, 'In order to remove your penis when you’re wearing your Calvin Klein briefs is it necessary to use one or two hands?'

"The judge, one of the most senior in the country, replied, 'If I had a pee, I would use two hands. It is the natural way of doing it.'"

Call it, as Tim Dowling suggests in The Guardian, the boxers-or-briefs defense; the trial's outcome may have forever established its efficacy in flashing cases. Meanwhile, there may yet be more dirty laundry to air, as two additional women have now accused the judge of exposing himself. But if nothing else comes of these parallel U.S. and U.K. cases hitting judges below the belt,  at least now we know that judges wear something under their robes.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on July 2, 2007 at 03:49 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)


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