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Litigants in Bronx Court Have Clothes Encounter With Judge

A Bronx Supreme Court judge reprimanded several litigants for showing up to court in slovenly or casual attire, reports the New York Daily News. According to the story, Bronx Judge Joseph Dawson admonished a man wearing a T-shirt and shorts, asserting "I'm not saying you have to wear a suit ... Just wear something appropriate." And the judge also seemed to criticize at least one lawyer whose client showed up under-dressed:

"Your client comes up in a T-shirt and sweatpants, chewing gum?" Dawson chided lawyer Edward McGowan. "This court deserves more respect than that."

Though McGowan did not disagree with the judge, he explained that sometimes clients simply do not have better clothes or the money to buy them.

Eric Turkewitz offers some succinct fashion advice at New York Personal Injury Law Blog:

It boils down to one rule, and one rule only: Wear the clothes you would wear to a house of worship. No slob clothes, no heavy jewelry, and ladies, no plunging necklines.

Turkewitz says that suits aren't necessary if clients are uncomfortable in them, but even so, there are many other respectable wardrobe options. What kind of advice do you give to your clients on how to dress for court?

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on July 30, 2009 at 03:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)


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