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Bad at heart knife and banner tattoo illustrationRecent unfortunate observations in our local courthouses mandate that I devote a few blogs to court etiquette.  In the “old days” (I’ve been an attorney for 26 years, so I’ve earned the right to reminisce), I would advise clients to dress for court appearances like they would dress for church. Well, evidently many of my clients belonged to some pretty darned wild churches!  Now, I try to be more specific, and every week, some new surprising outfit makes me add to this list. This unisex list applies to litigants, witnesses, and attorneys (you know who you are!):

  1. No cleavage

  2. No yoga pants

  3. No visible tattoos

  4. No T-shirts depicting fake tattoos

  5. No T-shirts with flames

  6. No T-shirts with advertising, or witty sayings…… OK NO T-SHIRTS, PERIOD.

  7. No animal prints

  8. No outfit that screams to your ex “see what you’re missing”

  9. No flashy jewelry (….but I get to wear mine. I’ve earned it.)

  10. No skirts shorter than 2” above knee

  11. No spike heels

  12. No shorts

  13. No animal fur

  14. No headwear (except for religious purposes, of course)

  15. No see-through anything

  16. No crazy hairdos, or hair colors that do not exist in nature

  17. No dramatic makeup

  18. No glitter

  19. No visible facial piercings (and maximum of 3 piercings per ear).

  20. No ripped, distressed, embellished, low rider, baggy OR skinny jeans (but yes, I have modified my NO JEANS policy).  Pull your pants up!

I am not a prude, and I’m not judging, I’m advising through years of experience. The men and women who ARE judging you are wearing black robes and are probably older than you are- show them respect and DO dress conservatively, neatly, in clothes that make you feel comfortable, and reflect yourself the way you want to be perceived by them. The above-listed items may be absolutely appropriate some of the time, but court is NOT the time. We want the Court to listen to what we have to say, not be distracted by what we are wearing.

Regina M. Wexler, Esq.
Regina M. Wexler
(860) 307-9481