Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Special Court Date Thongs

Oh the things I have seen in my life as a criminal defense attorney.  I'm not talking about the alleged criminal acts themselves--although many of them are seriously impressive--but about something a little more basic:  Courtroom wardrobe ensembles.  Boys and belles, I have seen things that would make Emily Post bang her head on the wall and drive Amy Vanderbilt to drink. 

When I started practicing law, I took it for granted that people would have the common sense to wear something at least a little court appropriate for their big day.  My first mistake was for assuming that anyone had common sense.  One should not even attempt to attribute common sense to someone who gets into a hair pulling, fake fingernail scratching fight with their baby's daddy's significant other slap in the middle of the Wal-Mart beauty department.

Additionally, I can certainly understand the time constraints that [alleged] hookers operate under with regard to working all night and being in court the next morning.  I'm willing to forgive a high hemline and low neckline in special circumstances, but I would like to suggest that a gal at least pack a pair of panties in her purse to wear for the big day.  See?  I'm not being unreasonable--I don't even ask for a bra in spite of one's tendency to literally jump for joy when one's bond is unsecured.

Another suggestion I would like to throw out is that one probably shouldn't wear any sort of clothing that is sporting rips and tears (professionally done or otherwise).  Perhaps a person might consider not wearing any jeans at all, much less jeans that have been cut off.  I will pause here to recognize that the former sentence could be construed by some as license to not wear any pants at all and such realization makes me shake my head sadly.

I think my favorite "distressed outfit" was one that I saw recently at the New Hanover County Courthouse.  When the jail moved out into the county, they replaced all of those lovely orange inmate jumpers with tan jumpers and some enterprising soul managed to get a pair of the old ones. (For sentimental reasons, perhaps?)  The top was sleeveless and the bottom was shorts.  Mama always told me that it's not polite to stare, but that was one train wreck I could not look away from.

Going back to the "duh factor," it would be advisable to not wear a shirt that sports an enormous pot leaf when one is in court to deal with a drug charge.  In that same vein, a guy or gal would do well to leave the shirts saying "Original Gangster" and "Pimp Mama/Pimp Daddy" at home.  It is also strongly advisable for ladies to not wear anything with the word "Juicy" on it--couture or otherwise. 

I don't really know what a person can and can't take out when it comes to piercings and I more than likely don't want to know, but just give it some thought.  To those of you with tongue studs:  If your attorney appears to be swaying in your peripheral vision as you stand with her at the judge's bench, she's just trying her hardest not to pass out cold from the heebie jeebies.  Yeek!  I can't even think about it...

Finally, boys and belles, please do not meet with me the day before your court date as a man only to show up on your actual court date as a woman.  I am behind you 100% and I have no problem at all with your choices, but I would simply like to be able to recognize my client when I go into the courtroom.  My needs are few.

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