Friday, October 02, 2009

May my clothes please the court ...

A lawyer who wore jeans and a baseball cap to court filed a federal suit after he was told his attire was inappropriate, alleging violations of his 1st and 14th Amendment rights.

The federal judge did not see it that way. A courtroom is a "staid environment," said Judge Nicholas Garaufis, and a judge can enforce "commonly shared mores of courtroom civility." But the judge acknowledged that when the attorney is not in court, he "is free to express the ideas he wishes to express, and to wear the attire he chooses to wear."

The case is Bank v. Katz. Read the New York Law Journal report here.

I'll admit that I've worn jeans and sneakers to court (no baseball cap), but it was an unanticipated, emergency hearing on a Friday afternoon.


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