Somewhere along the way the general public lost its respect for our courts. As someone who spends part of practically every day in a courtroom somewhere in this state, I start to wonder: When and where did the message stop? Take step into a modern-day courthouse, and you may think you teleported to the local mall: tank tops, pajama pants, short shorts, sandals, sagging pants. It’s gotten so bad that I can immediately tell who the attorneys are in a courthouse. Summertime is fast approaching; though it feels like it has already arrived. However, that hasn’t caused attorneys, police officers, and court employees to start dressing like they’re headed to the pool or the club straight from work.
If you’re attending court, whether as a plaintiff or a defendant, dress like you know why you’re there and that you understand the seriousness of the business that occurs within the walls each day. Being unemployed or under-employed is no excuse for not at least borrowing a nice shirt or pants. One would be surprised at the high quality of inexpensive clothes that are sold at Goodwill or a thrift shop. If you’re one of my clients attending court as a criminal defendant, I want you to give the impression that you don’t belong there but appreciate where you are.
People dress nicely for church because they respect what can happen in the afterlife. They should also dress nicely for court because they respect what can happen in this life.