[This post was originally made on my first blog - 09/08/2010]
When I go to court I am expected, and in some regards required, to wear a coat and tie. It is the time honored tradition of what I think is an honorable practice. Of course I at times get tired of suits being required for my daily occupation. But, I feel distinguished and professional when I get dressed in the mornings. I am in court almost every workday and the process of assembling my daily attire is routine.
Litigants/plaintiffs/defendants/etc, be they participants in a civil or criminal proceeding, are often confused and/or flat out wrong as to what they should wear when coming to court. Attire for your trip to court is in part dictated by the nature of the proceedings - but here are a couple of things to keep in mind:
1) Shorts are banned in many courtrooms, and they do not convey the level of respect you should enter a judge's courtroom with. Bottom-line: don't wear shorts
2) T-shirts are allowed in most courtrooms, but again, they are not ideal attire. I prefer clients to attend court at a minimum in business casual attire. Bottom-line: men should wear a shirt with some sort of collar - women a shirt/blouse with little to no cleavage showing
3) No holey jeans/pants; no cut-off shirts. If you needed scissors or years of wear to create your outfit you are inappropriately dressed
4) All clothing should visibly appear to be clean
5) Slogans, logos & artwork on clothing should be kept to a minimum and must not contain profanity or language that could be perceived by the most sensitive judge (or other court personnel) as offensive or disrespectful
This is not an all-inclusive list. When making choices about what to wear to court the ultimate guide should be your common sense. Poor clothing choices can have a significant impact on the first impressions made by judges, juries and witnesses involved in your case. If you find yourself going to court, the ultimate outcome of your case can have a lasting impact on the rest of your life. Attention to small details such as your clothing can be the first step in achieving a positive result.
If you need an attorney in East Tennessee, head over to my webpage @ www.nablacklaw.com. My office is located in Maryville (Blount County), Tennessee.