Monday, February 14, 2011

Your $400 Million Case Will Be Decided By the Six People Ahead of You in Line at WalMart.

I found this article on what people are wearing when they go to court to be, well, revealing:
Justice may be blind, but judges in South Florida are not.

And what many are seeing is a continuing increase in the number of people showing up to court in very casual clothes, including one woman in Fort Lauderdale who recently appeared wearing curlers, bedroom slippers and a shower cap.

The culture of casual dressing is most pronounced in traffic and small claims cases. Criminal defense attorneys tell their clients to dress up because "first impressions matter," said Fort Lauderdale attorney Richard Champagne.

But unlike in some other states, none of South Florida's courthouses imposes a formal dress code. Broward's satellite courthouse in Hollywood is the only one in the tri-county area to even attempt sartorial order in the court.

Signs posted throughout that courthouse state "No tank tops," and bailiffs there say it's not unusual for defendants to run across the street to Target to buy a shirt. Broward County Judge Sharon Zeller said the branch may have been singled out because so many people wore tanks.
Lawyers in their Brickell glass houses often forget that when they say with much bravado "well then we'll try this case!" what they really mean is they plan to ask the guy in a tank top at Target to decide a complex question of securities law involving several hundred million dollars.

Would you trust your complex, fact-intensive and highly sophisticated case to the next six people ahead of you at Wal-Mart?

This is particularly a problem for those of us accustomed to having our way, to controlling large firms and advising large clients, where we simply expect that if properly explained, cajoled, or persuaded, we can convince and/or order anyone to do what we want.

Yet when we walk into a courtroom, we're no longer directing our attorneys or staff -- who act at our beck and call -- or controlling the fates of large businesses and institutions -- instead we're talking to six guys or gals in tank tops or bedroom slippers who don't give a hail who you are.


  1. Yes...the people are stupid and trial is a mess. But, you could always agree to bench trial. Any takers?

  2. These pictures are priceless!

  3. I would rather trust my case to the folks in line at Wal-Mart than to 6 guys in suits who work on Brickell.

  4. 3:41, I see your point.

  5. Naked is the new black.

  6. I love going to The Walmart

  7. anybody wanna talk about the baby seal clubbing of bankruptcy judge olson by judge gold?

  8. It's Florida.

    You're lucky they're walking upright.

  9. Super blog and nice writings

    Thanks for all posts

    Thanks in advance for coming posts...

    Keep writing...............


    Biz and Legis
    Online Legal Service providers with Virtual Legal Service and Legal Process Outsourcing Congratulations for getting selected in Blog of notes. This one is most eligible.

  10. Quite effective info, thanks so much for the post.