Skip to main content

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.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

My Kind of Federal Judge!

Sure we have Scott Rothstein and his lovely Tom James clothier Romina Sifuentes, but Louisiana has ED LA judge G. Thomas Porteous Jr.:
A federal judge from Louisiana who had run up big gambling debts routinely solicited money and gifts from lawyers with cases before his court, Congressional investigators said Tuesday as the House opened impeachment hearings in the judge’s case. The judge, G. Thomas Porteous Jr. of Federal District Court, had more than $150,000 in credit card debt by 2000, mostly for cash advances spent in casinos, investigators said. Judge Porteous’s requests for cash became so frequent that one New Orleans lawyer said he started trying to dodge the judge.“He began to use excuses that he needed it for tuition, he needed it for living expenses,” the lawyer, Robert Creely, told a House Judiciary Committee task force. “I would avoid him until I couldn’t avoid him anymore.”
Mr. Creely said he and his law partner, Jacob Amato, gave Judge Porteous an estimated $20,000 o…

Honoring Richard C. Seavey

I drank a shit-ton of bourbon last night. Enough to float a battleship.

My head hurts. But not as much as my heart.

We lost another lawyer over the weekend. Not someone who will receive facebook accolades and other public claims of friendship and statements that he shaped and changed lives and careers. Just a guy who did the best he could with what he had. Every day. And he did very, very well to be the best person he could be. 
Richard Seavey was a profoundly private person. In his 49 years, he walked through more than his share of trials and tribulations, mostly asking for no help, leaning on no one. 

Richard was a fantastic lawyer. He could try a case. He could "litigate" a case. He could mediate and settle a case. He was nuanced. He bent but never broke. The blustery Miami lawyer never scared him. To the contrary, he found humor in it, studying it like a science project. Richard never got too high or too low. He was good at lawyering, but you got the f…

First Carnival Triumph Lawsuit on File!

It was filed in the SD FL (of course) and is pending before Judge Graham.

Check it out here.

The lawyer on the pleading is Marcus R. Spagnoletti.