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Judge creates a stir by developing a dress code for female attorneys

Posted Jun 13, 2013 12:40 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Judge Royce Taylor is a former Navy
SEAL. Photo from Tennessee court
system.

A Tennessee judge has caused a commotion by developing a dress code for female attorneys in Rutherford County.

The rumor that it will require pantyhose is false, Circuit Court Judge Royce Taylor told the Tennessean.

However, suggestive, revealing or otherwise inappropriate clothing worn by some women lawyers is an issue, he and others say. The topic was discussed at a Bar and Bench committee meeting last month, according to Taylor, and he plans to offer specific suggestions to female attorneys about attire in an upcoming Rutherford County Bar newsletter.

Among his recommendations is that women should wear a jacket with sleeves that extend below the elbows.

News of the upcoming article has already created a stir.

Attorney Michelle Blaylock-Howser says she has seen women lawyers in court in sleeveless shirts on multiple occasions and once saw a Nashville practitioner in sweatpants and a dressy blouse.

Attorney Lisa Eischeid pointed out that Taylor holds men to similar standards, recalling an occasion when he held a male lawyer in contempt for appearing in court without a jacket.

“Someone needs to tell women that sundresses are not proper in the courtroom,” she said, adding: “But it can be a delicate issue."

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