Question of the Week

Share Your Witness Attire Horror Stories

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News that the Michigan Supreme Court is considering a rule to guide trial court judges who find themselves imposing dress codes on witnesses drew some interesting comments.

And while an underlying issue in Michigan involves a Muslim woman whose case was dismissed because she declined to remove her face veil while testifying, our favorite comment came from a criminal defense lawyer who says she wishes modesty was her problem with clients.

More often, she writes, she has to tell clients not to: “…dress like a hooker/skank; show cleavage and/or body piercings; wear that T-shirt that says ‘It’s all good fun until somebody calls the cops.’

The same lawyer later shared this scantily clad tale:

“That post reminds me of one time when I told a client I was impressed, I thought she had really listened to me (the usual speech about how you dress and behave in court really does matter). So when she came to court dressed in a dark suit, kind of tight and kind of low-cut, but hey, still a nice dark suit, I told her ‘she done good.’ Then, only when she turned around did I notice that it was completely backless. Right down to the crack of her butt, totally backless, just a few thin straps across the back.”

This, of course, left us aching for more tales about witness fashion faux pas.

So tell us …

What witness attire horror shows have you experienced?

Answer in the comments below.

Read last week’s answers to this question: “Who Would You Nominate for the Supreme Court?

Featured answer:

Posted by George Sly: “I’m not sure that the president should appoint another federal appellate court judge. Many of our best justices were not federal judges before being appointed to the Court. Justice Jackson had been attorney general; Justice Powell had been an attorney in private practice; Justice Frankfurter was an eminent law professor at Harvard as was Justice Holmes who also served as his state’s chief justice, as had Justice Cordozo. Chief Justice Warren had served as California’s attorney general and governor and Justice Black was a senator. I submit that the president should look at the state court benches, law school faculties and public officials who have the requisite legal background.

“Since I’m from New Jersey I would recommend Justice Albin of our Supreme Court or the Public Advocate Ronald Chen, former associate dean of Rutgers School of Law. I don’t think either one of those names would be on the short list but they represent the kind of candidates the president should be looking for.”

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