Legal Realism and Fashion Consulting: A Misunderstood Relation?

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8 Responses

  1. Paul Gowder says:

    Well, one relationship between law and fashion: Molloy’s book has been the subject of at least one successful race discrimination claim (pdf, but check out the crap in there! I especially like xviii on page 10 of the pdf)…

  2. Mike says:

    You’d not believe how many defendants wear trashy (though, frequently expensive) clothing in front of judges. If a defendant wears a suit to court, he usually will be mistaken for a lawyer.

    Anyhow, the whole “how to dress in court” tends to show why people get into trouble. What kind of parent doesn’t have the sense to tell his kid to dress up for court. (And that “dressing up” doesn’t mean having pants hanging off one’s arse.) Of course, the answer is: There isn’t a parent, or if there is a parent, it’s not a very good one.

    By looking at the way someone dresses in court, we can learn a lot about the person’s background. It’s very sad, actually, to think that some things most of us take for granted (re: how to dress up) is something a large segment of society never learns. What else aren’t they learning at home? What kind of school system fails to teach kids these things? (Hey, if we gave poor parents a choice, and let them send their kids to Catholic school, at least the kid would learn how to dress appropriately.)

  3. Alfred Brophy says:

    Paul,

    very interesting on Molloy’s book and the race discrimination claim. I hadn’t seen that before, though I’m not surprised given the content. The 1975 version (which is what I was reading) is antiquated.

  4. Paul Gowder says:

    Mike: I’ve gotta tell my absolute favorite civilian-dress-in-court story here. I was working for a legal aid office, and we were in court on a domestic violence restraining order (representing the victim, natch.). The defendant came into the hearing wearing … I kid you not … a wife beater.

  5. Tom says:

    I got a speeding ticket last year and went to court to try to avoid the insurance penalty. I had heard that one should always dress nicely for court, so I wore a suit and tie. No big deal. I found I was a distinct minority in the courtroom (if not the only one). The ticket was reduced to 5 over from 15, but the judge told me that because I was respecting his courtroom, by coming in a suit, he was remanding all court costs. There was quite a murmuring going on in the gallery as I left.

  6. Klaralee says:

    I am currently writing a paper on this topic and was wondering if anyone has any statistical info regarding the effects of dress on a person’s case, or even some generic numerical data on how dress can effect the courts decision.

  7. gary says:

    today a judge in calif. ruled that when a person is on probation gives your address . the police can search your home at any time without your concent. even when they have never lived at the address

  8. gary says:

    today a judge in calif. ruled that when a person is on probation gives your address . the police can search your home at any time without your concent. even when they have never lived at the address