What Should I Wear to Court?

“What should I wear to court?” This isn’t something that everyone considers, but the failure to give it proper thought can have tragic, unforeseen consequences.

For instance, take the Defendant I once saw in court on a possession of marijuana case. He appeared in front of the Judge, who was sentencing him, in a “high times” t-shirt with a neck to waist and shoulder to shoulder marijuana leaf on the front (for the unaware, “high times” is a magazine dedicated to all things marijuana).

Every person appearing in court should understand that prosecutors, opposing counsel, jurors and judges alike are typically very savvy to the ways of the world. You aren’t getting one past them.

Another instance is the Plaintiff in a personal injury case wearing a large gold dollar sign medallion hanging from his neck. He was waiting in the hallway as the jurors in his case started to line the hallway. We can all imagine the thoughts of the jurors in that case.

Each of these examples is inappropriate for the same reason: it tells the person or people empowered with judging you, that you don’t care enough to even consider what you are wearing in front of them. Appearing in front of a judge or a jury is not the time to make a statement of your political beliefs, show off your figure, or establish your independence. What you are wearing should take a back seat to the position you are trying to present. This is true whether it is a criminal or a civil court that you are appearing in.