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Family Law Tip of the Week: What to Wear to Court - Family Law News

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Family Law News

Posted on: Jul 21, 2017

By Mag. Kimberly Dean Mattingly, Marion Superior Court

Many thanks to Beth Cox for this week’s tip! She gave permission for me to share her dress code guidelines for appearing in court. It's brilliant and should be shared with all of your clients. I’m pretty sure the language about pants being cheaper than jeans at Goodwill came from yours truly. Speaking of Goodwill, I am going this weekend and buying a men’s blazer and a ladies’ jacket or cardigan that I will keep in the back of the courtroom for folks who are inappropriately dressed to don. Is it wrong that I hope I can find very itchy, wool garments?
I would add instructions to cover tattoos and remove facial piercings, but that’s me. And, folks always want to say they just came from work and that’s the reason for their poor or odd attire. Well, when I do things right after work that require other clothing, I bring it with me and change in the bathroom, Superman-style, so they can too! Remind them that they aren’t dressing for the judge, but for the proceeding as a whole. Suits, ties and high heels make us all sit up straighter and focus on the matter at hand. Litigants don’t have to go that far, but they should certainly make an effort appropriate for their level of income, education and sophistication.

Stay tuned for a new tip next week!

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