Friday, July 1, 2011
In the movie “My Cousin Vinny,” you may remember that novice attorney Vinny showed up for trial in a black leather jacket and a large medallion on his chest. Here’s a case in which the pro se litigant wanted to wear a baseball cap and jeans. From U.S. Law Week online
While representing himself in a civil matter, an attorney asked the judge if he could wear a baseball cap emblazoned with the words “Operation Desert Storm.” His request was denied and he sued, alleging violations of the First and 14th Amendments. The district court dismissed (78 U.S.L.W. 1258). Looking at the First Amendment claim, the Second Circuit said that even assuming that the attorney's choice of attire constituted a form of protected expression, he failed to establish that the ban on baseball caps is not a reasonable restriction.
Here is the Second Circuit’s Summary Order.