Sunday, September 27, 2009
If you are appearing before U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis (E.D.N.Y.) or Queens County housing court Judge Anne Katz (and probably a lot of other judges), you need to dress appropriately.
A lawyer who wore jeans and a baseball cap to Katz's courtroom filed a federal suit after he was told his attire was inappropriate, alleging violations of his 1st and 14th Amendment rights. The federal judge did not see it that way. A courtroom is a "staid environment," said Judge Garaufis, and a judge can enforce "commonly shared mores of courtroom civility." But the judge acknowledged that when the attorney is not in court, he "is free to express the ideas he wishes to express, and to wear the attire he chooses to wear."
The case is Bank v. Katz, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn), No. 08-1033. Here is a more detailed account on Law.com.