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Keeping that ‘Swag’ in check: The guide on what is proper attire before the Court

Gucci. Versace. Hermes. Zenga. All popular and high-ticket items to show that your ‘swag’ is beyond control. However, these same items can severely hurt you in the courtroom in the middle of a case. It can prove to be very challenging to state to the court that you struggle to pay your own expenses, let alone your monthly child support, when your wristwatch costs more than the Judge had earned in 6 months. Unfortunately, appearance in court is everything and can be the deciding factor in court. If you say you need alimony, but look like you are bank rolled by Elon Musk (the CEO of Tesla), your claim starts to look incredibly weak.

Judges tend to be very cognizant of a party’s actions, statements, and person of the parties before them. I had one incident occur in court where a Judge, in the middle of a child support modification hearing, requested that the Father take off his wristwatch to review the brand of the watch and requested the cost. Luckily, I had prepared the client as to his appearance in court and the wristwatch did not affect his case (P.S. he prevailed in his modification). But for the preparation of his appearance in trial, his outcome could have been drastically different and disastrous. You want to approach the courtroom with this quote in mind, “The loudest one in the room is the weakest one in the room.”

Leave those vibrant colors at home, the courtroom is not where you should be searching for your next partner or “showing off” your sense of style or income. The only person you should be looking to impress during this entire process is the Judge and, for your records, they do not like the loud and flashy type. As with vibrant colors, you can also leave that bling at home. The courtroom has a clock, so does your phone and your attorney, you do not need that high value wristwatch that day. As to the purses and accessories, the Judge will not care what type of purse you have or how fancy your belt is BUT the Judge will care about how much it looks like it costs.

As all things in life, there is a degree of balance required here. This article does NOT mean to state that you must show up to court in rags and your best friend’s hand-me-downs. This article is made to present a viewpoint from the eyes of the Judge, the eyes that truly matter at the end of the day. As their title implies, Judges will not only Judge your case but will Judge you and render their decisions based upon how they Judge you in relation to the facts and the evidence in your case.

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