The wardrobe choices of some female attorneys who frequent Rutherford County’s courts are causing a bit of a stir.
Attorneys in the county have groaned to their colleagues and judges that certain female attorneys are showing up in attire that pricks the sensibilities of a profession long known for its conservative dress code. Some female lawyers, according to many in the local legal community, are appearing in court in revealing blouses, miniskirts and, in at least one instance, sweatpants.
The sartorial hubbub has made its way to Circuit Judge Royce Taylor, who said he has received a number of attire complaints from attorneys in the county. He has written a notice reminding female lawyers to keep their suggestive garments out of the courtroom. Taylor said the matter became a major discussion point at last month’s local Bar and Bench Committee....
"I found that county judges here weren’t holding women to the same standard as men."
In the forthcoming newsletter to all members of the Rutherford County Bar, Taylor plans to offer specifics.
“I have advised some women attorneys that a jacket with sleeves below the elbow is appropriate or a professional dress equivalent,” the letter reads. “Your personal appearance in court is a reflection upon the entire legal profession.”
...Attorney Lisa Eischeid said Judge Taylor is an equal opportunity wardrobe conservative. She recalls one instance where he found a male attorney in contempt of court for appearing without a blazer. Taylor confirmed the story, adding that he also made the attorney donate to charity.
“Someone needs to tell women that sundresses are not proper in the courtroom,” said Eischeid, who has worn a business suit throughout the 23 years she has been a lawyer. “But it can be a delicate issue.”
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