ZOOM Couture

Posted on by Phil Querin

According to Family Court Judge Dennis Bailey of Broward County, Florida,  ZOOM hearings have become way too casual. This, according to a recent ABA article (here) by Debra Cassens Weiss. It seems Judge Bailey, in a letter to the Weston Bar Association (here), had grown tired of seeing attorneys during Zoom hearings appearing in decidedly inappropriate dress:

We’ve seen many lawyers in casual shirts and blouses, with no concern for ill-grooming, in bedrooms with the master bed in the background, etc. One male lawyer appeared shirtless and one female attorney appeared still in bed, still under the covers. And putting on a beach cover-up won’t cover up you’re poolside in a bathing suit. So, please, if you don’t mind, let’s treat court hearings as court hearings, whether Zooming or not.

The Judge had other complaints about Zoom hearings, but it was the lack of proper courtroom couture that grabbed headlines.  Judge Bailey, who presumably Zooms from his home – not the courtroom – said he wears his robes during hearings, “and lawyers should show their respect by dressing appropriately.”

Here’s a tip from Zoom Help Center to the sartorial-challenged lawyers in Broward Family Court proceedings before Judge Bailey: “To disable Video when joining a meeting, click Video and selecting Turn off my video when joining meeting.” Voilà! Problem solved![1]

Nonetheless, I can’t help but think these lawyers Zooming into hearings in various states of dress (or undress) are generally the same ones whose in-court couture isn’t much better – which doesn’t speak well for their legal skills either. ~Phil


[1] Obviously, a full-blown trial with experts, documents, and witness testimony, isn’t suitable for disabling the video, but according to the judge, they will be postponed until real in-court hearings can be held.


Posted in Miscellany, News You Can Use, Q-Rants | Tagged ,
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