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16 February 2012

If you were sitting on a jury in a criminal case, would it bother you ... if the defense attorney was wearing a tie with a super hero on it?[More:]

I walked into a courtroom a couple of days ago and watched closing arguments in a trial. The defense attorney was wearing a tie with a large image of a super hero on it. I don't know what I think of that sartorial choice in a trial. On one hand, I thought the jury might find it detracts from the dignity and decorum of a trial. On the other hand, maybe the jury was charmed... good for him in being a little different.

Would you have feelings about it either way? What would you think of the attorney?
I think I could put that aside and listen to the facts of the case impartially
posted by rollick 16 February | 21:07
It would depend on if he could pull it off.
He was probably playing the jury.
posted by ethylene 16 February | 21:35
I would think he was stuck in the '90s. Other than that, I wouldn't care but, as you say, good on him for, in about the only way men required to dress in formal business wear can, letting his personality show.

It wouldn't affect my consideration of the case at all.
posted by dg 16 February | 21:59
I would hope it wouldn't affect my consideration of the case, but it would certainly negatively affect my opinion of the lawyer.
posted by occhiblu 16 February | 22:03
It wouldn't affect my consideration of the case but I would think "wow no woman (or man)in your life huh?"
posted by arse_hat 16 February | 22:06
I would assume it was chosen intentionally to convey the impression that he represented the good guys.
posted by Obscure Reference 16 February | 22:30
Courtrooms are full of doofuses sitting in every seat with every point of view. Ultimately that doesn't matter. If you're on the jury, your job is to put all that aside.
posted by Miko 16 February | 22:34
My question is, if you are the plaintiff, what do you think of the juror in the Star Trek shirt?
posted by ethylene 16 February | 22:53
Such a tie would certainly distract me, and I imagine that is its wearer's intent.
posted by Ardiril 17 February | 00:22
Defense attorneys tend to dressi in a way that bucks traditional standards. It is a way of communicating an anti-authoritarian attitude. I personally think it is better for clients to look very professional to stress the seriousness of the situation and the critical importance of old legal principles like proof beyond a reasonable doubt amd the presumption of innocence, but the "screw the system" approach can at times be very effective.
posted by bearwife 17 February | 01:44
I think my opinion of the tie would depend on other factors. If I were predisposed to like and respect the attorney, I'd be amused by the tie. (Good-guy emblem, anti-authoritarian, &c., as others have noted.) If not, I'd think it was an irritating and glib affectation.

If I were the defendant, I certainly wouldn't want my attorney to surprise me by wearing such a tie. I'd be willing to discuss it beforehand, though.
posted by tangerine 17 February | 03:05
If you're distracted by a tie you shouldn't be on a jury. But reality being what it is, I know better. OTOH it wouldn't bother me.
posted by Splunge 17 February | 09:12
I would find it annoying, probably. But then again, I'd find all of jury duty annoying so it would just be added to the list.
posted by rmless2 17 February | 10:20
Interesting responses. I had not considered the playing the jury angle, or the "I'm on the side of the good guys" message he may have been trying to convey.

It wouldn't bother me personally if I were a juror, but if I didn't know that criminal defense attorneys tend to be a different breed, I might be puzzled by that choice of tie.

If I were his client, I might find it off-putting.
posted by jayder 17 February | 14:57
I would judge the lawyer's argument based on his/her apparent general competency not his cloths.

That being said, personally, i find that even though the participants may have "low-end" nice clothing, dressing as a person that tried to make the effort says a lot to me about their commitment to their respective court room claims.

Irregardless, I would offer my vote as a juror based on presented evidence.
posted by MonkeyButter 17 February | 21:55
Not really, I find their hair more distracting. It's like they get it shipped in from 1985.
posted by The Whelk 18 February | 12:28
I would think it inappropriate, but it wouldn't change my opinion of the case.
posted by deborah 22 February | 23:32
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