Judge's memo asks female lawyers to dress more professionally - WKRN News 2

Judge's memo asks female lawyers to dress more professionally

Posted: Updated: June 13, 2013 07:00 PM
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -

Fashion has become the talk of legal circles in Rutherford County after a judge issued a memo on June 7 asking female lawyers to dress more professionally.

Circuit Court Judge Royce Taylor said he has received numerous complaints from attorneys in the county about the way some female lawyers dress in the courtroom.

Judge Taylor admits he's not up on the latest fashion trends, but doesn't think it's appropriate for female lawyers to wear sleeveless dresses and revealing blouses.

He believes women should wear jackets below the elbow.

"Your personal appearance in court is a reflection upon the entire legal profession," said Judge Taylor.

Many female lawyers in Rutherford County agree.

"My position has been and is always going to be, if it's good for the men it's good for the women.  It is about equality. Men can not go into court without a jacket and women shouldn't be able to do it either," said attorney Michelle Blaylock-Howser.

"Some young attorneys need to understand you have to play the part," said attorney Lisa Eischeid. "Things were getting so out of control that it needed to stop."

Judge Taylor said there have also been complaints about the way some male lawyers dress, just not as many.

He gave an example of an out-of-town attorney who showed up for a trial without a jacket.

"He said his wife forgot to pack it," said Judge Taylor. "I keep an extra jacket, but it didn't fit him."  

The trial got underway, but only after the lawyer spent $750 on a new coat at a men's shop on the square.

Judge Taylor said dress code became a topic of discussion at a recent Bar and Bench Committee meeting.

"It's not just me enforcing this, said Judge Taylor, adding, "I'm just the one taking the heat."

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