T.T.S.T. (One More Try)

Alright, loyal readers, I'm going to take one last stab at T.T.S.T., even though I didn't get too many responses last time. Maybe this topic will be better and spur more discussion. (It was suggested by True Believer).

The Question is: What's the most embarrassing thing you've ever done in court? (Or, if you're shy, and want to pretend like is was your "friend's" case... What's the most embarrassing thing you've ever seen in court?)

I'll start us off.

This wasn't my case, this happened when I was an intern at a public defender's office. Our client was female, and I can't really remember now what she was accused of. The one thing that stands out in my mind was that she had some problems in the past, but was really trying to get her life together.

So, on the eve of trial, I was there when the attorney had a discussion with her about what the client should wear to court the next day. (Yes, I recognize that the discussion of "what a client wore to court" could provide enough fuel for a whole 'nuther blog, but bear with me here.) Client assured Public Defender that she had a nice outfit to wear. They talked about the details of that outfit. Client said that she had a nice white blouse, and that she would either wear black pants or a black skirt. Public Defender, a woman on the ball, even asked what kind of shoes client had. Client said that she had a pair of black dress shoes that she would wear.

The next morning, trial is set to begin, and client shows up looking pretty sharp. White button-down blouse, black knee-length skirt, little ankle socks, and black patent-leather mary janes. I'll provide a few photo links, since my male readers might not be familiar with these terms. The shoes looked something like these (although those are kids shoes, but they were sort of like those), and the socks looked something like this.

I sat in the front row of the audience. Behind me the courtroom was filled with prospective jurors. Separating the audience from the front of the courtroom was a simple wooden bar.

After only a few minutes, I noticed a little bit of snickering from the prospective jurors behind me. I turned around, and noticed a few of them nudging one another, and pointing to the client. I looked at the client, and it took me a second to realize what they were all laughing at.

The client had kicked off her shoes, and had her ankles crossed so that the entire audience could see the soles of her socks. And the bottom of her white ankle socks were printed with the words "Department of Mental Health."

(What happened? The attorney dismissed the entire group of jurors that had been brought into the room and started again with a new group. This time the client kept her shoes on.)


  1. I didn't actually get to be in court on this one, but I wish I would have. When I was a kid I worked at a vinegar factory. Yes we all have to do something when we're 15 to earn money. Well let's just say that the full time employees weren't exactly the brightest bulbs in the world. This one guy was straight out of the sticks. He had maybe four teeth, I am being generous, and a full beard that hadn't been washed in a generation. He always wore jeans and a cut off t-shirt. Well our boss helped this guy out. He had to go into court one day. That morning the boss asks him if he has a change of clothes and he responds that he sure does. It's about time for him to leave so the boss tells him that he should go get changed and get going. He walks into the bathroom with a sports bag. He walks out and get this; he changed into another cut off and jeans. It was hilarious. He then left for court and it was real hard to hold our laughter until after he left. Hopefully that is close enough to what you are looking for.

  2. I guess I'm obligated since I got you into this.

    Several years ago I did an entire morning's preliminary hearing with my fly unzipped. At lunch we took a break and I discovered to my horror what yellow boxers look like when framed by charcoal wool.

    Nobody ever mentioned it, but I have always wondered how many people saw me.

  3. Along these lines, when I was a law clerk, the courthouse I worked it was wired for sound. The Judge was scheduled to sentence a defendant to basically life. The defendants and their attorneys were already in the courtroom, when over the sound system, we heard "You've lost that lovin' feelin". Now, it wasn't that surprising that the defendant was singing. That had happened before. But for some reason, his counsel joined him.

  4. Well, now that we've all talked about what our clients wore to court - one day I went to court and noticed everyone was looking at my feet. Now, I've got really small feet and everyone is always commenting on them so I thought, okay, more small feet crap. Well, nope. Turns out I had two totally different colored shoes on. I've got two pairs of the same type of shoe - one blue pair and one black. I had on a blue suit, off white hose, and one blue shoe and one black shoe.

    By the way, my client looked great. Matching shoes and everything.