A Judge’s Request Highlights Why You Need a Telecommuting Dress Code

We’re all a bit more relaxed when we work from home. Understood. But, some attorneys took it a bit too far and had the Weston, Florida (because, of course, it was Florida) Bar Association had to add this pop-up message to their website:

One comment that needs sharing and that is the judges would appreciate it if the lawyers and their clients keep in mind these Zoom hearings are just that: hearings. They are not casual phone conversations. It is remarkable how many ATTORNEYS appear inappropriately on camera. 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.

Work is still work. Yes, this is an abnormal situation. Yes, you should be forgiving of employees with childcare issues, or space issues, but it’s still work. 

You still need a dress code.

To keep reading, click here: A Judge’s Request Highlights Why You Need a Telecommuting Dress Code

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5 thoughts on “A Judge’s Request Highlights Why You Need a Telecommuting Dress Code

  1. I agree that no one should be in bed, or shirtless. However, a prohibition on “casual shirts and blouses” seems overly-broad. T-shirts containing graphics or printing — yeah — would be unacceptable for legal professionals. But, there are a lot of other “casual shirts and blouses” that would be perfectly acceptable for an informal hearing, even in a courthouse setting. And regarding having a bed in the background, there are newscasters currently broadcasting from their homes with beds — albeit good-looking, well made-up ones — in the background. Not everyone lives alone, in spacious surroundings with workspaces in front of ample blank walls and bookshelves. Finding a quiet spot, away from children, pets and “nonprofessional” backgrounds can be difficult-to-impossible for a lot of people. In my case, the best ZOOM meetings spots are my bedroom, undisturbed, but with a bed in the picture, or the living room couch, with a window behind me, at the risk of a family member walking through and making noise.

    1. We have no kids and a decent-sized home, but my partner and I have still had to make some interesting spaces work for Zoom calls so we don’t disturb each other, can keep our laptops plugged in so they don’t run out of juice, etc. No beds yet, but most of my video calls happen from an unders-construction-and-will-be-for-the-near-future bathroom.

  2. Isn’t that why judges wear robes, and — in the Commonwealth — attorneys join them in wigs? The ultimate cover-ups!

  3. Meeting WHILE IN BED – that should be an obvious no.

    But “Professional background” may simply not be possible. And “Children and pets out of hearing and sight” is really, really impractical in a very high percentage of situations.

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