Courtroom Runway
Published: October 20th, 2009
By: Tyler Murphy

Courtroom runway

Lawyers shuffled in and out of the courtroom passing what appeared to be casual remarks and the public began to trickle into the Norwich City courtroom.

Having more time than I knew what to do with, I couldn’t help but notice the average dress for a typical defendant.

Sitting from my chair, I waited for the case I had come to watch begin and in the meantime the routine matters of the court went on with frequent pauses between.

I glanced around the room of about 16 attendants, most appearing before the judge and a few sitting by for support.

I counted slowly with subtle glances to the right and left, keeping a hidden tally on my notepad.

Six of the 16 other people sitting in the room were wearing sweat pants. Two sets of hot pink, two sets of grays (which seemed a more formal color), one fading blue-green and one set of black stretch pants.

It was October and still about 50 to 55 degrees, yet there I sat staring at what I can only describe as a jeweled pair of beaded sandals. There are five other pairs of open-toed feet staring at me in the courtroom. A striped pair of blue and orange flip flops, with what appears to be motor oil stains covering parts of them, make a valiant effort in strangling feet about two sizes too large.

Not a single person in the crowd is wearing a tie. Only two dress shirts, neither tucked in, and two pairs of khakis.

A lone woman accompanying her casually-dressed daughter is wearing dress pants, a nice blouse and a formal jacket. She must have felt embarrassed sticking out so clearly from the rest of the crowd.

At first I wondered if she was an attorney. I’m sure others wondered or just assumed too – what kind of person gets dressed up for court these days? Even the assistant district attorney eyed her with a strange look as if trying to remember a forgotten defense lawyer’s name.

Obviously someone was out of touch with the going fashions in our local judicial system, and it was distracting the lowered expectations.

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