Kicker – Zoom etiquette for lawyers

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Countless millions of workers are now working from home—including attorneys. Some are conducting hearings using online video conferencing. 

Now, working from home is less formal than showing up in a courtroom. It’s understandable if lawyers don’t shine their shoes or iron their skirts.

Still, a Florida judge has one simple request for attorneys showing up for video hearings. I can’t help but hear the fictional Judge Chamberlain Haller:

HALLER: Next time you come into my courtroom, you will look lawyerly. I mean you comb your hair. And wear a suit and tie. And that suit better be made out some kinda … cloth. Ya understand me?

In other words: Get out of bed and get dressed!

Judge Dennis Bailey wrote a letter to the local bar association. He complained about inappropriate dress by lawyers on camera. 

Listen to this: One male lawyer appeared shirtless and one female attorney appeared still in bed, under the covers. The judge admonished: just putting on a beach cover-up doesn’t conceal the fact that you are poolside in a bathing suit.

EICHER: You will look lawyerly.

REICHARD: It’s The World and Everything in It.


WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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2 comments on Kicker – Zoom etiquette for lawyers

  1. Rich says:

    Here’s another suggested ZOOM meeting etiquette item: Get your pets out of the room before you go on the video call.
    You don’t need the video or audio distractions that a dog, cat, parakeet or snake can bring into the conversation.
    One man I know well set up a 6pm video conference between all the folks at the client location in Tacoma with his key men and women in Colorado who were involved in the long term contract with the Tacoma utility. However, at 5:58pm the pet he and his spouse had rescued from injury in the wild came into the house (and soon into his office) looking for it’s daily treat. The pet they had named “Baby Deer” totally stole the show and eliminated any serious business discussions. Just try to top that as an attention-getter.

  2. Joe Horton says:

    In 1967, there was a movie, Bedazzled, superior in every way to its 2000 remake. The movie is a hilarious telling of the Faust story: Stanley Moon (Dudley Moore) is a short-order cook at Wimpy’s grill in London. He sells his soul to the devil (Peter Cook) in exchange for seven wishes. Along the way we met all seven sins.

    Sloth is a slovenly lawyer.

    Enough said.

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