Stephen G. Cobb - Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer

Never Dress Nice For Court In Okaloosa County


Disclaimer: This article is in response to questions frequently asked of Mr. Cobb and is an unedited dictation transcript. Just like talk to text on your smartphone, there may be misspelled words or sentence fragments.

It was a Thursday, which is normally docket day in Okaloosa in one of the two south county divisions. I happened to be in one of them. In-between the doors to the courtroom, and the doors before, I heard a lawyer, someone I have known for many years, give the following advice to their client: “Now, you know we have trial on Monday. Make sure you dress nice for court”. I did not say a word but inside, I was cringing. It felt like I had spiders dancing under my skin. Why? You never dress nice for court. Let me give you an example. Have you ever met someone that you unconsciously like or do not like, and you do not even really know why? There are several different reasons for this.

However, when I explain mock trials, and how they work, you will understand. Jury researches produce these fictional cases where the jury could vote either way. It is designed so that it is fifty-fifty, and the jury has to push it one way or another. Actors will act as the prosecutor, the judge, the witnesses, and the defense attorney. When I began studying this, something jumped out at me that was simply unbelievable. You could take one of these close criminal cases, and have the defendant testify. And if the defendant is in a navy suit, assuming he is male, or the white shirt, regimental tie, black shoes, dark socks and black belt, clean-shaven, you will get the highest acquittal rate.

This has nothing to do with facts, and nothing to do with logic. It does not seem fair. You take that same defendant, put any amount of facial hair on his face, and put him in any other color of suit, and boom, the conviction rate explodes twenty-five percent greater a likelihood of conviction. The same is true for women. This is why in Okaloosa County you never dress nice for court. Remember those fifty-seven counties divided into twenty judicial circuits? As I mentioned earlier, some are urban, rural, and suburban. In a rural, suburban county, like Okaloosa County, you follow dress instructions for court as I have outlined above exactly how you should appear in court for any reason at all, whether it is to enter a plea of no contest, a motion hearing, as a witness, or during trial.

Why? As shocking as it may sound, the truth in criminal court does not matter. Certainly, everyone is sworn to tell the truth, and everyone should tell the truth. However, remember how there are people you have met during your lifetime that you instantly liked, or did not, yet did not have a conscious reason. You could put your finger on and say, “This is why”, that is what happens in a court of law. The reason the truth does not matter is ask yourself a question. Whom did you vote for in the last election? What was the truth about their position? Here is another example. Take a very conservative Christian minister, a very conservative Islamic Muslim, and an Atheist. Make them swear to tell the truth, and then ask them a single question. What happens when you die? As you can see, our beliefs, attitudes, upbringing, and other experiences help us determine, rightly or wrongly, what is, and is not the truth.

So, if you go to court for any reason at all, never dress nice for court, especially in Okaloosa County. Dress precisely for court according to dress instructions for court. Finally, look at my picture on this book. Do I look like a certain politician who pulled an upside election win in 2016? Absolutely. This is by design. I know what area I practice in, and I have dressed like this since 1985, when I was in law school at Florida State University. Why? The same reason this particular president does. It appeals to the population he targeted for voting. It reflects most of the people who will be in Okaloosa County court whether they are called Your Honor, or member of the Jury.

The scientific research says I should wear certain things, certain suits, and certain ties. I do not have to like the suit, and tie combinations that I wear. Neither does the president, neither do you. What matters is that you dress precisely for court.

Disclaimer: This article is in response to questions frequently asked of Mr. Cobb and is an unedited dictation transcript. Just like talk to text on your smartphone, there may be misspelled words or sentence fragments.

For more information on Dressing for Court in Okaloosa County, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (850) 466-1522 today.

Stephen G. Cobb, Esq.

Get your questions answered - call me for your free, 20 min phone consultation (850) 466-1522

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