When a soldier goes to war, we all know they wear battle gear.
They wear cammoflage.
They wear a flak jacket.
They wear a helmet.
They carry a tactical flashlight.
Many now carry body cameras or helmet-mounted cameras.
They carry an M16 machine gun.
Many carry a pistol.
They carry an all-purpose tactical knife.
They carry supplies for their combat mission in their rucksack, also known as a backpack.
They wear steel-toed workboots.
They often have sunglasses.
They will often wear a digital watch.
These are just the basics.
I want to transition now to the courtroom.
When an attorney goes to trial in a medical malpractice case, it's as if he's going to battle.
It's as if he's going to war.
It's a different type of battle.
It's a different type of war.
Don't get me wrong here...
I am not comparing what a trial lawyer does in court to what a soldier in our armed forces does on the battlefield.
Please don't send me your rants that my comparison is not appropriate.
It's a virtual analogy.
You'll see why in a moment...
A trial lawyer who is scheduled to begin jury selection wakes up that morning knowing he is going to battle.
It's a battle of words.
It's a battle of the experts.
It's a battle of the evidence.
It's a battle that has dire consequences for his client.
Each legal argument is a separate battle.
You see, the defense refuses to pay.
The injured patient has a valid case.
A case backed up by qualified medical experts who confirm that (1) there was wrongdoing, (2) the wrongdoing caused injury and (3) the injury is significant or permanent.
The defense's refusal to pay means that every claim and every argument raised at trial will be a fight.
Every objection raised by the other side will result in a mini battle.
Every time and attorney objects to a piece of evidence being introduced, it's a battle.
The winner of all of these small battles we'll likely win the war.
This "WAR" represents an injured victim obtaining money as a form of compensation for all of the losses, injuries and harms she suffered because of a doctor's carelessness.
Let me get back to the headline of this article.
What exactly does a trial attorney wear when he goes to war in court?
I'll first tell you what he doesn't wear.
He doesn't wear camouflage gear.
He doesn't wear battle helmet
He doesn't wear body armor and a flak jacket.
He doesn't wear steel toed workboots.
He doesn't carry an M16 machine gun.
He doesn't walk into court carrying a sidearm.
He doesn't walk into trial carrying a tactical flashlight and heavy communication gear.
Ok, enough about what he doesn't wear.
Let's focus on what he does wear.
The best trial attorneys will typically wear a crisp dark navy suit.
They will wear a freshly pressed and clean white shirt.
A red power tie.
Some attorneys have "lucky" socks with patterns.
Don't forget a timepiece.
Most attorneys will wear a watch that is simple and understated.
Usually with a black leather strap.
The best trial attorneys typically we'll not wear cologne for fear of offending jurors.
If they do wear cologne, it will be very small amounts.
A trial attorney going into court to start a trial wants to appear authoritative.
He wants to appear knowledgeable.
He wants to appear credible.
The best way to do that is to dress in an understated fashion.
No diamond studded gold Rolexes.
No heavy neck chains with dangling medallions.
No gold grills on the teeth.
An experienced trial attorney will typically wear black polished wingtip shoes.
He will often carry a well-worn black leather briefcase, although colors are a personal preference.
All of these items represent"Courtroom gear" that the best trial attorneys wear when stepping in to court to do battle at trial.
This represents our "Uniform."
The court does not require us to wear a special uniform like soldiers wear.
However, the court requires the attorneys to adhere to courtroom decorum.
Judges require male attorneys to wear a suit and tie when they appear before them in court.
Women have more discretion on what they can wear.
I've seen excellent women trial attorneys dressed like men who wear suits.
I've seen excellent women attorneys wear short skirts and extremely high heels.
Women have much more discretion on what they can wear.
Wearing a specific type of "battle gear" in court doesn't mean you are going to win your case.
It's simply the basic starting point of what an attorney comes prepared for as he stepped foot into the court room ready to do battle.