Beard at Trial an Absolute No-No?

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Beard at Trial an Absolute No-No?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 02, 2016 5:18 pm

Presenting a motion for the first time next week. I was wondering if I have to shave? I have had a clean and trim full beard for about 3 years now. I'm told it looks good but don't really care about the aesthetic. It's more to protect my face as I had to shave daily by 7th grade and started noticing some l/t effects. My primary concern is if I shave I'm going to have a full beard tan line and look ridiculous.

Was wondering what the beard in court policy is - think a progressive San Franciscoesque city. It is one of those things that nobody would ever bring up in person, which is why I think it's a perfect question to ask a bunch of anonymous people. I've never argued in court, and know that on Making a Murderer, it seemed like all the lawyers were clean shaven. Nevertheless, it's difficult to ascertain whether they were clean shaven because they were in court or because they don't like facial hair. I've spent hours going back and forth, because I am very bored and very vain. I would appreciate an answer supported by sound logic. Thanks.

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rpupkin

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Re: Beard at Trial an Absolute No-No?

Postby rpupkin » Fri Sep 02, 2016 5:25 pm

It would be a non-issue with my firm and our clients. I see lawyers in court with beards all the time, from SF to Houston to New York to Delaware.

Is there a reason you haven't asked the partner/senior attorney on the case?

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Beard at Trial an Absolute No-No?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Sep 02, 2016 5:27 pm

I also see lawyers with beards in court all the time.

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zot1

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Re: Beard at Trial an Absolute No-No?

Postby zot1 » Fri Sep 02, 2016 5:36 pm

And here I came to read this thread not realizing you meant actual facial hair.

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kellyfrost

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Re: Beard at Trial an Absolute No-No?

Postby kellyfrost » Fri Sep 02, 2016 6:39 pm

I'd probably shave.
Last edited by kellyfrost on Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Tanicius

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Re: Beard at Trial an Absolute No-No?

Postby Tanicius » Fri Sep 02, 2016 7:03 pm

No one will care.

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LaLiLuLeLo

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Re: Beard at Trial an Absolute No-No?

Postby LaLiLuLeLo » Fri Sep 02, 2016 7:04 pm

People forget that facial hair is cyclical. I would argue that we have emerged from a period where facial hair was not fashionable. Depending on the decade, lawyers have sported beards and mustaches in court. I think we're now in a time where it's perfectly acceptable to have a well-maintained beard. Beard is fine and I say that as someone who can't grow a beard.

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mjb447

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Re: Beard at Trial an Absolute No-No?

Postby mjb447 » Fri Sep 02, 2016 8:03 pm

People might notice, but in the same way that they would if you wore an unusual suit or a bolo tie or something. (The bar for remarkableness in court is sometimes very low.) It shouldn't adversely affect you, particularly if your beard is "clean and trim."

It's also possible that someone at your workplace might care about the public face you're presenting, but if you haven't gotten any guidance about that yet it seems unlikely.

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BasilHallward

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Re: Beard at Trial an Absolute No-No?

Postby BasilHallward » Fri Sep 02, 2016 8:41 pm

zot1 wrote:And here I came to read this thread not realizing you meant actual facial hair.


+180. Me too.

izha

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Re: Beard at Trial an Absolute No-No?

Postby izha » Sat Sep 03, 2016 1:15 am

Anonymous User wrote:Presenting a motion for the first time next week. I was wondering if I have to shave? I have had a clean and trim full beard for about 3 years now. I'm told it looks good but don't really care about the aesthetic. It's more to protect my face as I had to shave daily by 7th grade and started noticing some l/t effects. My primary concern is if I shave I'm going to have a full beard tan line and look ridiculous.

Was wondering what the beard in court policy is - think a progressive San Franciscoesque city. It is one of those things that nobody would ever bring up in person, which is why I think it's a perfect question to ask a bunch of anonymous people. I've never argued in court, and know that on Making a Murderer, it seemed like all the lawyers were clean shaven. Nevertheless, it's difficult to ascertain whether they were clean shaven because they were in court or because they don't like facial hair. I've spent hours going back and forth, because I am very bored and very vain. I would appreciate an answer supported by sound logic. Thanks.

Are you a guy?

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Re: Beard at Trial an Absolute No-No?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 16, 2016 11:28 am

I have a beard, am in biglaw, and have been in court maybe a dozen times in the last two years. I shaved it for a jury trial but wouldn't do so (and haven't done so) for a motion hearing.

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kellyfrost

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Re: Beard at Trial an Absolute No-No?

Postby kellyfrost » Sun Oct 16, 2016 1:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I have a beard, am in biglaw, and have been in court maybe a dozen times in the last two years. I shaved it for a jury trial but wouldn't do so (and haven't done so) for a motion hearing.


Interesting that you felt it necessary to shave for trial.
Last edited by kellyfrost on Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Sgtpeppernyc

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Re: Beard at Trial an Absolute No-No?

Postby Sgtpeppernyc » Tue Oct 18, 2016 2:10 pm

Are you biglaw / representing a corporate client? If so, ask the partner - sometimes, it's less about the judge and more about the partner or client. I used to work in NYC biglaw, and had a partner unequivocally tell me that I needed to shave my beard before going to court. Particularly conservative clients may also draw a negative inference if it doesn't go well.

In reality, I couldn't imagine a judge deciding against you simply because you have a well-groomed beard, but I would ask first internally.

FamilyLawEsq

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Re: Beard at Trial an Absolute No-No?

Postby FamilyLawEsq » Tue Oct 18, 2016 9:06 pm

It is no problem. 2 judges in my county have beards. Just tried an case last week in a neighboring county, the judge had a beard that was scraggly.

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elendinel

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Re: Beard at Trial an Absolute No-No?

Postby elendinel » Wed Oct 19, 2016 7:41 am

Sgtpeppernyc wrote:Are you biglaw / representing a corporate client? If so, ask the partner - sometimes, it's less about the judge and more about the partner or client. I used to work in NYC biglaw, and had a partner unequivocally tell me that I needed to shave my beard before going to court. Particularly conservative clients may also draw a negative inference if it doesn't go well.

In reality, I couldn't imagine a judge deciding against you simply because you have a well-groomed beard, but I would ask first internally.


This. If it matters a lot to someone, it'll probably be whomever you're working under, or your client (whom the supervisor should know). You should ask them.

barkschool

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Re: Beard at Trial an Absolute No-No?

Postby barkschool » Wed Oct 19, 2016 7:45 am

Did u win the motion b/c of beard or no?

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Re: Beard at Trial an Absolute No-No?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 19, 2016 10:49 am

my very nice-natured judge in new england pranked about a counsel who had a beard that it was "keeping it warm". I mean if you are appearing for the first time, and the Judge might be an old fashioned guy and he doesnt know you from before- I would shave it, it's not hard at all and eliminate all potential problems.

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rpupkin

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Re: Beard at Trial an Absolute No-No?

Postby rpupkin » Thu Oct 20, 2016 1:45 am

Anonymous User wrote:my very nice-natured judge in new england pranked about a counsel who had a beard that it was "keeping it warm".

I have no idea what this means.

RaceJudicata

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Re: Beard at Trial an Absolute No-No?

Postby RaceJudicata » Thu Oct 20, 2016 12:50 pm

I wonder what Judge Easterbrook would say about this tread.

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/7h1H7C8me8Y/hqdefault.jpg

Voyager

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Re: Beard at Trial an Absolute No-No?

Postby Voyager » Thu Oct 20, 2016 1:46 pm

Is Judge Rakoff in danger of being removed from the bench?

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Re: Beard at Trial an Absolute No-No?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 21, 2016 10:33 pm

If it's neat and suits you, no problem.



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