Policy and Procedure Manual Rule 1.155 Practice Tips for Dressing for Success Before the WCAB
During the COVID-19 pandemic, when trials, conferences and depositions were all held virtually and the litigants could not be seen except for proceedings held via the Lifesize video-conferencing format, enforcement of the rules regarding appropriate dress were obviously not necessary, except when appearing by camera. However, now that some in-person hearings are taking place, such as trials and walk-throughs, a practice tip reminder about Policy and Procedure Manual Rule 1.155 is provided for litigants before the trial courts of the District Offices of the WCAB.
In general, professional attire for the courtroom has been defined as clothing that is modest, well-tailored, free of graphics, and does not divert the eye to a specific part of the body. If you think an item of clothing doesn’t meet these criteria, it probably doesn’t. In addition, hats are not allowed in court.
The purpose of Policy and Procedure Manual Rule 1.155 is for the litigants to project professionalism, because we ARE a profession. Moreover, professional attire shows respect for the law, the court and all parties involved. You should strive to be a positive representation of yourself and your client.
This, in turn, ensures no distraction from the business at hand, which the judge wants to effectuate as well and it promotes productivity across the industry. Finally, Judges do not want to judge your outfit, only the facts.