The Sage of Lawyers. Almost 1/10 as dishonest as Mr. Burger:

Lawyer asks judge to force rival to wear nicer shoes via Boing Boing by Cory Doctorow on 7/10/09

A lawyer in Florida filed a motion to force his rival to upgrade to newer shoes, on the grounds that his homely old hush puppies gave him an unfair advantage by projecting an air of unsophisticated honesty to the jury.

3. It is well known in the legal community that Michael Robb, Esquire, wears shoes with holes in the soles when he is in trial.

4. Upon reasonable belief, Plaintiff believes that Mr. Robb wears these shoes as a ruse to impress the jury and make them believe that Mr. Robb is humble and simple without sophistication. . . .

6. Part of this strategy is to present Mr. Robb and his client as modest individuals who are so frugal that Mr. Robb has to wear shoes with holes in the soles. Mr. Robb is known to stand at sidebar with one foot crossed casually beside the other so that the holes in his shoes are readily apparent to the jury . . . .

7. Then, during argument and throughout the case Mr. Robb throws out statements like "I'm just a simple lawyer" with the obvious suggestion that Plaintiff's counsel and the Plaintiff are not as sincere and down to earth as Mr. Robb.

8. Mr. Robb should be required to wear shoes without holes in the soles at trial to avoid the unfair prejudice suggested by this conduct.

Motion to Compel Defense Counsel To Wear Appropriate Shoes

Alan Millhone comments:

My mother's father was a real Scotsman. He worked for himself most of his life. Taught himself to play the piano and collected coins. He never threw anything away and wore his clothes till threadbare. Upon his death ( I was 16) we found on the stairway ledge to the basement a tall stack of cardboard cut outs that he made to fit his shoes.

The lawyer/shoe story brought an old memory I had long forgotten. Grandpa Mac was not out to ever impress anyone. Unlike the lawyer who was out to create a false impression of being somewhat destitute. 





Speak your mind

5 Comments so far

  1. Anonymous on March 23, 2010 7:37 pm

    Clarence Darrow use to insert a steel needle into his cigar, when smoking was permitted in the court room, so that the hot ashes would cling to the hot needle. The jury would jaw-drop staring at Darrow’s cigar wondering and waiting for the long ash to fall; unbeknownst to the jury, the as would cling to the steel needle. The risk had a positive effect on Darrow’s win column pulling attention away from opposing counsel. Good stuff.


  2. vic on March 23, 2010 8:11 pm

    I almost compared him to Clarence "In all my 50 years of practice, I've never represented a client more deserving and more innocent than this" Darrow, but the corn thing is more apt. vic

  3. Mark Johnson on March 24, 2010 4:32 pm

    This is brilliant marketing from a behavioral point of view. Seems like the battle can be won by how people percieve of course. He was just being a great salesman and doing the best for his client. How could any jury vote for such a down and out honest old timer.

  4. Nelson on March 27, 2010 10:16 pm

    Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer:
    “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I’m just a caveman. I fell on some
    ice and later got thawed out by some of your scientists. Your world
    frightens and confuses me! Sometimes the honking horns of your traffic
    make me want to get out of my BMW.. and run off into the hills, or
    wherever.. Sometimes when I get a message on my fax machine, I wonder:
    “Did little demons get inside and type it?” I don’t know! My primitive
    mind can’t grasp these concepts. But there is one thing I do know -
    when a man like my client slips and falls on a sidewalk in front of a
    public library, then he is entitled to no less than two million in
    compensatory damages, and two million in punitive damages. Thank you.”

  5. Steve Leslie on March 29, 2010 7:07 am

    I am not a lawyer so to that end there is plenty I do not know about law.

    However, I do know that there is the law and then there is the business of law. The Business of Law is to win.

    One side argues their case, the other side argues theirs, the Judge tries to control the proceedings and the Jury decides. As they say back home, That is how they do things. The Court system in the words of Paul Newman in The
    Verdict is not to grant justice but to give the client a "Chance at Justice"

    The great Jerry Spence never loses in court. He also according to him has never been censured by a judge. He is a great salesman in delivering his side of the story to the Jury. Read his book Confessions of a Country Lawyer.

    It is my understanding that most of winning a trial is getting the right jury. That is why jury consultants and the voir dire are such critical elements of the process.


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