“Should I take my nose ring out?” a.k.a. Attire for Court

Recently I was asked about appropriate attire for Court.  Specifically, I was asked about the propriety of wearing a piercing in Court.

“Should I take my nose ring out?”

While dress codes in Court are not what they used to be you still have to dress appropriately for Court.

What is proper attire?

  • conservative/church attire
  • slacks/dress pants
  • button-down/collared shirts
  • suit
  • appropriate dresses

What is not proper?

  • shorts
  • t-shirts
  • sleeveless shirts
  • short dresses/skirts
  • gaudy jewelry
  • hats

“So, should you take your nose ring out?”                  

“Yes, yes you should.”

Matthew Thompson is a Litigation Attorney in Mississippi and while you may not lose your case because of your attire or appearance, everything you can do to help should be done.

Follow the blog:#BowTieLawyer Visit the website: #Thompson Law Firm  You may also contact Matthew with your family law matter or question at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms

 

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Child Testimony in Court

Whether a child should testify is a struggle in every instance when it arises.  I have previously blogged on the law, the Jethrow standard that the Court applies in determining the process of a child testifying.  (Click here).  Today’s is a practical view on how the Court conducts children testifying in a Civil case.

Stuart Miles /freedigitalphotos. net

So, how does child testimony work? It depends on the Judge.  I have seen the following;

1)  The Judge clears the Courtroom of all persons except the Judge, the Court Reporter and the child.

Here the Judge does the questioning.  The Judge is trying to determine the child’s truthfulness, their intellectual capacity for the retaining and reporting the information sought and whether is admissible and relevant.  This process takes as long as the court deems necessary.  I have stood in the hall for an hour while the Court conducts the interview.  Upon the Court concluding, the parties and lawyers are brought back in and the Judge summarizes the child’s testimony.  There may or may not be an opportunity for questioning.

2)  The Judge takes the child and the Court reporter to his/her chambers (office).

Again the Judge does the questioning, but it is in a less intimidating setting.  The judge’s office is usually much more “familiar” and personalized than the Courtroom.  Judge’s do this to put the child more at ease.  The relative same process of above is used, just in a different location.

3)  The Judge, the lawyers, the child and Court Reporter go into the Judge’s chambers.

Here the Judge let’s the lawyers do the questioning.  Now, the Judge is making sure that the lawyers maintain a respectful and appropriate tone and the child is not subject to interrogation or cross-examination in the true sense of the word, but the child is responding directly to the lawyers.  The Judge determines what is relevant and admissible in all instances.

And finally,

4)  The child takes the witness stand and is questioned by each lawyer and possibly the Judge, in the presence of the parents.  For a very young child this procedure will not be used.  For an older child, say 14 and up, this is more common.

Ultimately, the age of the child, the issues at hand and the wishes of the parent’s are the deciding factors in how the child testimony is handled.  The famous quote from the Jethrow case is;

“We reiterate that parents in a divorce proceeding should if at all possible refrain from calling any of the children of their marriage, of tender years at least, as witnesses, and counsel should advise their clients against doing so except in the most exigent cases. The reason and wisdom behind this precaution need no amplification. We also hold, however, as we must that no parent can be precluded from having a child of the marriage in a divorce proceeding testify simply because of that fact.” Jethrow v. Jethrow, 571 So.2d 270, 274 (Miss. 1990).

Matthew Thompson is a Child Custody Litigation Attorney in Mississippi.

Follow the blog: #BowTieLawyer Visit the website: #Thompson Law Firm  You may also contact Matthew with your family law case or question at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms

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Filed under Child Custody, Divorce, General Legal, Modifications, Visitation

A Glimpse in the Divorce Attorney’s Freezer

Capital One features Vikings asking “What’s in your wallet?”  A question for a divorce attorney is “What’s in your freezer?”

photo (18)

 

Currently in the Freezer.

  • a piece of the top tier of a Wedding cake – it was returned, upon request, from an ex.
  • a bottle of Reyka Vodka – from Iceland
  • popsicles
  • ice

Formerly in the Freezer.

  • panties
  • other things not as exciting

Things to NOT put in the Freezer.

  • coke, which is forgotten
  • a body
  • hot food items

Matthew Thompson is a Divorce Lawyer in Mississippi and reminds you that sometimes you need to clean out the Freezer.

Follow the blog:#BowTieLawyer Visit the website: #Thompson Law Firm  You may also contact Matthew with your family law matter or question at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms

 

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Check the Thermostat! Bringing the Heat to a Divorce.

A recent review on Amazon.com of a Wi-Fi enabled thermostat has the divorce world heating up!

freedigitalphotos.net/  Stuart Miles

A now ex-husband described his glee with a Honeywell Wi-Fi enabled thermostat, which allowed him to remotely control the a/c and heat in his former marital home.

“The device works flawlessly. You can adjust the temp from anywhere you have a Wi-Fi or cellular signal. Little did I know that my ex had found someone that had a bit more money than I did and decided to make other travel plans. Those plans included her no longer being my wife and finding a new travel partner (Carl, a banker). She took the house, the dog and a good chunk of my 401K, but didn’t mess with the wireless access point or the Wi-Fi enabled Honeywell thermostat…”

So, if you’re getting a divorce; change the locks, re-code the garage door opener, change beneficiaries and change your wi-fi password.

Matthew Thompson is a Divorce Lawyer in Mississippi.  It is often said that revenge is a dish best served cold…or hot as in this case.

Follow the blog:#BowTieLawyer Visit the website: #Thompson Law Firm  You may also contact Matthew with your family law matter or question at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms

 

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Judge Candidate Pledges to Donate to Charities, Matching Monies Spent by Opponent

Here’s a fresh take on Judicial campaigning.

Joseph A. Scalia Candidate for Family Court Judge – Department B

A candidate for Nevada Family Court Judge, attorney Joseph Scalia, has announced a dramatically different approach to running his campaign for Judge.  Instead of the usual fund-raising and spending, Scalia has pledged to match, dollar for dollar, all monies spent by  his opponent on campaigning with matching donations to local, non-profit charities in the Las Vegas, Nevada area.

Citing  an example of unnecessary spending, Scalia noted that his opponent spent $100,000.00 in the primary and garnered 19,000 votes.  Scalia spent a reported $0.00, that’s zero!, and garnered over 16,000 votes.  No candidate received a majority so there will be a run-off.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzsJxUDS_GQ

So, political advisers, campaign strategist and consultants take heed,  Joe Scalia is throwing judicial and political campaigning on its ear.

Read about Mississippi Judicial Races and Matters here; Chancery Race 11th District, Picking Your Judge.

Matthew Thompson is a Family Law Attorney in Mississippi and thinks Joe Scalia is on to something…

Follow the blog:#BowTieLawyer Visit the website: #Thompson Law Firm  You may also contact Matthew with your family law matter or question at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms

 

 

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Filed under Child Custody, Divorce, General Legal, Marriage, Opinion