Fashion, Plaintiffs Firms, Ridiculousness, Shoes, Trials

‘Holier’ Than Thou: Motion to Compel Defense Counsel to Wear Appropriate Shoes at Trial

old shoes.jpgOur colleagues over at sister site Fashionista aren’t alone. Lawyers also get worked up over shoes.
Some, like former Enron prosecutor Kathryn Ruemmler, show up to court in four-inch pink stiletto spikes. Others hate on commuter shoes and Crocs. Attorneys have strong opinions about attire, and that extends to footwear.
So we can’t say we’re completely surprised by a motion recently filed by plaintiffs’ counsel in the case of Lenkersdorf v. Sorrentino, now pending in Florida state court.
Motion to Compel Defense Counsel to Wear Appropriate Shoes at Trial — we kid you not — after the jump.

The motion appears below. Our reaction to Bill Bone, filer of the motion: what a heel!
This guy is a total Bone-head! Did he not have a sensible colleague who could talk him out of filing such a motion? Perhaps he is a sole practitioner?
P.S. We’re just trying to be punny — heel, sole, Bone. Geddit?
We actually see Bill Bone’s point in filing this motion. And we also see that Bone isn’t a sole practitioner; rather, he’s a partner in Larmoyeux & Bone.
Update: For more about the story behind the motion — it seems, for example, that defense lawyer Michael Robb wears the hole-ridden Cole Haan loafers because they are “lucky” — see the Palm Beach Post.
Lenkersdorf Sorrentino motion to compel appropriate shoes 1.jpg
Lenkersdorf Sorrentino motion to compel appropriate shoes 2.jpg
Does lawyer who bares sole have an ace in the hole? [Palm Beach Post]

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108 Responses to “‘Holier’ Than Thou: Motion to Compel Defense Counsel to Wear Appropriate Shoes at Trial”

  1. guest says:


  2. guest says:


  3. guest says:


  4. guest says:


  5. guest says:

    it is really necessary for me to eat an insane amount of sour cream with every meal? no. but i do it anyway.

  6. guest says:

    Legalize cannabis!

  7. guest says:

    “like former Enron Kathryn Ruemmler”
    Counsel? President? Elie?

  8. guest says:

    tsk tsk for the use of ‘then’ for ‘than’…i can haz job now?

  9. guest says:

    if the shoe fits, you must acquit!

  10. Insecure UGA Guy says:

    I’m just in law school, but can someone tell me if attorneys often say things like “Mr. Robb throws out statements…”

  11. guest says:

    “I’m just a simple lawyer….”
    Awesome!! I’m going to start saying that.

  12. guest says:

    11, if you’re in lawschool and haven’t dropped out, then you are retarded. Dont be bustin on others grammer yo!

  13. guest says:

    I’m just a caveman

  14. David Saint Hubbins says:

    As a trial attorney who also happens to be named after the patron saint of quality footwear, I cannot overstate the importance of wearing a good pair of shoes whilst pacing before the jury box.

  15. guest says:

    13, you mean grammar. Yo.

  16. guest says:

    No but u can haz cheezberger.
    Can we bring Elie back to the forefront (did I just type that? OMFG).
    Tired of reading about shoes and hot male associates. Me no likey.
    Oh, and was the motion granted?

  17. guest says:

    “I’m just a simple (country) lawyer” is a tried and true TV trope: That said, juries aren’t exactly known for their intelligence or ability to see through an emotional plea so I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the strategy actually worked to some degree — i.e. if the case is close enough, go with the underdog.

  18. guest says:

    You da shit man!

  19. guest says:

    Can we make a Journey song out of this?
    I’m just a simple lawyer living in a simple woooorld

  20. guest says:

    “than” not “then.” did anyone else notice that?

  21. UnfrozenCavemanLawyer says:

    I sympathize with the plight of the lawyer here. After all, I’m just a simple caveman. Sometimes I am scared by your world’s fast moving subways and taxi cabs. I often wonder who planted the magic spirits inside of my Blackberry to make it recieve messages from my secretary. I just don’t understand these things. One thing I do know — is that when a lawyer goes to court, he is entitled to where whatever he wants. Dress codes are intended solely to give ugly people some semblance of pride. It is undeserved, and it needs to stop. Thank you.

  22. guest says:

    22 meet 9.

  23. guest says:

    I don’t understand fancy words like “evidence,” “objection” or “grossly incompetent.” I’m not some big city fancy pants wearing lawyer. But I do know a thing or two about justice. And my client is just an ordinary joe being attacked by a fancy college-boy type who swindled him with college-boy mind tricks. My client needs you to give him justice.
    I rest my case.

  24. guest says:

    I like to whip it out during opposition’s case-in-chief.

  25. guest says:

    I’m waiting for PE

  26. guest says:

    Instead of filing to motion for him to change his shoes, why not one up him at his own game?
    A true lawyer would skip the motion and show up the next day carrying his files in a bindle stick.

  27. guest says:

    Ah, 23, you are what I think about every time I hear this shtick.
    I summered at a place where a partner was GREAT with the jury. He did the I’m-a-simple-country-lawyer, but-even-I-know-what’s-right trial shtick, but in reality, he was one of the largest rainmakers in the firm with a huge office decorated in some of the gaudiest modern Less than Zero-era furniture.

  28. guest says:

    23 = Roxana

  29. guest says:

    27 – stop acting like you’re not PE

  30. guest says:

    Alright, I know they’re not always popular with the commenter crowd, but Kash and Lat, no shout out to your friends at Sweet Hot Justice??

  31. guest says:

    UMiami Law School is paying 1Ls not to come.
    “The University of Miami School of Law has offered to pay accepted students to stay away—at least for a year. The school’s unusual offer, which followed an unexpectedly high number of acceptances for this fall’s entering class, comes during a period of soul searching in legal education about just how many lawyers the nation needs and whether educators have an obligation to paint a realistic picture of students’ prospects for landing jobs that would justify taking out loans of $70,000 or more.”

  32. guest says:

    So… this is almost a month old by now?
    The motion has been decided.

  33. guest says:

    welcome to last week, 33

  34. guest says:

    Having holes in your shoes means you’re down to earth? I thought it just meant you were sloppy.
    Seriously, holes in shoes might have worked before the prevalence of cheap sources of footwear, but I’m not buying that people would think holes in the shoes of an attorney somehow made him more down to earth. Most of my family is poor (and Southern) and all they would think is that the man’s wife didn’t dress him properly.

  35. guest says:

    I sort of see where the motion is coming from. I go to an elite law school (T5) and I CAN’T stand to see how some of the lower ranked lawyers/law students act, both as professionals and as human beings. I’m talking about at both like mock trials/clinicals or just in bars and clubs when I see them. I’m not trying to sound elitist, but a lot of poeple who lack top legal education really do try to use smokes and mirrors to deceive others and present an aura of sophistication or some other bs thing to compensate for the fact that they just lack the intellectual firepower of others. I can just see this guy in law school, and I’m sure he couldn’t hold his own even among top law students (i.e. w/o substantial judicial experience), and so he attempts to obfuscate the issues by subtle psychological techniques that are intended to distract and/or divert attention from the lack of substance. Just hit the books hard and if you can’t hack it, too bad for you! Try being a poli sci student or something.

  36. guest says:

    Did he win?

  37. guest says:

    The Fifteenth Judicial Circuit – Where amazing happens. or should I say “wear” amazing happens

  38. Adlai Stttevenson says:

    What’s wrong with having holes in your shoes?

  39. guest says:

    I would really like to know if the motion was granted, or not.

  40. guest says:

    37–It’s called strategy. Any litigator will tell you that most of the battle is getting the jury to like you and your client. Brainpower doesn’t necessarily help in that area. Just like on the playground, the popular lawyers are usually not the smartest ones, but rather those who are average.

  41. guest says:

    37 – that’s a joke, right? If so, well played. If not, well . . .

  42. guest says:

    37, if you aren’t kidding, then you are a massive tool (I’m not an elitist, but I go to an “elite” school, really?). I can’t wait for you to start working and see how real life works.

  43. guest says:

    41-The article in the Palm Beach Post said the motion was denied. If you’re joking just call me Capt. Obvious.

  44. guest says:

    you’re a clown, destined for the back room of a legal sweatshop, doing “intellectual” transactional work.

  45. guest says:

    If you believe what you just wrote, I hope you’re not interested in being a trial lawyer.
    Smoke and mirrors? Yes, exactly. That’s precisely the goal in front of a jury and the best trial lawyers know how to do it.
    Intellectual firepower? The average juror has an 8th or 9th grade education. They could care less about intellectual firepower….
    Appellate work is obviously a different game, but either way, I think you should stick to transactional work.

  46. guest says:

    Wow, 46. You and I think alike. See you in court.

  47. guest says:

    37, your comment is about YOU!

  48. guest says:

    Head over to styleforum to learn about quality men’s shoes.

  49. guest says:

    44 – do you know the difference between objective and subjective (sorry, but I’m gonna have to get lawyer-like on you here)? I objectively go to an elite law school (T5) – i.e. REASONABLE minds can’t disagree in good faith. In contrast, when a person says they are “elitist” they are making a normative, i.e. subjective statement, and thus there are reasonable, good faith areas for disagreement. Ipso facto, (jk), I can say that I go to an elite law school (objective) while also maintaing that I’m not elitist (subjective). There is no logical fallacy there, and furthermore, it’s substantively correct. Not to be a hater, but this is what I’m talking about – people in social settings (i.e. often clubs and bars) trying to act sophisticated without the substance to back it up.

  50. guest says:

    It’s 6 pm, so PE is naturally done for the day.

  51. guest says:

    It’s a rough economy for a bright, entitled, remarkably ignorant law student like you to try to build a career in litigation. Your learning curve would be clearly have been steep even back in the glory days of ’03. Considering that summer associates are actually having to work for their offers in today’s world, you’d probably be better off in another area. Like maybe poli sci, or something.

  52. guest says:

    45 – I was not joking. I thought that if that info was so readily available ATL would have put it in the post. I didn’t bother to read the article because I thought ATL made its livelihood by effectively summarizing news from journalists. I was proven wrong, though.
    – 41

  53. guest says:

    Because fancy pants big firm partners never ever use unfair tactics or manipulation, and never ever get in trouble for anything, because of their top notch legal education.
    A sad first year big firm associate who will have to resort to trickery and unethical behavior to succeed, because I don’t have an elite law degree that will prevent me from ever needing a trial strategy

  54. guest says:

    42 – you make cogent points, and I respect the “on the ground” analysis. But you’re also applauding a “lowest common denominator” theorem of law. Because I got to T5, the “litigator” positions I will be more readily acceptable for are not trial court lawyer jobs like this, but rather ones for which true intellectual firepower is often an important asset. I concede, at least on practical grounds, that you are right in your assessement of whom makes the “best” litigators (i.e. trial courts attorneys/and/or/counsels). However, I am making a deontological argument here that this conduct isn’t correct (almost morally), and this conduct in fact is symptomatic of not-so-qualified lawyers trying to conceal their lack of raw intellectual firepower, honed by years of legal education.

  55. guest says:

    37/51 Hopefully the next post says you were kidding the whole time.
    If not, I’m going to laugh when a non-elite ambulance chaser lights up your client after you use Latin in court.
    Also, how many times did you get beat up as a kid to acquire such a false intellectual superiority complex? (that many syllables just made my brain hurt)

  56. guest says:

    51 is objectively retarded, and subjectively annoying.

  57. guest says:

    Oh sheesh. If this guy was a government lawyer, nobody would bat an eye to his worn out shoes.

  58. guest says:

    You KNOW PE has to have something to say about this

  59. guest says:

    Shoes matter.
    My trial clinic prof told me a story about the first case he ever tried: Personal injury case, plaintiff alleged a serious back injury. Lawyer spent a ton of time preparing the case all the way up to trial, got to trial which lasted a week and thought he had a very strong case. Verdict comes back for the defense so disappointed he asks the jurors why they came out that way. The women on the jury noticed that the plaintiff wore high heel shoes at least once during the trial. Based on their own personal experience they decided there was no way in hell a woman claiming a back injury would voluntarily wear high heel shoes- a woman thing i guess. So from the moment they saw plaintiff wear those shoes her credibility was gone and the jury effectively decided the case.
    Most of ya’ll will never have to worry about little details like this since big firm lawyers don’t try cases but for those who do, remember every little detail can make a difference in how the jury perceives you. So pay attention to the shoes you wear *and* the shoes your client wears.

  60. guest says:

    60 = PE.
    Stop fishing.

  61. Dean Sargent says:

    The internet really is a type of hell!

  62. guest says:

    37 is the kind of guy who turns his back on the judge during argument and then wonders why he lost the motion. All the intellectual firepower in the world isn’t going to help you if you don’t have common sense or know how to play well with others.

  63. guest says:

    61 – did your trial clinic prof also tell you that big firm lawyers don’t try cases? Just curious where that bit of insight came from.

  64. guest says:

    56 – As a recent graduate of a “T5″ doing litigation work, I look forward to the day when you realize that using your “true intellectual firepower” means correctly applying the tags to the documents you will be reviewing and entering edits that the senior associate doesn’t trust his or her secretary to do.

  65. guest says:

    56 = Kiwi Camara

  66. guest says:

    37 et seq. = the best new troll on ATL, possibly the best ATL troll ever.

  67. guest says:

    37/51 = NYLS Troll

  68. guest says:

    A local columnist wrote about this Motion, the jurors read the column and a mistrial was declared in a multimillion dollar trial.

  69. guest says:

    Van Winkle would totally win this motion.

  70. guest says:

    The real loser here . . . Cole Haan. The best press they’ll get all year is that their shoes are crappy! Maybe they’ll change their name to Hole Caan.

  71. guest says:

    Now the commenters do more in-depth reporting than the actual blog. Thanks 70.
    – 54

  72. guest says:

    I happen to live in the Circuit and the Motion, the column, the mistrial and the subsequent column have been regular news down here. The attorneys involved and the columnist are all characters so its been entertaining. – 70

  73. guest says:

    Four thoughts….
    (1) I pity the poor bastard who has been dealt such a horrible hand in life that he thinks there is anything lucky about being forced to degrade his ten little piggies by wrapping them in Cole Haan footwear. I’d rather strap coconut husks to my feet while I saved the money to buy some real shoes. Shell cordovan is the way to go, folks, for men’s shoes, at least.
    And as a tip for the law students on the board, “cordovan” and “shell cordovan” are different things. Do your diligence.
    (2) Thank God I’m a transactional attorney.
    (3) Kiwi Camara sounds like the name of a New Zealand-built sports car.
    (4) Point (1) above is (sorta) a joke. Cole Haan shoes are good shoes. If you are in a life that will require you to wear dress shoes a lot, shell cordovan will be a good investment for you. But, it is an investment. Apparently it’s really hard to turn horses into shoes, because you basically have to take out a HELOC to be able to afford a pair of shell cordovan shoes. They last forever, though.

  74. guest says:

    It’s really
    to read
    Above the
    when you use
    as many
    sentences as
    you do

  75. guest says:

    As a T5 student, both smarter and humbler than you, kindly STFU. You’re embarrassing yourself.
    My lord, sometimes I wish I’d gone to a state school… some of my “peers” make me want to vomit.

  76. guest says:

    Man, internet trolling has come a long way since I was a lad. It’s difficult to tell if 37 is art imitating life, or vice versa. Well played, sir. Either way, you have provided an enjoyable ten minute break from studying for the bar.

  77. guest says:

    Having performed about 20 jury trials and about 15 non-jury trials I can say that little things do make a big difference. Jurors pay attention to these things — for that matter so do judges. You and your client have to be on a special level of behavior for either kind of case. Also,, most “big firm” lawyers do not try cases. At a CLE about 3 years ago (on video) one of the “teachers” on a discovery themed CLE let it slipped that he had only tried about 3 cases including mediations and arbitrations. It sounded to me like he did about 0 trials. Likewise, most professors have no idea how the practice of law works.

  78. guest says:

    37 – Could you be any more of a pompous ass? Perhaps it is due to all that mighty “intellectual firepower” you possess that a firepower lacking minion like myself is unable to fathom how reasonable your comments are. I hope I never run into you at “like mock trial” or whatever, cuz you would totally like be like all better than me and like using your latin phrases to show me what a sickening professional/human being I am.
    And not to be a hater, but in response to #51, there is no logical fallacy in seeing that you are obviously a delusional jackass by likening anonymous commenting on ATL to how people act in a social setting. Furthermore, would it be substantively correct to assume that when a sophisticated higher being as yourself frequents a bar/club you hold your martini glass with an extended pinky finger and monocle? (Or do you have a butler hold it for you?)

  79. guest says:

    Lat = Roxana

  80. guest says:

    I love 37. People like that take the heat off the rest of us because every one focuses their hate on them.

  81. guest says:

    Reliance on the ultra-lame phrase “intellectual firepower” as crux of argument = Intellectual Mediocrity Win

  82. guest says:

    It reminds me of a Saturday Night Live Skit with a caveman, reminiscent of the movie “Nell”

  83. guest says:

    It reminds me of a Saturday Night Live Skit with a caveman, reminiscent of the movie “Nell”

  84. guest says:

    It reminds me of a Saturday Night Live Skit with a caveman, reminiscent of the movie “Nell”

  85. guest says:

    It reminds me of a Saturday Night Live Skit with a caveman, reminiscent of the movie “Nell”

  86. guest says:

    I wonder if there might be some sort of Saturday Night Live skit this is reminiscent of.

  87. guest says:

    Shoes totally matter. Once did a mock-jury survey and the number one comment was that one of the lawyer’s high heels were too high and distracting.

  88. guest says:

    Is it true that law students and attorneys with higher raw intelligence tend to self-select into transactional practice, and those with less raw intelligence into litigation practice? The cause would be two-fold: First, the probability of raw intelligence and trial-useful charisma being found in the same individual is less than the probability of raw intelligence alone being found in an individual, and therefore more raw intelligence people would choose transactional; Second, the probability of raw intelligence and trial-useful charisma being found in a particular student is higher than the probability of trial-useful charisma being found in a student. Therefore, people without raw intelligence disproportionately choose litigation.

  89. guest says:

    What firm did you summer at (or what locale at least)?

  90. guest says:

    90 – Brainpower tends to be higher in transactional. That’s just on average and obviously not true in every single instance.

  91. guest says:

    92 – what this brainpower you speak of? do you mean “intellectual firepower”?

  92. guest says:

    Seems Mr. Robb is trying to sock it to the jury.

  93. guest says:

    Moderators- If you are going to block any comments on this blog please blog 37. Id much rather read about asslobsters, racist spew or other nonsense than ridiculous assertions by idiotic, entitled law students who despite all the recent evidence that they are inconsequential, expendible morons who will be summarily deffered or terminiated still think they are relevant. Similar to the scene in Billy Madison, I actually feel dumber from reading that .

  94. guest says:

    #23 – I might have been amused by your ramblings if you had only bothered to spell check your typing. It is “wear” not “where”.

  95. guest says:

    90 = 37
    Jeez, your writing is terrible, man.

  96. guest says:

    Back in my prosecutor days, I used to wear shoes with holes in the toes and then wear colored socks so that the jury couldn’t fail to notice that being the “state” meant not getting paid enough to even buy new shoes. Never lost wearing those shoes.

  97. guest says:

    i only wear allen-edmonds park avenues when i’m arguing to the fat referee over warhammer rules disputes

  98. guest says:

    90: LSAT 175 -> DA’s office. I don’t think your generalization holds up.

  99. guest says:

    “The motion appears below. Our reaction to Bill Bone, filer of the motion: what a heel!
    This guy is a total Bone-head! Did he not have a sensible colleague who could talk him out of filing such a motion? Perhaps he is a sole practitioner?”

  100. guest says:

    Of course there are exceptions, but in the aggregate transactional attracts the smarter law graduates.

  101. guest says:

    56, I’d expect an “elite” student such yourself with such great “intellectual firepower” to know how to use “whom” correctly.

  102. guest says:

    I know a white collar criminal defense counsel that wears his hair a bit long and scruffy so that jurors will take pity on his “poor” client that couldn’t get attorney that can afford to get a good haircut on a regular basis.

  103. guest says:

    Shoe man won, then lost, 2.2M for his client when a mistrial was declared because of a newspaper article featuring the holey shoes.

  104. guest says:

    thanks for posting 105

  105. guest says:

    Plaintiff’s counsel must feel like an idiot.

  106. guest says:

    Let us hope this motion is given the boot!
    Rob Morgan, Cairns, Australia

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