Breaking News! That’s Inappropriate!

I interrupt my regularly scheduled post to bring this breaking news! No worries, Man POWER Monday will return next week.

As a criminal defense attorney it is my job to present my client in the best light possible to a jury and a Judge. If anyone has ever told you that what you look like and what you say as a defendant is not important please know that they were WRONG!!! While your attorney may possess Johnnie Cochran skills, if you are not dressed, and you do not present like OJ, you are making your attorney’s job more difficult. It seems that people would naturally consider presentation when they realize the people they are before hold their freedom in their hand. Because this simple mental connection is being missed more than I care to admit, I felt compelled to interrupt Man POWER Monday in order to provide some much needed information.

After consulting with colleagues and Judges I compiled this list as a simple guide to INAPPROPRIATE COURT CONDUCT! Please read carefully and share with a friend!


Weed T-Shirts– I cannot tell you the number of times that I have watched a person saunter to the front of the court to enter a plea for possession of marijuana, or some other drug, while rocking their latest Weed T-Shirt. Really? Are you consuming so much weed that your brain cells have been diminished to the point where you cannot recognize on your own how inappropriate that is?


Al Capone Holding a Gun – The same goes for all of you Godfather fans! Please leave the “Al Capone grasping his machine gun” shirt for the days that you are sitting on the front porch with your friends illegally smoking weed. A Judge, while he or she may be a Godfather fan as well, is not giving you brownie points for your extreme loyalty to the Godfather when she, or he, is deciding whether or not to send you to prison for that gun charge you just pled too.


Bonnets – I don’t know where to begin on this subject because I cannot even understand on a basic level why anyone would want to be seen anywhere in public with a bonnet on their head. I’m sorry. I just can’t appreciate that. But, my level of confusion is heightened by women that come to court with bonnets on, and,  get offended when a female judge makes them remove the bonnet immediately upon stepping foot in her courtroom. It is as if they are expecting some sisterhood solidarity when they see a female judge on the bench. The reality is, she is probably going to throw your a$! in jail for making us all look bad by coming out in public with your bonnet on.


Bedroom Slippers – I have no words… JUST DON’T! INAPPROPRIATE!

Stockings for Leggings – Opaque Tights or Jet Black Stockings are not leggings! Plain and Simple! If the packaging does not say leggings, they are not leggings! I am tired of seeing you standing in front of a judge looking crazy because everyone can see your bright white underwear under those black opaque tights you tried to pass as leggings. STOP! INAPPROPRIATE!


Here are a couple of phrases that we defense attorneys would love for our clients to refrain from using while they are testifying or speaking to a Judge:

“Ya Know What I Mean” – No, they don’t know what you mean. That is why we are asking the questions that we are asking.

“And Boom” – Boom what?

“This that and a 1/3”– What the hell does this mean?

“Possession is 9/10ths of the law”– When we hear this term we know that you have been consulting with the jail house lawyers. More than likely this defense did not work for them either. That is why they are in jail with you.

“Judge Your Honor”– It is either “Judge” or “Your Honor”. They are to be used interchangeably, not simultaneously.


Your weed cover-up spray is not working – We know that you smoked weed on your way to court that morning because we smell it on you. We simply pray that everyone else will ignore it like us.

Do not tell the Judge that you will be paying restitution with your school refund check. Chances are that Judges children do not get college refunds or any financial aid because he/she is a Judge. Therefore, they are not going to look favorable on you misusing government money.

If the Judge asks you if you have anything to say and your attorney kicks you under the table, the only thing that should be coming out of your mouth is “no sir or no ma’am”.

Much love,


Published by Tonza D. Ruffin

Perfectly Imperfect but VERY PROUD WOMAN, MOM, LAWYER, and AUTHOR, but most importantly...LIFE LOVER! I laugh loud, I work hard, I play hard, I am adventurous, I am curious, I am driven, I have moments of deep insecurity, I am loving, I am vulnerable, I am explosive (not one of my finer qualities), I dance around my house alone, I am an awful perfectionist which makes my insecurity worse, I sing out loud in my car without any concern for whose watching, I have trust issues, I do not live through my children, I no longer try to force my children into the mold that I created so that I could feel validated as a mother, I am a risk-taker, I am guarded in my personal life, I am kind, I am grateful. I am so excited about the rest of my life!

7 thoughts on “Breaking News! That’s Inappropriate!

  1. You should sell that article in bound paperback and watch it become a best seller. Everything you said was the gods honest truth.

    1. I wish I could get this information into the hands of the teenagers and young adults that I know. Invaluable, to say the least!

  2. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! People need to understand that they must be able to function in a different bubble than the bubble they are use to and where these behaviors are considered okay. What you have said can also apply for all social activities…job interviews, parent/student meetings, working on a job, etc.. and add to your list…sagging!

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