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Judge tells lawyers to get out of bed and get dressed for Zoom hearings

Dennis Bailey made the plea in a letter to lawyers in Broward County, Florida.

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(Dominic Lipinski/PA)

(Dominic Lipinski/PA)

(Dominic Lipinski/PA)

A Florida judge has one request for lawyers showing up for court hearings over Zoom video conferencing app – get out of bed and put on some clothes.

Broward Circuit Judge Dennis Bailey made the plea in a letter published by the Weston Bar Association, news outlets reported.

“It is remarkable how many ATTORNEYS appear inappropriately on camera,” Judge Bailey said in the letter. “One male lawyer appeared shirtless and one female attorney appeared still in bed, still under the covers.”

He is not making any exceptions for lawyers lounging in the Florida sunshine either, writing: “Putting on a beach cover-up won’t cover up you’re poolside in a bathing suit.”

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Broward Circuit Judge Dennis Bailey (Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun Sentinel/AP

Broward Circuit Judge Dennis Bailey (Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun Sentinel/AP

AP/PA Images

Broward Circuit Judge Dennis Bailey (Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun Sentinel/AP

Since courthouses shut down on March 16 to help slow the coronavirus pandemic, Broward County’s judicial system has held about 1,200 Zoom meetings involving 14,000 participants, WPLG-TV reported.

Judge Bailey, for one, said he will not hold a complicated trial over the video conferencing site, given the technology’s shortcomings.

“Often, lawyers are not looking at their screens but down at their files, their outlines and notes, or simply out the window, and cannot see the judge is hollering ‘Stop! Stop!’ because an objection has been made and the audio stays with the witness rather than obeying the judge,” he said.

PA