TEMPORARY TATOO CONCEALMENT, AND THE PRACTICE OF LAW
Z, is to be conceived as a defendant accused of murder in a Florida state
court. In addition, each of them had
tattoos visible to ordinary observers. One of them, Y, has very controversial
tattoos, including “Fuck you” and a swastika plus a line of Frankenstein-like stitches down his face.
of cosmetic services to conceal them.
provided him by the relatives of the client, i.e., the accused.
cosmetologist at $ 100.00 a day.
artist. The press report does not say
whether Z could use the “X-option.”
all. The accused is trying to conceal an
important feature of who he really is, and it seems arguable to me that the
jury should actually see him. I can’t
imagine that there is a 5th Amendment right to conceal the “Fuck
You” locution you have stamped on your forehead.
makeup him/herself. (I am not trying to
guess whether the lawyer was male or female, though I certainly couldn’t do it,
nor can any of the men I know, granted that I am a bit of an introvert and may
simply have never had sufficiently intimate conversations with males to be in
the know.) In any case I wouldn’t do it; I’m sure I don’t know how, and I doubt
I would want to learn.
In any case, I feel certain that that this fact does not diminish my credentials as a capable
lawyer. Then again, maybe I’m wrong. I certainly had a duty to zealously pursue my client’s interests and to zealously advocate his case. Does the fiduciary level of loyalty require that I do a makeup job on him?
present something false to a tribunal., namely “who” he was. Lawyers are forbidden from doing this when it
is testimony (the hear-able) or documents (the readable). So isn’t there
something wrong about a lawyer helping a client conceal from the triers of fact
the actual physical appearance of the defendant.
was accused of the murder a Jew—say, a militant West Bank radical
sympathizer. Surely that particular
tattoo on X’s face would be relevant to some degree to determining something
relevant to the charge. The court is not
demanding that he say anything. It is simply requiring him to appear as he
and X had immediately had his tattoos removed somehow, other people or photos
could be used to create a picture of his frames of mind.
an accused present himself as he, as it were, really is. A man who persistently
walks nude in city parks should not be required to appear naked at trial. Quite
the opposite. That’s entirely different, though the possibilities for humor are
But what do we do about this one. The tatoo says “Judge Joan [the judge sitting in the case] gives great blog jobs” One is tempted to say, “That on has to go.” But exactly why?
Originally posted on 08/13/2015 @ 8:37 pm