And now, another entry in our ongoing series on courtroom etiquette. Today, we're talking about when, as a criminal defendant, it is and is not appropriate to slap your lawyer on the butt. Take notes!
Situations in which it is appropriate to slap your lawyer on the butt:
- to kill or dislodge a mosquito that has landed there;
- if he makes a great shot for the rec-league basketball team on which you both play;
- as consenting adults in the privacy of your own home.
Situations in which is it not appropriate to slap your lawyer on the butt:
- when you are former NFL wideout Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson, in court on probation violation charges, and you are facing a stern, humorless judge who is in no mood for your stupid antics;
- when a handshake or a thank-you card is clearly what the judge meant when she said, "You better thank your lawyer. He did a great job for you" by brokering a plea bargain that will keep you out of jail;
- when a lighthearted butt-slap might upset said judge by making her think you're not taking the case seriously, and prompt her to reject said plea deal and instead sentence you to 30 days in jail.
Defendants: Don’t do what Chad Johnson did. When in a courtroom, maintain a sober, respectful demeanor at all times. If you must slap somebody’s ass, slap your own, in the courthouse bathroom, instead of slapping your lawyer’s in front of a judge who will hate you for it.
This has been another installment in our ongoing series on courtroom etiquette. Class dismissed!
TODAY IN SLATE
Slate Plus Early Read: The Self-Made Man
The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.
Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.
Mitt Romney May Be Weighing a 2016 Run. That Would Be a Big Mistake.
Amazing Photos From Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution
Transparent Is the Fall’s Only Great New Show
Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada
Now, journalists can't even say her name.
Lena Dunham, the Book
More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.