Federal Judge to Women Lawyers: Don’t Dress Like ‘An Ignorant Slut’

(33 comments)

Igor Derysh By
March 28, 2014

Federal Judge Richard Kopf, not surprisingly a George H.W. Bush appointee from Nebraska, wrote a blog post offering what he thought was valuable advice to female lawyers: “don’t dress like a slut.”

In his post, titled “On being a dirty old man and how young women lawyers dress” on his blog “Hercules and the Umpire: The Role of the Federal Trial Judge,” Kopf suggests women don’t wear clothes that would cause “the female law clerks to call you an ignorant slut behind your back.”

He says he has been “been a dirty old man ever since I was a very young man. Except, that is, when it comes to my daughters (and other young women that I care deeply about).” He cites a “very pretty female lawyer that sometimes practices in his courtroom. “She is brilliant, she writes well, she speaks eloquently, she is zealous but not overly so, she is always prepared, she treats others, including her opponents, with civility and respect, she wears very short skirts and shows lots of her ample chest. I especially appreciate the last two attributes.”

He notes a recent incident, writing “In a recent case involving this fine young lawyer every female law clerk in the building slipped in and out of the courtroom to observe her. I am not exaggerating. I later learned that word had gotten around about this lawyer’s dress. Acknowledging that the lawyer was really good, the consensus of the sisterhood was uniformly critical. “Unprofessional” was the word used most often. To a woman, the law clerks seethed and sneered. They were truly upset.”

He completes his post with three suggestions for female lawyers:

“1. You can’t win. Men are both pigs and prudes. Get over it.

2. It is not about you. That goes double when you are appearing in front of a jury.

3. Think about the female law clerks. If they are likely to label you, like Jane Curtin, an ignorant slut behind your back, tone it down.”

After catching some heat for his writings, Kopf replied “If, on balance, you think the post was harmful to the image of the federal judiciary and truly treated women as objects, I am very, very, very sorry for that, but I would ask you to pause and reread it. I hope you will find upon objective reflection that the mockery I make of myself and the hyperbole and somewhat mordant tone I employed, made a point worth considering.”

  • Robert Blakey

    Not surprisingly, the author of this piece started off with a condescending remark.

  • Susan Tague

    Dumbass prick

  • Sunny

    Its funny how he admits he is a pervert. He is right though don’t dress slutty in court. But I’m wondering if the woman was just dressed in flattering outfit he decided to make a big deal about it.

    • delahaya

      He was exaggerating for effect. His advice is sound. Don’t dress in a way that would cause female law clerks to disrespect you.

      • Sunny

        I know that’s why I said it was funny. I’m not disagreeing with him its just he could be exaggerating.

      • what

        If female law clerks feel that way, they should resign their positions.

  • cin507

    What a douche!

  • Vinnie Bertollini

    The facts cannot be denied by revisionists. Men and women are sexual creatures first and foremost. All the rest follows. Men are consciously or subconsciously always on the hunt and women are always preening for attraction. Of course there are exceptions but the basic law of nature prevails, no matter how the Left wants to make girly men instead of men!

    • Michael

      He’s a righty eunuch, like you.

  • delahaya

    So many women want it both ways – to dress like a slut for attention in the one hand, but to be taken seriously on the other. How about just dress seriously?

    • lsam53

      And what is dressing seriously to you? What if you simply have a curvy body??? The clothes that look “serious” on some women can look slutty as you say on another.

      Why are women judged by this nonsense???

      • pdw tAaOS

        Since you’re not smart enough to understand on your own, read my remark above.

  • njrhp

    the truth hurts…that’s why democrats lie all the time. a woman shows extreme cleavage for one reason….for men to look at. this judge is just telling it like it is.

  • Michael

    Your honor…you are an idiot.

  • Icomeanon

    So the problem with the judiciary, statistically, is that it is full of old white men, taught by older white men, etc., so they hold very archaic views and social norms (not to mention understandings of any recent changes in technological, business, or societal trends). Therefore, his opinion is both offensively phrased and outaded, not to mention shameful to the profession. Luckliy, the judiciary does change as judges “age out” and slightly more modern views ascend the bench, only one or so generations removed from those around them. That being said, their is a line of what constitutes professional dress, but to base it merely on gender and his prurient interest is one sided and embararassing, even if he tries to justify by the reaction of all the clerks.

  • Mr_Scorpio

    Did you know that the German word for “head” is “kopf?” Yep, this man truly is a Dick Head.

  • lsam53

    So…he is saying men are ignorant pigs therefore SHE needs to change her behavior and dress. Then he has the gall to blame it on his female support staff. OK, got it.
    Another judge from Liberty U?

  • pdw tAaOS

    We have a new generation of perhaps the stupidest women in history. They want to dress like a prostitute but not have the same consequences! Surely they’re not dumb enough to not know that a prostitute’s intention is to send a signal to a man? Surely they know they too are sending that same signal? If not, how come they are not aware of that? This is serious stuff here and we’re seeing female hypocrisy on a scale which has never been seen before.

    Girls, your mothers, grandmothers, great grandmas, etc, used wisdom in their attire, you don’t seem to have that wisdom. It’s time you grow up and understand the world in which you live and take responsibility for your own actions.

    • Nic

      Pdw as someone from “that generation” go suck it. ALL women I know dress appropriately for work. Having seen some of the trends from the 70, 80, and 90′s, that attire was absolutely hideous. Should we just wear big frumpy bags over our bodies just so men don’t realize we’re women?

      • pdw tAaOS

        So Nic, do you honestly think putting your body on display is the way to go? What goes on in your mind that you have a perverse desire to display your cleavage for all to look at? Or walk around 3/4 naked? Either you’re doing it with the intention of having your body parts to be seen with whatever consequences might befall, or ….. What? No other option falls to mind.

        • Nic

          Did you not read my post? My generation is not skanky, we’re professional. You just insulted a lot of women so screw off.

          • pdw tAaOS

            Nic, I firmly believe in professional attire for both men and women. Any garment that invites the eyes to be drawn to a certain uncovered body part is seldom professional. Any man or woman who is instructed to change their attire in order to look more professional should be grateful for the suggestion, if it comes from a reliable source. If they don’t listen, it’s a reflection on their own character and their motives and intentions should be questioned. This only makes good sense.

          • Nic

            You obviously don’t get why I think you’re an idiot. Here is your original post:

            “We have a new generation of perhaps the stupidest women in history. They want to dress like a prostitute but not have the same consequences! Surely they’re not dumb enough to not know that a prostitute’s intention is to send a signal to a man? Surely they know they too are sending that same signal? If not, how come they are not aware of that? This is serious stuff here and we’re seeing female hypocrisy on a scale which has never been seen before.”
            You’re a rude snob who just insulted an entire generation of women, claiming that we are all “stupid” and “dress like prostitutes” when that is not the case. You sound like a bitter old hag. I am a younger woman and I have many female friends who are professionals and do not dress provocatively at work. By the way, I see plenty of older women that dress inappropriately, either clothes that don’t fit or they are trying to look younger and get mens attention, but I’m not going to say that all middle-aged older women are stupid just because of a few bad apples!
            And lastly, you’re basing your snidness on this judge, who is obviously a pervert and has no filter. I can’t believe he’s a judge.

    • Thom Pickett

      1) Most of those women from the good old days probably fucked at some point too since everyone has a sexuality.
      2) If you’re unaware it is legal to attract people to yourself without sleeping with them, if that’s even their intention. Why guys work out and wear fitting clothes.
      3) If we quit judging women on how they dressed, prostitutes would probably be more scarce as men would likely get laid more. Not sure if this ones true, but I can think it.
      4) Plus if you haven’t ever been around a truck stop, a lot of prostitues dress like 90s soccer moms since they have little money and drug habits.
      You’re just kinda wrong.

  • Moral Majority

    They shouldn’t dress like ignorant C*NTS either.

    • ljpendragon

      The moral majority is neither.

      • Sutekh

        Does it even exist any more to criticize?

  • Nic

    What a sexist pig

  • ljpendragon

    Oh my goodness look at all the misogynist pecker heads on this thread. Tell ya what boys maybe you should just have us wear burkas so you can’t be blamed for ogling like a frickin neanderthal.

  • Scarlett

    Men have dressed appropriately for their career for many years.I don’t want a seductively dressed woman representing me .Wear a decent suit like the position calls for.The opinion of a jury ,looking at this woman you have used your judgement to hire,might just be swayed.Women need to tone it down because like he said,it’s not about you.I think these women must think they are really it-that’s not the place for it.I would dismiss and replace her .

  • NeverTrustPower

    Bush and sex…I’m surprised the story wasn’t about sex with boys.After all, G.H.W.Bush was mentioned in the Franklin Cover-up story.Bush was said to have an interest in “large”black boys.Paul Bonacci, a courageous victim,testified to this.The only part of the Franklin Cover-up that most people know is the connection to Barney Frank.Ironic that Frank is used to tag Democrats as deviants while this stuff with Bush was going on, isn’t it?

  • Suzy MacLean

    Obviously Bush did a litmus test to only hire sexists. Who cares about his knowledge of the law or civil procedure. We need to know if individuals appointed to the judiciary will admit on record that he’s a perv. And Nebraskans, well, don’t even get us started on them! They’re the most backward, most ignorant bunch of fly over state hillbillies in existence. Their values belong in the 1930′s. Only a Bush would appoint one because every other (intelligent) politician understands that the only valid or informed viewpoints useful for creating case law comes from New York and California.

  • Cinthea.rose

    Dude , I agree with him 1 00%. the only way you can control what someone thinks of you is by controlling what you present To them…and that bullshit about having a curvy body and everything apparently make you look like a slut? Really? I’ve had a curvy body since I hit puberty and no one calls me a slut. there’s a time and a place for everything if you want to have your boobs hanging out or your vagina showing from under your skirt go to the club after work. But while you’re at work look professional, women are only equal to men when they act it and When you flaunt yourself around showing all your assetslike a sexual object for attention….you’re the only one taking equality away from yourself. No one can respect you if you don’t at least look like you respect yourself.