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

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

    • Gina

      You mad thot?

  • 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.

        • SacJP

          and having only sexually atypical female law clerks would benefit society because???

        • Santana Che Guevara

          They don’t agree with you, so they need to resign, huh? Well I think you need to resign your job because you don’t agree with me. Make sense?

  • 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.

      • Jeff Simon

        Well, he’s certainly not a p*ssywhipped Beta-Male like you, Mikey. Anatomically, YOU better fit the description of eunuch. Now go rub your mistresse’s feet and ask her if you couldn’t please borrow your testicles back for a day.

        • http://reverbnation.com/jerryadams Jerry Adams

          Damn! Now you guys gonna make me Google “eunuch”, just to see what it means. lol

  • 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.

      • Jeff Simon

        Why don’t you ask the women who are doing the judging, Islam 53?

      • Shaeri

        For goodness sake, if your attire is best described as “sexy” it’s inappropriate for the office.

      • Shaeri

        If it looks slutty on you, change it. People judge on appearances — it’s why you wear your nicest clothes to a job interview.

  • 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.

    • rosethornne

      Or, because she lives in a hot climate and does not give a flying rusty frack what some mouthbreather thinks.

      • Santana Che Guevara

        So, if I wear a pair of bike shorts to court, or a midriff with tights and a codpiece, that’s going to be considered acceptable and professional, right?

        • Santana Che Guevara

          Maybe show up to court in a pair of speedos?

          • http://reverbnation.com/jerryadams Jerry Adams

            One day I am going to Google speedos just to what they are.

  • 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.

    • SacJP

      In case you hadn’t noticed the country was a whole lot better for the vast majority of Americans when these ‘archaic’ views (that are entirely consistent with modern evolutionary biology and with common sense) were the norm. You may applaud the ‘free for all’ we get nowadays but it’s really not much to celebrate.

    • Santana Che Guevara

      Perhaps he just hasn’t have a problem with male lawyers walking into his courtroom in skimpy clothing, and thus doesn’t feel the need to tell them not to?

      I can assure you that judges want males and females dressed appropriately in a courtroom. I’ve seen one guy kicked out of a courtroomfor wearing shorts, and another was charged with public indecency for having his underwear showing because his pants were down to the bottom of his butt cheeks.

  • 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?

    • SacJP

      He never said that men were ignorant. You’re putting words in his mouth…

      But to answer your question: yes, sometimes people need to make accomodations for others. The ingrained instincts of male heterosexuality are hardwired in our DNA, so yeah, get over it, because sometimes reasonable accomodations must be made.

      He put the ‘blame’ on the human condition, and demonstrated its applicability to both men and women with regard to the topic, so get off your high horse and work on your reading comprehension.

    • Santana Che Guevara

      He is saying to dress professionally. If a male lawyer walked into the courtroom with booty shorts on, he isn’t going to be practicing law for long. Maybe women need to understand that dressing professionally is as much a need for them as for men. A male lawyer in a hot climate is still going to be wearing a suit and jacket.

  • 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.

          • SacJP

            Yeah, the more recent generations are actually getting better… The insanity peaked in the 90s I think.

    • 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.

      • SacJP

        You just made 4 off topic points that are largely untrue and in any case have little or no bearing to the conversation at hand.

      • Gina

        Ok. Truck stops. Check. Do you have proof of anywhere else or are you just gonna use one example to top all others?

  • 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.

    • SacJP

      Wear what you want, but don’t be surprised or try to protest when heterosexual men behave like heterosexual men.

      • Gina

        Omg you are the real mvp. Preach.

  • 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.

    • BM

      “Women are only equal to men when they act it”? Actually, everyone is equal all of the time.

  • Ron Frazier

    A well written suggestion to a situation we have all witnessed at some point. The main point here is that women will judge each other more harshly based on the most superficial thing they can find wrong with the subject of their hate. My wife looks great and works out. She dresses very conservatively at work to avoid the slurs from the haters. So, now they insult how slender her waist looks in proportion to her ass. They whisper that she never eats and that she wears butt enhancing panties. None of it is true, of course, but haters will hate. All a woman can do is dress professionally and conservatively and let the hate flow over them and through them.

  • Norma Whitehead

    As a woman who was the first of my generation to be hired as an engineer, I fully understand and agree with what he is saying! If I had dressed as discribed, I would not have been taken seriously and not many women would have been hired behind me! This judge’s mistake was not following what the men in my organization have learned to do – back up and let the women address the situation. We will because behavior like that decreases the esteem and credibility of all the women in the field!
    Aside from that, I see nothing wrong with what the judge has said. I will go another step further and say I see the father coming out of this man – one that wants to gently correct an otherwise brilliant young woman.

  • Cynthia Ingraham

    If you are a lady you should not have to be told not to dress like trash. Really , use some common sense. And dress so people take you serious at your job.

  • rgeo

    Yes, not surprisingly a Bush appointee, because judges appointed by liberal politicians never, never bring any bias to the bench.

  • Jeff Simon

    A liberal appointee would not have spoken of an unpopular truth, Sunny Miller. Do not worry. You have nothing to fear. Only a genuinely attractive woman runs the risk of engaging the cattiness of her professional sisterhood. A hairy armpitted, gap toothed Feminazi like your Andrea Dworkin loving carcass has nothing to be concerned about.

  • http://reverbnation.com/jerryadams Jerry Adams

    Here is my very brief summation. The female law clarks are haters. And the judge, like he said, is a dirty old man. Any further questions?

  • Michael McGowan

    To paraphrase Fred G. Sanford: I’m gonna be a dirty old man until I’m a dead old man.

  • You Ain’t No Sanjaya

    Can’t wait for this generation to die.

  • Karen Kay Babineaux

    Sounds like you have a bunch of Jealous hags in your court house! You should be shamming them! Nothing more beautiful than a georgeous woman showing her wears. I’m not into women, but beauty is beauty man or woman and she deserves respect from your mear office workers and they should be disablined from you as a “Judge!” For Gossiping and desrepect of a professional lawyer! It’s not as if she is in her bra and panties in your court room? Mr.Judge! Now If she shows her private parts then call her up to your desk and ask her to dress more modestly in the court house that she is causing a stir with the other women!