Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The middle finger controversy...

Our fingers communicate so much:
  • Thumbs up - Good!
  • Thumbs down - Bad!
  • Index finger - One minute/second!
  • Index and middle finger together - Peace bro!
When accompanied by an index finger, the middle finger conveys a message of harmony but the middle finger on its own conveys quite a different message.

A teenager in Florida might have heard that flipping off cops was legal and thought it would be a good idea to throw courtroom decorum out the window when she decided to taunt a judge with her middle finger and an "F" bomb.  The teenager was appearing for a bond hearing before the judge; the arrest affidavit explained that the teenager told police she had crashed her bike and was high on Xanax bars.  For more details of the lively exchange including a video of the proceedings, visit here.

Unlike this irreverent teenager, you might find yourself intimidated when you begin appearing in court.  If you find yourself uncomfortable, visit our research guide on judicial humor as a reminder that judges are people too.  Just nerdier.  It may seem unlikely now but at some point in your career, you will find yourself very comfortable in the courtroom.  When this happens, keep in mind that even though this isn't specifically addressed in the Rules of Professional Conduct, under no circumstances should you wave your middle finger at the judge or drop an "F" bomb.  Peace bro!

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