Lawyer says judge discriminated against him for not wearing pants in her courtroom

Will Lerner
Odd NewsApril 15, 2014

James Lee Bright is a lawyer based in Dallas, Texas. The criminal law attorney says that Judge Etta Mullin discriminated against him because he wasn’t wearing pants in her courtroom and that she’s punishing his client for it. Now, as KDFW FOX 4 News reports, Mr. Bright is asking to have Judge Mullin removed from his case.

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This whole matter started last week when Judge Mullin refused to let Bright inside her courtroom for wearing shorts instead of pants. He was not allowed in the courtroom the following Monday either. Mr. Bright isn’t wearing shorts because he particularly wants to, but rather, because he needs to. He got knee surgery two weeks ago, and as he told KDFW, “I have tubes that come out of my leg that make it prohibitive to wear [pants]. This connects to my ice machine…that is a way of taking down the swelling in my leg. I'm also incapable of putting on long pants by myself.” Bright says that Judge Mullin refused to hear him out, and now he’s crying foul.

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Other attorneys think Bright is in the right. David Finn, a criminal law attorney also based in Dallas, told KDFW, “There’s a good reason that he’s not wearing pants, and that’s the knee surgery that he had, and he’s following the doctor’s orders. He’s got a handicap-parking permit. I mean, right now, he’s temporarily handicapped. It’s the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – it’s black letter law.”

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Bright is looking into the ADA to see if it “covers his predicament.” In the meantime, he’s displeased that his client isn’t getting his day in court because of the shorts he has to wear. He told KDFW, “[Judge Mullin] is denying him fair hearings under the Sixth Amendment and holding my physical condition against me, so that I'm unable to practice in her court currently." Judge Mullin issued a response to KDFW saying, “I can't comment on any pending matters out of this court because the attorney involved has filed a motion to recuse and the law doesn't allow me to take any further action on this matter.”

More info: KDFW