Should I cover up my tattoos and shave my beard prior to personal injury trial?

Q.  I went to a local Sacramento Injury attorney because of a serious injury accident. That attorney had the nerve to suggest that I cover up my tattoos and shave my beard prior to trial. Should I fire him and get someone more open to handle my case?

A. This is a great question and the answer is one you’ll need to decide for yourself. Your attorney has an obligation to let you know factors in your personal life that may affect the way a jury perceives you. It would be nice if a jury treated everyone the same, but experienced trial lawyers know that juries as well as judges and attorneys have their own biases. A good attorney will let you know those biases and that they may be a factor in the amount of money a jury gives you.


Truth is, except for young people, many older jurors and not comfortable with people with extensive tattoos or even people with beards or other facial hair.

Jurors also judge people by their personal grooming and clothing as they come to court. Some jurors ding injured parties that smoke reasoning that they don’t take care of their own health, so why should the jury care.

An experienced attorney has the obligation to let you know to the best of his or her ability, the way the judge or jury may perceive you and the way that might impact your case.

Often, attorneys  have extensive personal experience with judges or jurors and sometimes they do jury research on factors that can influence a verdict.

It is fairly easy to get a handle on many issues via Online Public Opinion polls on an issue but sometimes a jury consultant will also be used.

Ultimately, it is up to you, the client, to decide if and how you’d like to alter your appearance.  If you are comfortable with a beard before a jury and research indicates that that might cost you an extra $50,000 on your case, then you have a decision to make.
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