Dallas lawyer says he was kicked out of court over shorts - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Dallas lawyer says he was kicked out of court over shorts

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A criminal defense attorney is asking to have a judge thrown off his case because he says the judge doesn't like the way he's dressing and she's punishing his client for it.

The attorney, James Lee Bright, says he was kicked out of court and discriminated against because he wasn't wearing pants.

Bright says he showed up to county criminal court to represent a client who was getting a weapons charge dismissed in front of Judge Etta Mullin.

He says it should have been a routine matter that would have had him in and out of court in a couple of minutes.

"We were actually trying to help this judge by moving a case as quickly as possible off of her jail chain," said Bright.

But he wasn't allowed inside her courtroom Friday nor on Monday, because he says the judge objected to him wearing a pair of shorts that he says he needs to wear because he had knee surgery two weeks ago.

"I have tubes that come out of my leg that make it prohibitive to wear [pants]," said Mullin. "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 Mullin refused to even discuss it.

"She refused to allow us to have our client even brought out," said Bright.

Fellow attorneys call it discrimination against the disabled.

"There's a good reason he's not wearing pants, and that's the knee surgery that he had," said attorney David Finn. "He's following the doctor's orders; he's got a handicap parking permit, and right now he's temporarily handicapped."

Bright says meanwhile his client sits in jail, paying the price.

"She is denying him fair hearings under the Sixth Amendment by holding my physical condition against me so that I'm unable to practice in her court correctly," said Bright.

Judge Mullin issued a response 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."

Bright said he's looking into provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act to see if it covers his predicament.

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