On the fifth floor of the Franklin County Courthouse, one of the more conspicuous figures is a bailiff by the name of Stan Wilder. He’s a fine professional, and I’ve always enjoyed working in his courtroom. A few months ago, I had a teenage client who showed up for court dressed like a real gangsta, with low-hanging pants that would have fit Dumbo the elephant. As we entered the courtroom, Bailiff Wilder said to my client, “Tuck your shirt in and pull your pants up.”Mr. Wilder’s tone of voice and demeanor would have made a Marine drill instructor proud. The kid immediately pulled his pants up and tucked his shirt in. If Mr. Wilder told that kid to sit down, I doubt he would have stopped to look for a chair.
A few minutes later, after we’d resolved the kid’s case, I commented to Mr. Wilder that if that kid had someone like him at home, the kid would not be in court to begin with. I managed to get Mr. Wilder to crack a smile.