Cross-Dressing Lawyer Held in Contempt, Quits Practicing Law, Then Changes Mind

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Last year I reported on Dr. Rob Moodie’s heroic struggle against the "male-dominated corruption" that allegedly dominates the New Zealand judicial system, a struggle he has carried out in part by dressing as a woman in court to show his distrust of the controlling male ethos.  "I will now, as a lawyer, be wearing women’s clothing," he said then.  "The deeper the coverup, the prettier the frocks."  He also said that he would prefer to be called "Miss Alice" in court.


Here we see him turning heads at the High Court in Wellington last July.  Dr. Moodie was appearing then to answer contempt charges, not based on the dress code but rather on his unauthorized publication of confidential documents.  Dr. Moodie believes the documents prove his claim that the army, not his clients, was responsible for a mysterious 1994 bridge collapse that killed a beekeeper.


The coverup had apparently become much deeper by January 30 of this year, when Dr. Moodie again appeared at the High Court, this time in full Alice-in-Wonderland mode.  According the Boston Globe’s report, by this time Dr. Moodie had officially changed his name to "Miss Alice," but the reports from New Zealand did not mention a legal name change.

Last week, the High Court found Dr. Moodie in contempt of court for circulating the documents.  It suspended him for three months and fined him $5000.  After the ruling was announced, Dr. Moodie declared that he would no longer practice law at all, nor would he continue to wear dresses, because he no longer needed to appear "in a 19th-century Alice-in-Wonderland environment that allows pomp, self-importance and deference to the court to eclipse the truth."

After talking that over with his wife, though, he changed his mind.  "Sue made it clear yesterday that she wants me to carry on," he said.  His clients, Keith and Margaret Berryman, said they were not concerned, either, and were still "very positive."  Their case will continue later this year after Dr. Moodie’s three-month suspension is up.  He says he will continue to wear dresses, but probably not the Alice outfit.  "I am hoping I’m past Wonderland," he told reporters.  To be honest, I’m hoping he’s not.

Link: Boston Globe
Link: New Zealand Dominion Post