Things the curious need to know for Swift’s trial
No, you can’t wear a Taylor Swift shirt at the pop star’s civil trial next week. And you should leave your phone at home, too.
Swift is set to appear in court next week as her lawyers battle with those of a former Denver radio host who is suing the singer, alleging that he was wrongly fired and banned from future Swift concerts on false claims that he groped the singer during a meet-andgreet before her 2013 concert at the Pepsi Center. Swift is countersuing the host, David Mueller, claiming assault and battery.
The case has already drawn outsized attention and court officials are expecting large crowds of people, each elbowing to get a spot inside the small hearing room. But U.S. District Court clerk Jeffrey Colwell was clear during a media briefing Thursday: This is a federal court case, not a concert. Behave accordingly.
The court has a list of rules that people need to follow if they hope to watch the nine-day legal drama — which Colwell warned will likely be far more dry than what “Law & Order” fans are used to.
Here’s what you need to know:
•Morning and afternoon passes will be available daily. There are no full-day passes. Thirty-two people will be able to sit in the courtroom, 75 will be seated in an overflow room watching on closed-circuit television.
•Passes are free and will be distributed on a firstcome, first-serve basis. There will be a clearly marked line in front of the Alfred A. Arraj Courthouse at 901 19th St. People are allowed to line up starting at 6 a.m. daily beginning Tuesday. Passes will be distributed at 7 a.m. If you come in the morning and receive an afternoon pass, return at 11:30 a.m. to line up again.
• If you are allowed into the courtroom, you’re stuck there. People are not allowed to come and go. The trial should start every morning around 8:45 a.m., break for lunch for an hour, and end at about 5 p.m. There will be two 20-minute breaks.
•Clothing or buttons with messages that address the issue or contain the name or likeness of the parties are not allowed. There’s a blanket ban on banners, signs and posters in the courthouse.
•Passholders are not allowed to bring in phones, laptops or tablets. The court suggests that people do not bring phones at all, but there will be an opportunity to check them at security.
•There is absolutely no photography or recording allowed inside the courthouse. And that means no selfies in the courtroom.
•The trial begins Monday but that morning will be closed to the public as jurors are assembled. The overflow room will open Monday afternoon if you want to watch lawyers for both sides ask potential jurors questions. (People can line up Monday at 11 a.m. for passes.)
•Swift and Mueller may be in court on Monday, but they are not required to appear until Tuesday. Opening statements are expected to begin Tuesday.