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NY Woman Disrobes in Court, Somehow Avoids Contempt

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on October 25, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

What would you do if your client came to her hearing simply to strip in court?

For most attorneys, the first thing they'd do is to pray that the judge doesn't slap their client with a contempt charge.

That's probably what Holly Van Voast's attorney wished for when his client, a staunch public nudity advocate, disrobed in the middle of a hearing in New York City.

And his wish came true.

Van Voast was in court on a summons for disrobing in Grand Central Terminal. She'd previously stripped down in Times Square and the Staten Island Ferry.

Her attorney, Franklin Schwartz, is 89 years old. He was probably caught completely unaware.

Van Voast decided to bare her top in court in an effort to champion her cause. She seeks acceptance of public nudity. That's why she's had many topless escapades around public locations in New York.

Luckily for Van Voast and her attorney, the presiding judge offered an olive branch. Apologize and the judge said she'd consider not filing a complaint against the nudity advocate, according to The New York Times.

Van Voast begrudgingly noted that her behavior in the courtroom was "out of line."

Perhaps this was a convoluted way to say "I'm sorry?" Well if it was, it worked. The judge accepted the statement as an apology. Van Voast's case was adjourned during the contemplation of dismissal.

What did her lawyer think? The 89-year-old mentioned that he'd never seen anything quite like Van Voast's "show" in his 62 years of being an attorney.

What do you think - if a woman strips in court, would this be the most shocking thing you've seen during your years practicing law?

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