Lohan needs to "play by the rules" to show the court she's remorseful, says a seasoned jury consultant

By Howard Breuer Sara Hammel
March 10, 2011 05:55 PM
David McNew/Pool/Sipa

While many have been entertained by Lindsay Lohan‘s sexy courtroom fashions, court officials may be less enthused, an expert tells PEOPLE.

“Clearly the tightness of the attire and shortness of dresses she’s had, and her little [finger] nail faux pas when she had F-you on her nails – all of those don’t get missed by anybody in a courtroom, and particularly a judge,” Jo-Ellan Dimitrius, a jury consultant who has worked on many high-profile cases, including those of Rodney King and O.J. Simpson, tells PEOPLE.

“I’ve done a lot of cases involving celebrities, and celebrities can get by with a little more than you or I in a courtroom, but she’s gone way past that,” Dimitrius says of Lohan. “She has demonstrated no remorse and no respect for the court.”

In fact, Dimitrius says these choices could spell trouble for the actress, 24, who was given until March 25 to accept a plea deal in her necklace theft case during Thursday’s court hearing, for which she donned a second-skin taupe dress.

Dimitrius’s advice to Lohan: Be more conservative with the image she projects to the judge and to a future jury that might ultimately be chosen in her case. “I would tell her to get … a suit that was not as form-fitting or as short,” advises Dimitrius. “I would suggest a French manicure.”

As for the type of suit Lohan should wear, “It doesn’t have to be black. It can be a suit that has a little color in it,” says Dimitrius, who has advised many defendants, litigants and witnesses how to dress for court. “I would suggest a skirt suit – other people out there might suggest a pant suit, but our courtroom research suggests people have more respect for skirt suits.”

Doing so could go a long way with a judge, she says: “Somebody who is remorseful is going to want to play by the rules of the courtroom.”

To Dimitirus, though, there’s one other glaring issue: Lohan shouldn’t need her advice.

“She dresses for roles she might play so, for goodness sakes, why can’t she realize the respect she needs to show in the courtroom and dress as such? To me, it’s all about common sense – and clearly this girl has no common sense.”

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