Being late is the worst way to begin a court appearance. I always go to a courthouse I haven’t been to previously and I find where I’m going to park, what door I’m going to use and the courtroom I’m going to be in and the table where I’m going to work.
Don’t underestimate the time that court will take. Schedules shift and judges often have to hear emergency petitions. So, plan on spending more time in court so that you can finish your business. Dress professionally. No baseball caps or hats in court. I used to tell people to dress like they were going to church and still do although with some reservations.
I hate to say this, but I have seen many judges ask people to wait outside with their children if the children are unruly or what’s going on in court is more appropriate for adults. Turn your cell phone off or to silent mode.
You should not speak to the judge first. The court may call a docket and you should answer present. The judge is in control of his or her courtroom and that is a rule that will not be broken lightly. When you do address the court, try and say yes, Your Honor, or no, Your Honor to show respect for the court.
If you have evidence whether it’s photographs or documents, go over the evidence with your attorney first. Don’t just pull out a file full of papers or pictures without knowing why you have them. Remember that what happened to you seems as if it’s a fact, but only to you, because for the court or jury, your testimony is only evidence. Your lawyer can help you find and present evidence to support the issues in your case.
Remember that you’re always being observed in the courthouse whether it’s by a Sheriff’s Deputy, a clerk, the bailiff or the court’s court reporter. If you behave with a lack of respect towards those people, it will get back to the judge.
Court appearances are stressful because they are important. The more you work with your lawyer and understand your role and what you are to do, the less stressful it will be. Reach out to a personal injury lawyer.
Buckle up, drive safely, and as always, your referrals are appreciated! 256-764-0112