December 16, 2021

When you have to appear in court, it is important to follow several rules of courtroom etiquette which we will list below. The judge hearing your case has control in the courtroom and may make all decisions in your case. You want to appear polite, respectful, and truthful.

  • Dress appropriately for your court appearance by dressing business conservatively. Men should wear a suit with dress shirt or nice slacks with a dress shirt and tie. Women should wear a conservative dress, business suit, or dress pants and a dress shirt. No revealing outfits, flip flops, extreme high heels, sunglasses or hats allowed. You want to dress your best without loud colors or lots of jewelry.
  • Come early for your hearing. Wait outside of the courtroom until you are called in. Turn your cell phone off or have it on silent, and refrain from using it while in the courthouse. 
  • You will go through security. Come early as there might be a line during peak times. Take off any metal objects before going through the metal detector. Leave guns, any weapons and tobacco in your car. Do not ever bring drugs into the courthouse.
  • Be respectful to anyone you encounter, you may be talking to a judge, lawyer or jury member. Listen to any instructions given by the bailiff or court attendant. Be quiet in the courtroom and pay attention.
  • Do not speak unless you are asked to speak. Address the judge by Your Honor if the judge asks you a question or asks you to speak. You should always stand when addressing the judge or court, unless directed otherwise. You may be asked to sit in a witness stand during questioning. Speak loudly and clearly in a polite tone when addressing the court. Answer clearly with just the information requested from you, do not over share or keep talking. Just answer and be quiet.
  • Control your emotions and temper at all times. Often the judge will give you a moment to control yourself but if you can not, your lawyer will have to ask for a recess and remove you from the courtroom. If you shout, become aggressive or use threatening body language the judge may hold you in contempt of court which will hurt your case as well. 
About the Author Francis Legal Team

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