No matter the reason, going to court can be an intimidating experience, especially if it’s your first time in the courtroom. But wouldn’t it be easier if you knew exactly how to prepare for court hearings? Well, for those of you who are stressed about going to court, here are some tips for success in the courtroom. Let’s take a look!
Seek Legal Advice
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Get the Case Papers Organized
Organize all documents that may be relevant to the court case and don’t forget to take them to court with you. Be sure you bring a copy for you, a copy for the other side, and a copy for the court in case there is something you want to show the court.
Before you attend a hearing, it’s a good idea to brainstorm questions the judge is likely to ask, and have answers to those questions. Also, practice with your attorney what you will say to the court.
Don’t Be Late
You’ve probably heard this one a million times, but I’ll say it anyway: Don’t be late for court. Always leave extra early to get there on time, otherwise, you will lose the respect of the judge and courtroom, and show disrespect to the court proceedings.
‘‘Better three hours too soon than a minute too late’’, – William Shakespeare
Make Notes During Court Hearings
Don’t forget to make notes during the court hearing. No matter how good your memory, pay close attention to all testimony, take notes during your trial and record anything you agree or disagree with, or want to discuss with your lawyer later.
Act Appropriately in the Courtroom
Here’s the awful truth: You never get a second chance to make a good first impression. Thus, it’s crucially important to be on your best behavior and act appropriately in the courtroom. Below are some of the things you should do (and not do) in the courtroom:
- Rise immediately when the judge enters or leaves.
- Address the judge and court with respect (remember to call the judge “Your Honor”)
- Never EVER interrupt (know when to shut up)
- Be calm, patient, and polite
- Don’t wear a hat or sunglasses in the courtroom
- Never chew gum, talk on a cell phone, take pictures, or carry a weapon in the courtroom.
Keeping these tips in mind will definitely make your court experience less stressful, and help you make the right impression in the courtroom.