Typically there are long months of motions, mediations and prep before two parties have their day in court. The date of the trial may seem far away at times, but it can creep up faster than expected. Odds are that the impending trial has your stomach in knots and your stress at the maximum level. Here are a few basic tips for your day in court.
Do not arrive late or miss your court date. Often people forget about the security checkpoints at the entrance of the courthouse. While it may not be as time-consuming as TSA courthouses have metal detectors and you may be searched if the security guards feel necessary. Allot time for the unexpected and plan to arrive at the courthouse at least an hour before your trial begins.
Dress appropriately. The courthouse is a place of business professional attire, always. Certain attire, such as swimsuits or t-shirts, is considered inappropriate. If you are in doubt as to whether something is appropriate for court contact your attorney’s office and a legal assistant will be happy to assist you with determining what is and is not appropriate attire.
Your conduct should match your attire. Just like certain attire is not appropriate for the courthouse so is certain behavior. Smoking is not permitted in the courthouse. While court is in session you should not talk, eat, whisper, chew gum or anything that may disturb the court proceedings. You want to make a positive impression with the courthouse staff and your behavior and conduct must remain professional and appropriate.
Do not bring your child to court. It is best if you find a babysitter or responsible adult to care for your child while you are in court. Small children are not permitted in the courtroom unless they are specifically needed for the case. Please plan ahead and leave your child in the care of a responsible adult.
TURN YOUR PHONE OFF. Texting, leaving to take a call or checking email while in the courtroom is inappropriate. It has the potential to disrupt the court proceedings if you are using a phone or electronic device while waiting for your case to come before the court. Using your phone during your trial may negatively impact the results of your case. We recommend that during your trial you turn your phone off and if you are waiting in a courtroom while another case is being tried keep your phone on silent, not vibrate.