When the gavel falls and one hears “All rise,” it is too late to prepare. Making sure that you are well prepared for your day in court is a proactive process. Making sure that one puts their best foot forward can help to positively impact the chances of a successful outcome.
Whether it is a hearing or a trial, courtroom etiquette is basically the same. Different social settings call for a different mindset. When entering the courtroom, one should be educated on what is expected in terms of appearance, behavior and other etiquette issues.
Way to prepare for your day in court
Just like showing up to a job interview ill-prepared will not likely achieve the results you want, a courtroom is similar. Here are some basic courtroom etiquette rules to know:
- Punctuality: Being late to your court date will not help your case. It is important to be on time or even early.
- Attire: Floridians enjoy a laid-back lifestyle that makes wearing shorts and sandals completely normal. However, the court calls for being dressed for success. Wear your best professional or business clothes.
- Eating or drinking: Courtrooms do not allow food or drinks to be brought into the legal arena. This includes chewing gum.
- Language: The use of slang, profanity or rudely interrupting anyone while they are talking is frowned upon. Outbursts may make for good entertainment on TV court dramas, but they will not likely help your case.
- Cellphones: Be sure to put your cellular devices on “airplane mode” while in the courtroom. An unexpected phone call or text message notification will not make the judge happy.
- Addressing the judge: When talking directly to the judge it is customary to call them “your honor.”
The legal system can be viewed by many as being overly formal or old-fashioned. However, if one is going to be successful in their case, then playing by the rules is required.
When preparing for your day in court, having professional guidance that is experienced in the Florida legal process can give the extra advantage that is needed.