Often I am asked “what do I wear?” or “is there anything that I need to know about going to Court?” Below are tips for attending Court that I find rather useful.
1. Dress appropriately. It is not necessary to wear a suit or formal outfit to Court. Wear an outfit that you might wear to a job interview, religious service or the like. Be clean and comfortable.
2. Address the Court properly. If you speak to the Court, speak clearly, use words (not gestures) and speak in an appropriate volume. Refer to the Judge as “Your Honor.” Do not speak to, or argue with, the opposing party while before the Judge. Direct all of your words to the Court. No matter what is said, or what the outcome, never display a bad attitude or behavior.
3. Leave your children home. Regardless of which Court you attend, your children do not belong there. Subject matter in Court is often not appropriate for children. You may have to leave the court room with your child/children or leave them outside the courtroom unsupervised when you are before the Court.
4. Observe Court Etiquette. Arrive on time and check in where directed. Stand when the Judge enters and exits the courtroom. Do not speak, read, use your phone or sleep while court is in session. Food or drink should never be taken into the courtroom even if you plan to be there for an extended time.
5. Respect Others and the Court. If you arrive early and with others, do not have conversations while waiting. The whispering is not only distracting to those around you but it is disrespectful to the ones who are currently speaking in front of the Court.