Advice for Court Appearances
The following are recommendations that we make to clients making any court appearance:
- Please dress appropriately. In general, we prefer people to wear their “Sunday best”. Men do not have to wear suits, dress slacks and shirt are acceptance. Women should not wear excessive jewelry or make up.
- Make sure you review your case file, particularly any response to discovery, as well as the pleadings (petitions, motions and orders).
- Please bring a copy of the entire file of your case to any court appearance.
- Bring a friend or someone that you trust and feel comfortable with so that they can provide emotional support.
- When you are on the stand testifying never argue with opposing counsel. Use the utmost politeness, without any sarcasm or raising of your voice.
- Never ask questions. It is your role to answer questions. Make no editorial comments.
- Do not respond beyond what has been asked or offer any other responses.
- If you do not know the exact answer state that it is only an estimate.
- If you do not remember something, say you do not remember.
- If the Judge speaks, be silent and listen carefully.
- Do not talk to me during the trial, as I need to hear everything that goes on. You may write anything down and I will turn to you before proceeding at any time so that we can discuss your comments, concerns and questions.
- If there is an objection raised be silent until the objection is heard and the judge decides.
- Always answer truthfully, no matter what the question is, unless I object.
- Remember the judge is watching you at all times and may misunderstand your behavior, so have a calm exterior regardless of what you may be feeling; do not act agitated in any way or make any hand gestures or facial gestures whatsoever.