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What You May Not Know About Courtroom Etiquette

As attorneys at law, our position consists of providing the facts pertaining to each individual case. But knowing facts and law is only the beginning to becoming a good attorney. There are certain procedures that attorneys have to abide by in the courtroom. Having proper etiquette within the courtroom can determine whether or not the judge decides to rule in your favor. Talk, dress, presentation, behavior, and organization are all major factors that need to be considered when in preparation for a case.

Preparation is key to the way you deliver your case in the courtroom.

  1. 1. Your appearance says more than you know.
    • The first impression is extremely important. The judge will notice your appearance before anything else.
    • Dress in professional attire: men in a suit and tie, and women in a suit or dress.
    • Grooming is also important to your appearance. Men should be clean-shaven or have trimmed and neat facial hair.
  1. 2. Being early is better than being late.
    • Always arrive early to your case with your appearance slips.
    • Allow for flexibility in your schedule. Prepare for the unexpected; traffic and weather are important to take into account.
    • Late arrival is disrespectful and will reflect poorly upon your performance.
  1. 3. Be ready.
    • Know your facts and develop a strategy.
    • Have your supplies and papers in order, and ready to turn in.
    • Be alert and close by for the call of your case.
Photo by Mdesigns / CC0

Photo by Mdesigns / CC0

The presentation of your case means everything.

  1. 1. Be organized.
    • Negligence of preparation is frowned upon in the courtroom and considered to be insulting.
    • A judge may rule unfavorably to your case if you appear to be disconnected and disorderly.
  1. 2. Act appropriately.
    • Be quiet upon entering the courtroom.
    • Act ethically and responsibly for the duration of your attendance.
    • Do not use your cell phone.
    • Do not eat food or chew gum.
  1. 3. The judge represents the law.
    • Stand immediately when the judge enters or leaves the courtroom.
    • Bow to the judge and do not take your seat until the judge does so.
    • Refer to the judge as “Your Honor” or “The Court.”
    • Always ask to approach the bench and never speak over the judge.
    • Present your arguments to the judge but do not ever argue with the judge.
    • The judge is the ultimate authority in the courtroom.

We know that there are a lot of different rules and procedures to abide by when in the courtroom. Our attorneys have been trained to follow proper etiquette. You can rest, assured that the attorneys at Kelly & West will represent you with the utmost professionalism.

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