Basics of Courtroom Etiquette

For people who are contemplating to participate in courtroom proceeding should know how proper represent themselves. There are suggestions that can help people to perform well in courtroom. As an example, it is important for people to dress properly for court. Men should wear tie and dress shirt. The best thing to do is wear what the attorneys and courtroom officials are wearing. Women should wear appropriate business suits. When the judge leave or enter the room, everyone should stand up. Attendees are allowed to sit down after the sits down. When addressing the judge or objecting to what the other party is saying, it is important to stand up.

Smartphones should be put into Airplane Mode, or at least silenced with the vibration mode disabled to avoid unwanted rattling noise, when it’s put on the table. People are allowed to reply to text message or phone call only by the court’s permission. Newspaper and magazines shouldn’t be read in the courtroom, except when the court isn’t in session. Ex parte communications may need to be avoided. It means that it is not allowed to talk with the judge about the case, without the presence of the opposing party. Ex parte communication may be allowed in some occasions, as an example, if evidences could be destroyed if the other party finds out.

Judges should be addressed as “Your Honor” and when the court isn’t in session, it’s acceptable to refer the judge with “Judge”. There shouldn’t be a discussion between parties while the court is in session. Anything that needs to be conveyed to the other party should be through the judge. When submitting documents as evidences, enough copies should be made, so the other attorneys and jurors could also get them. Any document submitted can be inspected by the other party and objections can be made. The rules of hearsay should also be kept in mind. It is not allowed to repeat what others have said. Hearsay may apply to documents, except when there’s an affidavit about that.

In any situation, emotions should be kept under control. Don’t laugh and it isn’t even allowed to smile when the judge is admonishing the other party. Inappropriate or unusual eye contacts could be cause a person to get in trouble with the judge. Regardless of what happen, people are expected to have serious poker face when they are in court. The easiest way is to mimic the judge’s facial expression, no matter what happens. The judge and jurors appreciate attorneys, witnesses and other parties who can remain emotionless.

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