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Are there rules on how to act when you see the judge of your case at like a grocery store?

Livermore, CA |

I am the plaintiff in a federal court action. I saw the judge for my case at a grocery store. He didn't see me, and I didn't know if it was proper to come up to him and say hello, since I'm not sure if that would be misconstrued as trying to gain his favor outside the court room. Are there rules or is there just proper ethics or decorum that must be followed in this kind of situation?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. If the circumstances force you into the kind of contact that makes it awkward not to react, a simple momentary nondescript nod and half-smile will suffice. No talk. No "watching." Avoid the need for even the nod if possible. Do not be surprised if the judge does not appear to recognize you and does not react.

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  2. Accord the judge the same politeness, distance and anonymity you would show to any other stranger, and expect the same.