Have Court? Here are Some Pre-Court Tips
I was reminded today that we as attorneys sometimes lose perceptive when handling our clients cases. We do this day in and day out and for the most part your case presents nothing for us to be nervous about. We've handled similar situations dozens, if not hundreds of times.
So here is some free advice to calm your pre-court jitters:
- You can't control what the other person says so just be quiet. Your case is not an episode of Judge Judy. Despite what you've read, Judges are actually pretty darned smart. They can read people and they judge credibility all day every day. If something is said that is offensive don't react. Like at all. It's the best impression you can make.
- Don't spend the entire time whispering to your attorney. First off, we are listening intently making sure what is being said meets the Rules of Evidence and its hard to listen when we are being talked to. Scribble us a note or lean in during a break in the testimony. Secondly, Judges notice when a client won't get out of their attorneys ear. It does not create a favorable impression.
- Dress like you are going to church. Do I really need to say this? Take out visible piercings and hide tattoos. Keep your pants off the ground and wear a belt. Honestly people. I've seen more defendants dressed like they are going to a drug deal show up in Court. Maybe there is a reason they are called defedants.
- Yes your honor, No your honor. Or Yes, Judge or No, Judge. That's the only way you are to address the Judge. "Nah" and "Yeah" the Judge and you'll get what you deserve.
- We don't like surprises. Tell your attorney anything that could be used against you well before court. If we get surprised at court, it's not a good thing for your case.
- It's going to be ok. Just breathe. Your attorney has explained the options, the consequences and we usually have a very good idea of how things are going to turn out. So relax. There is a reason you hired an attorney, let us go to work for you.