Do you know how important a first impression is? How about the overall impression you give to people? While first impressions are important and happen fast, a bad first impression can be repaired if the ongoing impression is done right. If your first impression and ongoing impression are both lacking, it is going to hurt you in any endeavor you are a part of. This is especially true in a court of law. How we look and how we act can have an impression on the judge and jury. If our behavior or dress is bad enough it can even have immediate negative consequences. You could be held in contempt of court, which is the legal way of saying you are being disrespectful to the court. You can imagine your Daytona Beach attorney wouldn’t be too happy about it either.
Not only does it make you look bad by acting inappropriately, it also makes the job of your Daytona Beach attorney that much harder. Even when you have the clear advantage in the courtroom, you still should not do anything to jeopardize your odds of winning. The rules of etiquette in the courtroom are pretty simple really. For a more in-depth look at them, you can speak to your attorney. For a quick run though, see below.
Dress Appropriately: Think business when you are going into the courtroom. A business suit is the best way to go. Button up shirt, tie, dress pants, all ironed out will do wonders for you. Don’t go for shiny or fancy, just go basic and functional. Make sure your hair is in check, no distracting jewelry, and always brush your teeth.
Be On Time: This is pretty self-explanatory and should go without saying. The best thing you can do is to show up at least 15 minutes early. Plan your trip before heading to the courtroom and give yourself extra time to arrive in case of traffic. This counts for being in the courtroom as well. When they call you to enter the courtroom, don’t hesitate, get inside.
The Judge is the Highest Authority: You should show respect to everyone in the courtroom, even your opponent. Above all else though, you should respect the judge. They are the highest position in the court and make most of the decisions. Refer to them as “Your Honor”, and be polite when addressing them.
Don’t Be Disruptive: This means that you don’t do anything intentionally or unintentionally. Intentionally is being loud, not listening to the judge, using your smartphone, etc. Unintentionally can mean chewing gum, your smartphone ringing during court, using a fidget spinner, anything that might draw attention away from the proceedings. If you do need to use something like a cough drop, ask the judge first before unwrapping one.
Turn Off Electronic Devices: Coming off ‘Don’t Be Disruptive”, turn off electronic devices or at the least put them on silent. This includes any watches you have that go along with your smartphone such as the Apple Watch. Under no circumstance should you pull your smartphone out? If you have a recording that contains evidence, your attorney should have it beforehand in a format appropriate for the courtroom.
Don’t Be Impatient: You might be there for a while. Court cases can vary greatly in length. You have to trust in the proceedings and go along with them. While this is happening, don’t do things to signal impatience like a sigh, check your watch repeatedly, slouching, anything to make it seem like you don’t want to be there. It can be seen as being disrespectful to the court and you might even get called out on it by the judge.
Ask For Accommodations: If you do need or desire some kind of accommodation, you can ask the judge for permission. For example, the fidget spinners and the fidget cube are more than toys, they are meant to help some people focus. You can explain why you require one and ask if you can be allowed to use one. The same goes with medication, cough drops, not being able to stand for extended periods of time, etc. Just don’t argue with the judge if they deny your request.
While how you act in court might not make or break your case, it will make things easier or harder for your Daytona Beach attorney. Let them do their job and the entire process will move along faster and smoother. Rather it is from an automobile accident or a personal injury, Rue & Ziffra can help defend you in a court of law.