If you’re headed to court in any capacity, whether as an attorney or simply as someone involved in a legal matter, it’s important to follow the generally accepted rules of courtroom decorum. You may not think etiquette can make or break your case, but following simple DOs and DON’Ts for courtroom behavior can certainly strengthen your cause.
- Arrive on tim
- Rise when the judge and jury enter the room
- Stand when speaking to the judge
- Be polite to everyone, from the bailiff to the judge and the lawyers
- Remain seated and quiet until your business is before the bench
- Wear clothing appropriate to business setting
- Bring cell phones into the courtroom
- Interrupt others while they are talking
- Wear flip-flops or other casual shoes
- Wear shorts or hats
- Stay in the courtroom if you are with a child that becomes disruptive
The judge is the final arbiter on all matters in the courtroom, and as such, he or she may have additional rules posted at the entrance to the courtroom. Bottom line: don’t be late, dress appropriately, mind your manners, and you’ll be fine.