The Basics of Court Etiquette

November 15, 2021

Many if not most people will have the experience of going to a court session at least once in their lives. Some people will go as jurors, some as defendants, and some will go almost every day as lawyers or some kind of court official. 

But if you’re going to court for the first time, it can be a little nerve-wracking on a variety of levels. The last thing you want to have to worry about on your day in court is how you ought to behave when you’re there. So below you’ll find some helpful pointers on court etiquette.

Put Your Phone on Do Not Disturb

Actually, the safest practice is to turn your phone off altogether, but at the very least make sure it’s on do not disturb. Whatever your reason for being in court, you don’t want your phone making any noise and distracting other people. You also don’t need that interruption while you’re in the middle of a trial. So turn off or silence your phone!

Dress Well

One of the most important parts of a court appearance is leaving a good impression on the mind of the people there, whether you’re an attorney, a defendant, or a juror. Pay attention to the clothes you put on before going to court and err on the side of the formal and the traditional. It’s best to wear something along the lines of a suit. Try to cover any tattoos or piercings in order to look as formal as possible. 

Be Respectful of Others

Although the point of going to court is to participate in a formalized argument, you must always stay professional and calm. This is especially important to remember if you are actually presenting a case. The judge won’t take you seriously if you don’t act in a fully adult way. Remember to keep your cool and thank the judge, even if things didn’t turn out the way you hoped they would.

Be on Time

This should go without saying, but you don’t want to make a bad impression and hold up proceedings with your tardiness. Know where you’re going and plan your route so that you get there a little early. Don’t forget to bring any documents you may need. If you are a party to the case, your attorney and your litigation support specialist will let you know exactly what you need to bring.

These are the basic elements of court etiquette that you will need to remember before you go to court in any capacity. Don’t forget to act your best and most polite self while there. By doing that you will help keep everything running smoothly and hopefully to a good outcome.