Appearing in court? What you need to do.
Unless you are instructed to the contrary by us (as your attorney), you should arrive at our offices no less than 30 minutes before any hearing, or one hour before any trial. NEVER EVER ARRIVE LATE FOR COURT… OR YOUR CASE COULD BE OVER BEFORE YOU EVEN GET THERE.
Always plan to allow yourself extra time for traffic, parking, getting lost, or anything else that may come up so that you are not late for court. It is always better for you to arrive early and to sit and wait rather than arrive late. Bring all witnesses, exhibits, documents, papers, files, and the like with you to our offices too. Please do not go directly to the Courthouse. We will accompany you to Court. That is part of our duty to you.
For all Court Appearances, you are requested to dress in an appropriate manner. For men a suit and tie is preferred, however, sport coats and ties are acceptable. For women, a professional suit or dress is preferred. Slacks are also acceptable if the appearance is professional. Uniforms are acceptable if clean and pressed. Remember that your Attorney will always be in a suit and tie out of respect for the Court and the law, so why should you not be too?
It is not appropriate for women to be dressed for court in: tank or halter tops, (very) short skirts, mini-dresses. Under no circumstances should you arrive for court dressed in: jeans, T-shirts, shorts, bathing attire, evening ware, pajamas, barefoot, sandals, flip flops, or other similar casual ware.
Hygiene & Appearance
Clients are strongly encouraged to bathe and be well groomed for the Court. Proper hygiene is a must when you are before the Court. The trier of fact (either the Judge or Jury) will be evaluating you as a party by many criteria, including but not limited to: your appearance, cleanliness, hygiene, if you are sober, stoned, drunk, alert, tired, sleepy, preoccupied, truthful; your promptness, attitude, respectfulness, if you are coherent; your eye contact, organization, and everything else about you.
Coherence & Sobriety
Clients should never ever come to court drunk, stoned, high, or hung over. There is absolutely no excuse for you not to be sober during litigation. You should not give the Court any excuse whatsoever not to believe you. Cases have been won and lost based upon a party’s actions or appearance in Court. You should always be your best every time you walk into the Courthouse.
All courthouses are secured government buildings. You will be searched upon entering the Courthouse. Do not have on your person: a weapon of any nature (including, but not limited to: gun, knife, box cutter, razor, or brass knuckle). Cell phones with cameras, tape recorders, video cameras, or other recording devices are not allowed. If you are not sure about an item, leave it at home because you will most likely not need it while in Court.
What you should bring
Your calendar just in case the Court has to reschedule your matter. A pen and paper is also handy. Anything your attorney has asked you to bring with you, and anything you want for your attorney to see.