Thursday, August 16, 2018

TORT TALK TIP: COURTROOM ETIQUETTE


The following Courtroom Etiquette tips are offered up to lawyers young and old who may have been lulled into bad habits by watching too many legal dramas on TV or in the movies which typically portray hotshot lawyers who think that the courtroom is theirs as opposed to the Judge's:

-Always arrive a half hour early for your argument or hearing so as to ensure that you will be on time.

-Hand your business card to the court reporter prior to the start of the proceedings; write the name of your client on your card.

-Be polite to the tipstaff and court personnel.

-Always stand when addressing the court, even if other attorneys don't.

-Try to always refer to the Judge as "Your Honor" instead of "Judge."

-Always ask permission to approach or move about in the Judge's courtroom.

-Always stop talking, even in mid-sentence, if the Judge starts to speak.

-Never interrupt a Judge while she or he is speaking.

-Never interrupt opposing counsel -- 99% of the time you will get your chance to respond.

-Don't make faces at opposing counsel's statements.  Be stoic.  Your calm, measured legal argument will win the day not your faces or sighs or shakes of the head.

-Last but not least, keep your cell phone in your pocket or briefcase and give your full attention to the proceedings.

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