Behaving properly in Court is one of those things that sounds like it should be obvious. However, when you get down to it, there are some aspects that might not be so clear. So we’re here today to give you some helpful tips on how to act before a tribunal.
Addressing the Court
This is one of the easiest ways to behave appropriately. Unfortunately, failure to observe this behavior is one of the easiest ways to anger the judge. The simple tip is this: when speaking to the Court, including the words, “Your Honor”. Whether you need to say, “Yes”, “No”, or ask a question, including the words, “Your Honor” is appropriate and demonstrates your respect for the Court and the judicial officer. The Court is a serious place, and the judicial officer has a great deal of power. So act respectfully, address the judicial officer as “Your Honor”, and you can check this box of appropriate Court behavior.
Addressing Other Individuals
Now, again, this tip is pretty straightforward. It can be put simply: demonstrate respect for the other attorney, your soon-to-be-ex, whoever it may be. The easiest way to do this is to include the words, “Sir”, “Mam”, “Miss”, “Mister”, or “Doctor”. Maybe you’re thinking that this sounds like a no-brainer. However, in our experience, this is something that continues to cause people trouble. So act respectfully towards other people in the Court (even if you don’t like them).
Monitor Your Tone & Phrasing
One of the easiest ways to get yourself in a heap of trouble is by saying the wrong thing or by saying something with a bad tone. We understand that this process is difficult and emotional. And we also understand that you are human. However, the more you can do to be aware of the way you say things, the better. By maintaining as positive (or neutral) tone as possible, you can reduce the likelihood of sounding too bitter or angry. Similarly, when you answer questions or make statements, do your best to address only the issue at hand (this isn’t a time when you want to appear combative).
How to Answer Questions
This is probably the least intuitive part of all of this. Most people when they answer questions in Court, give much more information than they ought to. If you are asked what color the light was, answer only that. Don’t answer how many cars were stopped, what the weather like, or what you ate for lunch that day. Put simply, answer only what is asked of you. If you rattle off and include extra information in your answer, you may end up shooting yourself in the foot. So keep it short and sweet, and maintain that calm tone.
Behaving properly in court is another round of helpful tips from your friends at Modern Family Law. Should you find yourself in need of an attorney, Modern Family Law specializes in family law. We offer free consultations with our team of skilled professionals, and there is no commitment on your part. So what are you waiting for? Get in touch with us today to meet with one of our attorneys for a free consultation.