Etiquette is important in making a good impression. This is particularly true in a court of law, where your behavior and demeanor are judged.
Here are 10 tips:
Tip 1: Dress appropriately; that means conservatively (dress shirts, dress slacks, dress jacket, dress skirt). Sunglasses, hats, excessive jewelry, heavy make-up should be
avoided and visible tattoos should be covered.
Tip 2: Arrive on time; do not be late. It is an insult to the Court to have to wait for you.
Tip 3: Be prepared to go through security; avoid carrying clutter or unnecessary items that would set-off the metal detectors. Never bring any weapons or illegal drugs of any kind to the courthouse.
Tip 4: Treat everyone (court officers, clerks, secretaries) with respect, saying thank you and please. Be professional.
Tip 5: Do not chew gum; do not eat or drink in the courtroom; breaks for snacks and drinks can be taken in the courthouse cafeteria or outside.
Tip 6: Turn off your cell phone! Period.
Tip 7: Put away newspapers, books, tablets, cameras, smart phones in the courtroom.
Tip 8: Address the Judge as “Your Honor”. Do not address the Judge as Sir or Ma’am.
Tip 9: Speak politely and in a controlled manner; do not use slang or street language.
Tip 10: Do not make any facial gestures or other hand signs.