Tips for Your Day in Court

Explore:  Court Appearances

Most personal injury cases never go to trial. Typically, injury claims are settled with the insurance company and defendants. Sometimes, an arbitrator decides the outcome in a quasi-judicial proceeding.

There is a good chance, therefore, that you will not appear before a judge in your case. If your case does reach trial, however, you are responsible for knowing proper courtroom etiquette.

Follow these helpful tips for your day in court:

  • Dress appropriately — Your well-groomed appearance demonstrates your respect for the judicial system, the jurors and the judge. Dress in neat, pressed clothing that you would wear to a job interview or an important family function. When in doubt, tend toward a conservative outfit or ask your personal injury attorney for guidance.
  • Arrive early — Plan to arrive a few minutes early to compose yourself before the proceedings begin. Before your court appearance, know how long it takes to get to the Chatham County courthouse and where you can find available parking. Leave in plenty of time as a precaution against heavy traffic or a particularly long security line at the courthouse entrance.
  • Arrange for special accommodations ahead of time — If your injuries affect your mobility, your lawyer can arrange for any necessary special accommodations you require.
  • Leave your children with a sitter — Children under six years old are not permitted in the courtroom in Chatham County. Even children who are older should be left with a sitter.
  • Turn off your mobile phone — In addition to silencing your ringer, turn off all other sounds on your cell phone. In the quiet of the courtroom, an alert ping or vibration is often audible to the entire room.
  • Remain calm no matter what — The defendant’s lawyer may say some things you don’t like or may admit evidence that does not accurately represent the facts. Regardless, remain calm and polite. Your attorney can raise objections to improper statements and evidence the opposing counsel presents to the court.


Topics:  Court Appearances

Published In: Personal Injury Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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