At Commander Law, we try our best to do everything possible to settle our cases outside of a courtroom. Of course, this isn’t always possible and many clients will find themselves unsure of what to expect or how to adequately prepare for their time in front of a judge. Each situation is different and your attorney can help you prepare for the particular facts of your case, but there are some things that any party in a court case should keep in mind.
Be on Time
Or better yet, be early. We have had countless cases that were able to reach an agreement in the hallway of the courthouse instead of having to subject the parties to a trial in front of a judge. This isn’t possible without you being there with plenty of time. If you are late and your case is called, then your first impression with the court is a bad one, and you also risk the judge putting the case on without you! This would mean that the opposing party can say whatever they want and ask for whatever they want without giving you the opportunity to defend yourself.
The way you say things is just as important as what you say. Remain calm and take your time thinking about what you are going to say rather than reacting emotionally and letting the opposing counsel’s questions rattle you. Judges are watching each party carefully and observing body language and facial expressions as well as listening to tone. Do not roll your eyes, or raise your voice or use anything other than extremely professional language. Your demeanor should be respectful to everyone involved in the case. This also carries over into what you wear. Your appearance should be clean and professional to show respect to the court.
Answer Only What is Asked
Lawyers are trained to pull out the facts that help their particular case and often parties will waste the court’s time by going on unrelated tangents or over explanations on things that weren’t the direct subject of a question. If there is more information that needs to come out, there will be follow-up questions, so do not feel as though you need to lay everything on the table at the first opportunity you get to speak. Judges have to listen to countless cases every week, and do not have patience for people who do listen and provide considered responses and instead are dragging a trial out unnecessarily. Make sure you stick to the facts rather than the emotions or what you think should have occurred. Do not go into back stories unless prompted. And never speak unless you are certain it is your turn.
Listen to your Attorney
Commander Law is here to help you. We have years of experience and we are dedicated to getting you through this difficult period in your life. We will work tirelessly to fight for you, but the best case results happen when the client is committed to working with the attorney and trusting our judgment.