Etiquette is mandatory for making a good impression on anyone. This is also applicable in the courtroom, where there are many rules of conduct for lawyers, jurors, clients, witnesses, and attendees. In the legal profession, it is taught how to behave in a courtroom and lawyers learn the professional requirements of their careers, which also include the etiquette of behaving in the court in their legal studies. The courtroom is a different kind of world full of rituals and formalities. Every judge runs their courtroom differently but here are some general rules which should be followed by the lawyers or by the people who are representing themselves in the court.
Show respect to the court and court staff
Be respectful to the opposing party and their legal counsel
Maintain the Integrity of the Profession
Bring your evidence and witnesses
Don’t Interrupt Dress appropriately
1. Show respect to the court and court staff
- The judges are the representative of law and are the ultimate authority in the court. This is the reason when a layer addresses the court, the judge is the main focus point. here are some points which show respectful behavior in the courtroom.
- It is ethical to stand when the judge enters or leaves the courtroom.
- Speak when the judge asks you to speak. And use the correct form to address the judge, address the judge as “Your Honor” as judges should be addressed using specific titles which convey the importance of their role.
- Do not talk over the judge. It is a sign of disrespect. Even when the judge is mistaken in your opinion, wait until they are finished and then ask for permission to speak to them.
- Lawyer should keep his/voice up and they should watch their language when they are in court. Lawyers should avoid using slang, curse words, accusations, sarcastic comments, eye-rolling, making faces to opponents, and any other disrespectful behavior.
2. Be polite:
Being polite and respectful in court is an easy way to take control of your case. Lawyers/ self-defendants should keep their body language polite and respectful. Even if you disagree with someone’s point or are accused of lying you should still politely convince the judge/jury with facts and evidence rather than raising your voice or getting into an argument with the opponent’s lawyer.
3. Maintain the Integrity of the Profession:
All lawyers are expected to show high ethical standards. Lawyers shall defend the interest of their clients without any fear. They should never give any wrong/incorrect information to the court. Lawyers can be disciplined for lying, providing wrong information to the court, or omitting wrong information or for disregarding the truth.
If a lawyer knows that any other lawyer has breached their rules of professional conduct, they are obliged to inform the authorities.
Lawyers are forbidden to share information or the whole courtroom hearing process to any third party. And they should not discuss it outside the court or in the hallways.
4. Bring your evidence and witnesses:
Lawyers shall have a copy of all documents and files relevant to the case. They should bring multiple copies of the evidence they want to present. Present the documents to the judge directly only when the judge asks you to otherwise the proper procedure is to hand over the papers to the court officer, who then hands them over to the judge. Make sure that those things. Documents are neatly organized and logical. It is a lawyer’s job to convince the judge and the jury so they should think about what they should say and how to convince them before the trial and should do thorough research to present the evidence they need to win.
Ask your witness to arrive early and dress nicely.
5. Don’t Interrupt:
Lawyers should not interrupt or speak over anyone in the courtroom. It is ethical to wait until the judge or court official tells them to speak or when the other party has finished speaking. It is frustrating to silently watch the opponent’s party accusation or false claims but everybody gets their chance to tell their side of the story so they should wait patiently for their turn.
6. Dress appropriately:
Lawyers and clients should dress in a way that is respectful to the court. They are not required to wear any particular type of outfit but they should refrain from wearing inappropriate attire.
Disclaimer: An attorney/lawyer shall be consulted when making a decision for your legal needs. Rules and laws described in this blog shall only be used as a source of information and cannot be contested in a court of law, neither can they be used as legal advice.