10 Things To Do When You Go To Court With Your Lawyer
Law Offices of Michael D. Stewart
Whether a civil case or a criminal matter, there will likely come a time when you need to go to court with your lawyer. Listed below are the considerations and recommendations when you get your day in court:
1) Properly prepare with your lawyer. If your lawyer is unaware of certain facts, they can come as a surprise to the lawyer at a hearing or at trial, thereby potentially hurting your case.
2) Do not talk in court without the consent of your lawyer. Whether in a civil matter or criminal matter, in court your attorney will speak for you. Only speak, if at all, with the permission of your attorney.
3) Dress appropriately. In a criminal trial might be important to wear a suit, whereas in a civil infraction matter a dress shirt and slacks might be sufficient. Speak with your lawyer about this prior to going to court.
4) Take notes of matters you would like to consult with your lawyer about later. You can also, in appropriate situations, pass your lawyer your notes, so long as you do so in such a way as to not hurt your lawyers train of thought or ability to effectively represent you.
5) Trust your lawyer. You have paid this person to represent you based on his or her skill and experience.
6) Show up on time or even early. Not showing up is one of the worst things that you can do to your case. Judges have wide discretion with respect to sanctions against you and your case for failing to arrive on time.
7) bring all documents requested of you by the lawyer. For instance, in a Florida divorce, it is necessary to show proof of residency in Florida which can be done with a valid driver’s license. If you do not bring this document, a final hearing might not be able to occur.
8) Have an appropriate demeanor. You can actually hurt your case by doing things such as rolling your eyes or making noises concerning issues you disagree with during the trial.
9) In this connection, you should also be civil to any opposing parties. For example, if you were involved in a business dispute, it will probably not help your case to get in an argument with the other side at the court.
10) Court can be a very stressful experience for both the client and the attorney. A criminal trial can affect your liberty, while a civil trial can determine whether you owe money or will be owed money by another. While it might seem that the end of the world is near, stay strong as there is often the opportunity to appeal an unfavorable decision.
The Law Offices of Michael D. Stewart