Going to the court especially if it’s your first time can no doubt be an extremely stressful event, as chartering into unknown territory always brings out fear, confusion, and unwanted tension. Therefore, it’s crucial to know the rules, dress code and to present yourself in front of the judge without making a fool out of yourself. Down below are a few important pointers to assist you with formalities that you need to take care of before appearing in a court.
It can’t be stressed enough, the importance of being organized before your court date which includes keeping a record of all your evidence in a proper manner and order. Along with the evidence, making sure all your required documents are well organized. If you’re representing yourself it is wise to keep a checklist of things required before your court hearing which will also ensure you aren’t missing anything out. In case you are being represented by an attorney, make sure you discuss, confirm and go over a list of documents required on your hearing.
Drop By The Court To Become Familiar
Chances are that you’ve never been to a court before, so it’s always a good exercise to visit the court prior to your hearing. Believe us, you wouldn’t want to show up late to your own hearing. Keeping that in mind, drive down to your court location, in order to figure out how much time it will actually require for your commute, saving you the embarrassment of arriving late in case there’s traffic on the day of your hearing. Some courts even allow visitors to view the proceedings, see if you can get in with permission to observe people present at the hearing, including their dressing and behavior.
Dress code Is Key
It is absolutely true when you hear people on TV talking about how crucial it is to dress up properly for your hearing. The way you represent yourself through your outfit will speak volumes about your personality as well. Make sure you are dressed neatly, wearing formal clothes, as if you’re going to work. Remember, it’s not only your clothes that need to be presentable but also your shoes, accessories if any, hair & makeup as well need to reflect that you’re a professional. Finally, make sure you’re comfortable with what you’re wearing because it’s not a good sign if you come off jittery and uncomfortable physically, will make you appear nervous and kill your confidence.
Scheduling Your Day Properly
Appearing to the court can be nerve wrecking, hence it’s extremely important to plan out your day with utmost caution. Make sure your plans for that day aren’t clashing with your court hearing either before or even after. If you think you can carry on with your plans after the court hearing, you’re mistaken, because court hearings can be unpredictable and don’t always necessarily begin or end at the given time. It’s also always better to request your employer for a day off, making it easier for you to manage and give your undivided attention to the proceedings without stressing about other commitments for the day.
Don’t Stress Out
Easy said than done, but can’t stress enough the importance of remaining composed while you’re court proceedings. It’s always best to go in with a positive attitude and being optimistic about whatever the outcome is. Your calm and peaceful attitude will greatly reflect upon on who you truly are as an individual, leaving a good impression on the judge as well. If you still feel the stress creeping in, it’s a good practice to speak to your lawyer and discuss what else you could do to make a great impression in the courtroom without looking like a nervous trainwreck. Lastly, never make the grave mistake of questioning the judge and interrupting him/her. Also, never argue with the opposing side, no matter how unreasonably the opposite party behaves. If for some reason the judgment is passed against you, even then remain cool, composed and ask your attorney instead how to proceed further for possibly a second upcoming hearing.
In short go in with a positive attitude, well-prepared documents, with a presentable appearance and hope for the best!