Court Etiquette


Court Etiquette & Traditions
Over the centuries the English court system has developed many customs. The customs are not arbitrary and can be summed up into one simple point: Consideration and respect for the interests and concerns of all parties. By following the customs one will have a better chance of bringing into the court a high degree of credibility, respect, and even success for himself.
Dress for Success
Wear something professional looking and respectful of the court. You can't go wrong if you dress like you are going to church or for an interview. Again, since defendants rarely testify in criminal cases, how you appear and conduct yourself can be the only impression you present to the Judge, District Attorney or the Jury. Appropriate clothing for males should be nice slacks and a button down shirt. If you have a tie wear one. Ensure your shirt is tucked in, pants are pulled up and secured with a belt. Ladies should wear a nice dress, skirt or pants suit or nice slacks, skirt and a conservative shirt. Do not wear mini skirts, shorts or low cut blouses. Cover your tattoos and if possible. 

Be on Time

Nothing shows lack of concern like being late or not showing up. Being late to Court may have sever consequences. Thing come up, we know, but do everything in your power to be present and prompt. If you are going to be late, the best advise I can give is to CALL SOMEONE!

Be Respectful
When addressed by the court, speak up, be polite and be respectful. Address the Judge as "Your Honor", "Sir" or Ma'am". Refrain from using slang and do not mumble, roll your eyes or shrug your shoulders.

Stay Out of Trouble
A new charge while you are waiting to go to court will only hurt the court’s opinion of you. In a criminal case, it may cause your bond to be revoked, meaning … you will be rearrested and taken to jail. When it comes to determining your guilt or your potential success while on probation, things like this are taken into consideration.



Call the Law Office of Sandra L. Wells for a free case evaluation. Our Criminal, DUI and Family Law Attorneys are here to ensure your court appearance is successful and you obtain a favorable outcome.  


Be Truthful with Your Attorney
Before you go to court, you should tell your lawyer everything about the facts of your case. There is nothing worse than finding out an intricate detail that the client left out the day of court. We are here to advocate for you and without full disclosure of the facts as you know them, your attorney will be able to represent your best interest.  Failing to tell your lawyer everything may result in a less than favorable outcome.

Let Your Lawyer Speak for You

It can be hard to bite your tongue; especially when you feel like you are being disrespected or wrongly accused of a crime.  It's best to let your attorney advocate for you rather than say or do something that you will regret later.

Don't Talk to Strangers
The only person you should communicate with is your attorney. Don't talk about your case to strangers.  For all you know, they are parties on the other side or opposing counsel may be standing nearby and overhear something they shouldn't.

Don't Argue With the Judge
The Judge is right even if you don't agree. By all means, don't argue with the judge.

Turn Your Cell Phone Off
Before you step into the courtroom, turn off your phone. Ringing phones in the courtroom is a distraction to everyone.  The last thing you need is for your phone to go off.  If it does more than likely the court officer will gladly take it from you.

Leave Your Kids at Home
Get a babysitter. Bringing your kids to court, won't keep you from going to jail.  Should you be ordered to serve jail time that day and you bring your children are with you, you run the risk of having Child Protective Services being called to car for them which will essentially open up another can of worms.

Stand for the Judge
Stand when the Judge enters and exits the courtroom as well as when the judge addresses you.  Failure to do so is disrespectful.

Be Prepared to Stay All Day
Prior to coming to court, make sure all personal arrangements are made such as care for your children, your pets, work, etc.. The Judge will not want to hear that you need to leave early because you have another appointment.

The Law Office of Sandra L. Wells
3325 Aspen Grove Drive, Suite 105
Franklin, Tennessee 37067
(615) 414-1329 Office

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