Courtroom etiquette is the accepted standard of behavior when you are in a courtroom and the proper behavior that should be displayed in the presence of a judge. There are many written and unwritten rules of courtroom etiquette, and the way you act in front of the judge can have an impact on your case.
That is why when someone is going to court, they should familiarize themselves with the standards and practices of being in court and when standing in front of a judge. Read on to learn the rules of the court and the courtroom’s interesting standards and practices.
Show Respect to the Judge
The judge has the supreme authority in the courtroom and law. Therefore, he/she should be treated accordingly. There are many ways to display respect to the judge like, when the judge enters the room, everyone inside should stand up and wait for him/her to sit down, and then they sit down.
Moreover, when speaking to the judge, you have to choose the right words. For example, when addressing the judge, you should say “Your Honor”, you can also say “ Yes, Ma’am” if the judge is a female.
Never speak unless the judge gives you permission to speak, and it goes without saying that you have to stand up when you are talking to the judge and never speak while you are sitting down.
Your voice and tone should be low but clear enough to be heard. Raising your voice or showing any sign of impoliteness, no matter who you are, even if you are a lawyer, might get you in trouble or put you in jail.
Everyone in the courtroom, from the judge to people waiting for their turn, should adopt appropriate courtroom attire depending on the rules and laws of the city’s courtroom. Judges are sometimes required to wear formal robes, as you can see on this site, or even wigs.
It all depends on the setting of the courtroom. However, as a general rule, men and women alike should be dressed up in an appropriate manner that displays respect to the courtroom and the legal system.
The legal attire for people practicing law should be modest and neutral to show respect to the profession and appear as professionals. If the defendant or witness appeared in court wearing messy clothes or came with weird hairstyles and tattoos, they might give a negative impression, which will affect their case.
That is why sometimes lawyers make sure to have their clients dress up in a certain way that matches the etiquette of the courtroom.
Attorneys’ Behaviour in a Courtroom
When lawyers are presenting their case to the judge, they have to do it in a polite non-argumentative manner. They can present an argument, of course, but this has to be done in a non-combative way. Judges can make mistakes, and lawyers can point them out. However, lawyers should point out these errors in a VERY respectful manner.
Under no circumstances, anyone in the courtroom should speak to the judge in a disrespectful manner. They get to offer their opinions as lawyers and explain how the rules relate to their case, but in a way that doesn’t make the judge frown upon them. Being overly theoretical is one of the things that judges do not like or tolerate.
General Rules and Standards
There are some rules that everyone should abide by like:
- Be on time.
- Be polite to everyone in the courtroom, not just the judge.
- Never interrupt someone while they are speaking.
- No eating or chewing gums are allowed in a courtroom.
- No sunglasses, unless there is a medical condition that requires a person to wear them.
- No cameras.
- No backpacks or totes can slow down the process of checking through.
- Attorneys’ objections should be addressed to the judge, not the opposing counsel.
- If the attorney wants to conduct an experiment, they need the judge’s permission first.
All around the world, courtrooms are deemed as prestigious and highly respected places that demand respect from everyone who is entering. Respect should be displayed in the way people dress up, talk, move, and every possible way.
The judge is the ultimate authority in a courtroom, yet they are expected to dress up according to the courtroom laws of their country. There are some standard practices in all courtrooms like, when the judge enters the room, everyone should rise and wait for them to sit down first.
Lawyers, defendants, and witnesses alike should speak in a low voice and be polite while addressing the judge. Any sign of disrespect to the judge or the court will have serious consequences. Therefore, knowing these practices and standards is crucial for anyone going to court.