The thought of appearing in court can be frightening. But it isn’t always avoidable. Perhaps you’re going through a difficult divorce or you’ve had an accident that wasn’t your fault (check out these Texas PI injury lawyers if this sounds familiar). Whatever the situation, you’re probably feeling a bit worried about the process.
While your lawyer should talk you through your concerns and ensure you feel confident, here are 5 things to know before appearing in court.
What to wear
Knowing what to wear for significant events in our lives can be difficult. We all know how uncomfortable it can feel to be overdressed or underdressed. What you wear to court is important, as your appearance will influence people’s first impressions of you. If you look sloppy, messy or too casual it will seem as though you don’t care about the case. So, keep it smart and professional. No strapless tops, jeans or flip flops. If in doubt, think about what you might wear to church or a business meeting.
You’ve probably watched a few courtroom dramas in your time and know how much legal jargon is thrown around. You find yourself constantly reaching for the dictionary or looking up some term or another on your phone. While it’s unrealistic to try to learn everything, it’s important to try to understand as much of what’s happening as possible. Do some research beforehand or ask your lawyer what some of the key terms will be. During the case, keep a notepad with you and write anything down if you’re not sure what it means.
It’s important to get a vague idea of the potential timeframe of your case, so you know what to expect. You don’t want to assume everything will be settled in a day to find out that your case will be much longer and more time consuming than anticipated. This is especially important if you need to arrange childcare or travel costs. So, research similar cases and find out how long they last. Your lawyer should be able to give you a good idea of the length of the process, too.
The way you behave in court is important. Make sure you know when to arrive, when to stand or sit and how to speak when you are called to the stand. Your behavior will say a lot about you, so you’ll need to use good manners and come across as polite and courteous.
While your lawyer won’t be able to predict the future, they should have a good idea of the potential outcomes of the case. This is important to know before appearing in court so you can be emotionally prepared. It’s better to have an understanding of what could happen so you aren’t blindsided and overly emotional.