Personal Injury Lawyer Maine
How You Should Conduct Yourself in Court
As a personal injury lawyer Maine clients recommend can attest, how you present yourself in court can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case as it can influence the judge and jurors. Whether you are the defendant or plaintiff in a case, it’s a good idea to take some time to learn about how you may be expected to act while in a courtroom.
A Maine courtroom is considered to be a formal environment. Each is controlled by a judge who might also have his or her rules pertaining to how they should be addressed and when others, including lawyers, should speak. In general, all judges are considerably uniform in commanding their respect. This is partially based on courtroom decorum or the proper behavior in a court.
An important part of the courtroom environment is the attire. Nearly every personal injury lawyer will be wearing a suit and tie, or if female a formal skirt and blouse or suit. This attire is not legally required but expected.
Defendants and plaintiffs are equally expected to wear appropriate attire. Your Maine lawyer can further advise you on this before your appearance. The following are a few suggestions to consider:
- Wear a suit and tie, or at minimum a nice collared shirt
- Make sure the clothing fits you
- Do not wear too much jewelry and keep your makeup to neutral shades
- Refrain from wearing a hat
- Do not wear costumes
- Trim any facial hair and make sure your head hair is presentable
- Cover up tattoos and remove piercings
Your appearance is a demonstration of your recognition of the event and its seriousness. It also shows how cooperative you might be and whether or not you are willing to respect the court and rulings. Remember, first impressions are usually the most important. Make yours count.
Sitting and Standing
Typically when the judge enters the courtrooms, all people within should stand. Once the judge sits, the bailiff may announce that everyone in the court may take their seat. This same routine will apply when the judge leaves. You should remain seated unless you are asked to speak.
Addressing the Judge
When you speak to the judge, you should use the term “your honor.” Lawyers and court personnel will also use this term, but might also use “Judge.” You should talk with your personal injury lawyer beforehand about addressing the judge you will go before.
Final Tips for Conducting Yourself in Court
- Be on time, in fact, arrive at least 30 minutes early
- Be courteous and respectful
- Dress appropriately
- Speak loud and clear
- Avoid profane language, unless it is “quoted”
- Do not interrupt the judge when he or she is speaking
- Avoid arguing with the judge
- Address the judge correctly
- Use concise answers and do not give an impression of being evasive
- Do not interrupt your opponent. Your lawyer might do so during an objection, which is allowed
- If you believe a witness or the other party is lying, avoid an interruption. Your lawyer may cross-examine them in due time.
- Make sure you understand all the rules of the court before your hearing or trial.
If you’re not sure about what to expect, you can always talk with your Maine personal injury lawyer. You could even consider attending a real public trial where you can watch the party’s conduct themselves and interact with one another. You may even be able to find a trial that your presiding judge is sitting on.
Do You Need a Maine Personal Injury Lawyer?
If you are looking for an experienced, knowledgeable, and dedicated personal injury lawyer Maine residents trust for your legal matter, please call a member of our team.