Courtroom Manners – How to (Not) Act in Court

On behalf of Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Divorce on Monday, December 2, 2013.

It’s been said that in criminal courts, judges see the worst people acting their best. If so, family judges see the best people acting their worst. child custody, relocation, and domestic violence cases put a lot of stress on people. Since you’re always being evaluated, what follows is a list of “dos” and “don’ts”.

Don’t – Come to a custody hearing wearing your Nazi uniform – complete with swastika patch on the arm and leather boots – and demand a family court judge let you see your son.

Do – Dress in a neat and professional manner.

Don’t – Speak on your cellular telephone because judges hate ringing cell phones. Judges hate ringing phone so much, that U.S. District Judge Hugh B. Clarke Jr. fined himself $50 when his own cell phone started ringing during a hearing.

Do – Keep your cell phone ringer off, and if you absolutely need to have your phone on, put it on vibrate.

Don’t – Take off your pants and show the judge your rear end. Try not to make faces or gestures, don’t show your anger or disdain for the other side or the court.

Do – Keep a “poker” face when others are talking, and be clear and confident and in a loud clear voice when you are talking.

Don’t – lose your temper in court, give the middle finger salute, dare the judge to hold you in contempt while holding your arms out as if you are being handcuffed and then contact the judge’s judicial assistant, and call her: “You little mother******; you and the judge, that mother****** son of a b****.”

Do – Be Courteous to the Court staff. Court personnel make the courts run efficiently, and angering court officers may impact your case.

Yes, sadly these are cases of what people have actually done in court, and all of these instances are documented. Consider the solemnity of the courtroom, the stress family cases have on everyone, and show some respect to the judges and others in the courtroom who deal with these cases on a daily basis.