I thought I would mention some tips for making an appearance in court. Some tips will be obvious, some may surprise you, but all of them are useful.

The one that deserves to go first is indisputable. Make sure your phone is OFF! If your phone goes off, the bailiff WILL be coming up to you. Whether he confiscates your phone, requires that you leave the courtroom, or simply reprimands you is up to your judge, but none of them like telephones going off in their courtroom, and most of them will remember the offender. Before you walk in the courtroom, turn your phone completely off. That way, you are guaranteed no surprise noises when you least want them.

Make sure your phone is OFF!

What should you wear to court? If you are in a profession that regularly wears a suit, you should wear one to court, or you will seem disrespectful. But if you do not dress in a suit for work, don’t do it for your court appearance. Business casual, or slacks or a skirt and pretty much any shirt that is not a t-shirt are perfectly acceptable. There are, however, a few big no-no’s everyone should be aware of. No shorts, no sandals, no hats, no wife beaters, no gum. I have seen parties and witnesses asked to leave the courtroom for violating each one of these rules. You do not want to be the person frantically trying on a pair of long pants in the Wal- mart dressing room, while your attorney assures the Judge that you will be there in just a moment.

Your appearance should not offend your grandmother– or anyone else’s grandmother either.

Dress conservatively. That doesn’t mean you need to look like a Republican, it means your appearance should not offend your grandmother–or anyone else’s grandmother either. (There is actually a good chance that your Judge IS someone’s grandmother) If possible, cover all tattoos. Women should not look sexy, meaning absolutely no cleavage or short skirts. Men need to be either clean shaven or have very neatly trimmed facial hair. Women need to avoid excessive jewelry, and men should not wear any jewelry except a wedding ring, if appropriate. You also want to avoid looking wealthy. Save those Prada shoes for another day.

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