Courtroom Etiquette: The Top Dos And Don’ts For Court Appearances

by Susan C. Ryan, Esq.

Photo of Susan Castleton Ryan Esq.

1. Be prompt, prepared, and polite. Remember what your mother told you about making a good first impression! The judges are always watching.
2. If you have a question, ask the court officer first. Don’t approach the judge’s clerk unless you are asked to do so.
3. Turn your cell phone off. If you do not, and it goes off in the courtroom, the court officer may take it from you.
4. Don’t chew gum or eat in the courtroom ever!
5. Do not carry on conversations when you are in the courtroom. Step outside if it is important to speak to your lawyer or anyone else.
6. If you don’t get what you want, and the judge makes a decision that is upsetting, be on your best behavior. Don’t yell, get angry, or storm out of the courtroom. The judge may not remember you, but he/she will remember your behavior.