[F]or court appointments of any kind, drive your oldest most conservative car. Upon exiting the vehicle you show your confidence with a smile. You don’t know who you will pass on your way into the building. You could be passing attorneys, jury members and judges. In my case, it was a jury trial that lasted three days. So there were jury members I was not allowed to talk to but whom I nevertheless saw in the restroom and shared elevators with. Showtime begins and ends in court, the moment your park and return back to your car.
You’re Being Watched In and Out of Court
Judges, opposing counsels, witnesses, are parking cars next to yours, walking in behind you and either getting the doors held for them by you—or else closed in their faces. During my trial, I saw dads and other people going to court who were losing their cool in the parking garage—cussing, cutting up, saying negative things about their spouses—while judges and jury members were still watching them.
[tweet “Folks, your trial is not going on inside a vacuum.”]
It is therefore up to you to keep your act clean both in and out of the courtroom.
Later in other tips, I’ll tell you about getting to do a post-trial interview with a jury member, and how close I came to not getting custody, despite all my preparations and hard work. It comes down to little things like whether you were polite, whether you held doors open, how you spoke, if you made good eye contact. It is imperative to your success that you maintain your composure until the moment you leave and drive calmly away in your car.
What court behavior have you witnessed? What would you add?