Tips For Proper Courtroom Decorum For Personal Injury Defendants

12 June 2017
 Categories: , Blog


If you are the defendant in a personal injury case, then it is important that you understand what is expected of you while you are in the courtroom. As with many other American institutions, courtrooms have their own unwritten rules for how you are expected to dress and behave. If you do not follow these standards, then you could find yourself in trouble with the courts or at a disadvantage in your case. To avoid any of these problems, follow these personal injury lawyer-approved tips:

Tip: Prepare for Court by Dressing Appropriately

When you are getting ready to attend your court trial, make sure that you wear clothing and accessories that would be appropriate for a business meeting or funeral. For example, you should wear a simple business suit, dress, or slacks and a dress shirt. You should wear business-appropriate shoes without high heels. In addition, you should never wear:

  • t-shirts
  • shorts
  • revealing clothing
  • flip-flop sandals
  • hats
  • sunglasses

In addition, if you have a lot of tattoos, you should cover them with your clothing to avoid biasing the jury against you. While tattoos are more acceptable today, there are many people who still associate them with prison and crime. 

Tip: Speak Only When You Must and Be Respectful in Everything You Say

Since you are defending your actions in court, you should only talk to your attorney, to the judge, or when you are on the witness stand. When you are in the courthouse, you should not say anything that could be misconstrued or used against you in your case. In addition, when you do speak you must do so in a polite and respectful manner. 

Tip: Understand the Role of the Bailiff and How to Address Them in the Courtroom

In most courtrooms, the bailiff is a law enforcement officer who is employed by the local sheriff's department. Since courtrooms host people from all walks of life, from upstanding citizens to mass murderers, the bailiff's job is to protect the judge and everyone else present in the courtroom from danger. One of the ways the bailiff in your case protects the judge is they will carry documents and other exhibits from you or your attorney to the judge's bench. You are not allowed to do this yourself.

Finally, if you need to speak to, or about, the bailiff, you should refer to them as "officer" or "bailiff" as a show of respect for the job that they perform.

Talk to your lawyer, like Gartner Law Firm, for more help.