In person: In an interview, social event, or in court, address a judge as “Your Honor” or “Judge [last name].” If you are more familiar with the judge, you may call her just “Judge.” In any context, avoid “Sir” or “Ma’am.”
Can I ever communicate directly with the court? Yes. Certain ex parte communications to a judge or court personnel are allowed by law. For example, if you are contesting a citation (commonly called a “ticket”) for a traffic infraction, the law allows you to submit a written explanation directly to the court.
It is permissible to begin your address to the court with the phrase, “Your Honor.” The judge is the chief officer of the court. He is the contact point for the court. By saying “Your Honor” you are merely getting the attention of the court and opening a communication channel with the court.
Witness testimony can be used to prove innocence in two ways. First, if someone else committed the crime of which you are accused, a witness may be able to testify to seeing a person fitting a different description at the scene. Second, witness testimony can be used to establish an alibi.
Remember that judges read hundreds of letters. The easier you make it for the judge to read, the most likely the judge will be able to focus on the message you are trying to convey. For most people, a typed letter is more legible than a handwritten one.
Behave in a calm, professional manner — don’t let your emotions get the best of you. When the judge speaks to you, look her in the eye and reply in a respectful tone. Stand up when addressing the court. Get to the point quickly when presenting your facts.
If the judge improperly dismisses the motion, the issue may be appealed after the conclusion of the trial. Title 28 of the Judicial Code, or the United States Code, provides the standards for judicial recusal or disqualification.
Don’t be afraid to cry, if your emotions have clearly reached the boiling point. … If you’re a man, you probably think you’d never do that, but there will be no adverse consequences should you become emotional during the trial.
Some lawyers play a trick on plaintiff’s lawyers by making arguments that require the plaintiff to amend the case so that he or she spends an exorbitant amount in legal fees at the very early stages of the case. … This usually requires pleading the case law, rules of procedure and some facts regarding the case.
The best color to wear to court is probably navy blue or dark gray. These colors suggest seriousness. At the same time, they do not come with the negative connotations that are often associated with the color black (for instance, some people associate black with evil, coldness, and darkness).
You· and each of you, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that you will well and truly try this case before you, and a true verdict render, according to the evidence and the law so help you God? (Oath to jurors on trial) You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say may be held against you in a court of law.
It’s only human nature. In a roundabout way, this illustrates why you should never smile in the courtroom. Because those present—the jurors on your case, the bailiffs, the clerks, the court reporters—will not know why you are smiling and may assume the worst. … They just might think your smile is about them.
To maintain the dignity of the Court, the Court requests that the following list of minimum standards regarding appropriate dress be met before entering the courtroom. 1) Men should wear a shirt with a collar and long pants. (Jeans are acceptable). 2) Women should wear a dress, or a blouse and skirt or long pants.
Introduce yourself by name and as the plaintiff or defendant, claimant or respondent. Speak clearly and loudly (but don’t yell at the judge). Don’t rush. Speak at a normal rate.
To convict you under CPC §242, the prosecution must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt: You willfully and unlawfully touched someone in a harmful or offensive manner. Additionally, you didn’t act in self-defense or defense of someone else, or while reasonably disciplining a child.
You can sue without a lawyer, but in most cases, and depending on the type of case, it may be more work than you anticipated. In some states, you cannot hire a lawyer to represent you in small claims court. However, in most other situations, you can and should be represented by a lawyer.
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