Do you have a court date coming up? It’s more than okay to be nervous. You either have a lot of money or sometimes your life (in prison?) on the line.
If you weren’t nervous, that would be strange. No matter how awesome your lawyer is – trial day jitters happen. But how do you balance your nerves about how to win in court so you can perform?
Use the tips below!
Come Dressed to Impress
Think about the funny court shows you watch, like People’s Court, vs movies that depict serious lawyers. What’s the difference between them – other than the experience of the lawyer?
The people who go on shows like people’s court don’t dress to impress. Maybe that’s because it’s a TV show, but the point stands. When you see a serious courtroom with defendants and plaintiffs that care about their case, they dress like it.
Slacks and a button down shirt are a must for men, ties and jackets are optional, but encouraged. Don’t wear any loud patterns or colors. Your case should be the center of attention, not you.
For women, a nice dress or a pantsuit/blouse is the right choice. Dress like you were going to a high-stakes business interview and you should be on the right track.
Know Your Personal Fallbacks
When some people get nervous they can’t stop talking. Other people clam up. Some people even laugh in inappropriate situations, which is their response to being uncomfortable.
It’s okay if you do any of these things. In fact, it’s a good thing you’re self-aware enough to know! Now, to avoid letting them get ahold of you in court, make a plan.
For example, someone who gets nervous chatty should take notes of what they’re going to say. Stick to your notes and don’t go off book.
If you find yourself starting to nervous giggle, tell yourself this is serious. If the judge calls you out on it, tell them the truth. You tend to laugh when you’re nervous and you care about this case.
In court, the truth is always better!
Your lawyer will prep you for the schedule and expected commands of the court. However, you may think the judge is about to ask you one thing and not actually listen to the question. Don’t try to predict what’s going to happen in court.
Not only do things change with the natural pace of the testimony, but judges are people, not robots. Each judge conducts things a little bit differently. Make sure you listen attentively. It’s okay to ask for them to repeat the question or to clarify more about it!
Triple Check Your Papers
Your lawyer should have everything organized for you, but it’s not a bad idea to have second copies of key case evidence or forms. This way you can keep one to reference as your lawyer hands one to the judge.
Use sticky notes and flags to show which document is which.
How to Win in Court: Trust and Truth
In essence, as long as you’re prepared you have nothing to be nervous about. If you’ve put your faith in the right legal counsel, don’t worry. They know how to win in court.
Show up ready to tell the truth and nothing but the truth and use our tips above.
We’re sure you’ll do great!
Want to learn some meditation tips? You can use them on your court breaks and on the way over (as long as someone else is driving!)