By Mark W • December 05, 2017•Issues, Women and Law in the Media
If you have a legal proceeding to go through, first of all, you should arm yourself with patience. Days in court are stressful and long, even if you’re on the winning side. There are many aspects to be considered when it comes surviving these situations, but the most important thing is to give your best and stay collected throughout the process.
For that reason, here are ten tips on how to survive your day in court.
1. Have the Costs in Mind
In order not to get flabbergasted to the point of a heart attack when the list of costs arrives, consult with your attorney before proceedings in the court even begin. Can you afford the costs of litigation, to pay your attorney and any other cost that will come your way? If you’ll lose more than you’ll gain, then seriously rethink whether going to court at all is necessary.
2. Talk to Your Legal Representative
There is no backing out of it – if you decided to hire an attorney, then it only makes sense that you can trust them. It’s important to consult with your representative about the situation and tell them everything that might be relevant in the court so that they don’t get caught off guard. It’s in your best interest for them to be in the loop, so cooperate.
3. Don’t Neglect the Legal Documents
This is important because people have a tendency to lightly skim over the documents that court sends them. This is the reckless behavior you shouldn’t allow yourself. Read carefully through everything that comes from the court or your attorney, so that there aren’t unpleasant surprises when you do arrive at the courtroom. If you need more clarifications or you want to get better acquainted with the legal side of everything, you can turn to legal guides. There are foolproof websites like iclg.com that can help you find your way through all the questions, all you need to do is ask the right ones.
4. Think about Mediation
Having a mediator between two confronted parties can solve any legal problem much more efficiently and cost-friendly. If there is a way to avoid litigation and have a mediator instead, give this option a serious thought. There will be much less pressure involved in the process, you will spend less money and there’s a bigger chance to get what you want.
5. Court Is Not for the Revenge Served Cold
Let’s get something straight – you don’t go to court just to spite someone or have your revenge on them. You go to court when there’s been a serious legal violation of your rights and you want the justice to be served. If you want to sue someone just because you want to punish them out of petty revenge, your lawsuit will not bode well in court. In fact, you might end up embarrassed yourself, so choose the way you fight your battles wisely.
6. Be an Early Bird
Your attorney will probably tell you this, but it doesn’t hurt to say it again – arrive at court early. You don’t want to scramble around or be late, which is highly frowned upon, since you really don’t need all that extra stress. Get there early, consult with your representative, see if there’s any chance of settlement and go through all the details before the hammer drops in the courtroom.
7. Represent Yourself with Dignity
Though pretty much every person in the legal world will tell you that it’s not a good idea to represent yourself, there is no shame in doing it. If you’re certain that you can represent your interests better than anyone, then go for it, but do it with dignity. Remain calm, state your evidence clearly, don’t be argumentative or verbally violent, and when someone throws a jumble of Latin expressions at you, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification.
8. Courtroom Is Not for Everyone
Maybe there are a lot of friends and family members that will like to come and support you, but you need to know that the courtroom isn’t for everyone. Of course, your witnesses (if you have any) should be there and on time, but when it comes to people coming to encourage you, keep the number on a selected few. This is not a game, so there’s no need to bring along fans to root for you.
9. Whenever You Want, You Can Get Out
And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. If you’ve been through hours and hours of hearings and proceedings and it’s been draining your resources and the will to live, don’t be afraid to get out. Talk to your attorney, as well as your close friends to hear their opinions. The final say is yours, but sometimes it doesn’t hurt to hear other thoughts too. If you see you’re in over your head, let it go and move on.
10. Dress Accordingly
Appearances matter in the courtroom, and you would do well to remember that. You don’t have to buy an expensive fancy suit, but make sure you look decent. Dress pants and a shirt are practically a must for men, and when it comes to women, dress as you would for a job interview – nothing too revealing and causal, but well-fitted and professional will do the trick. You want to show to the court that you take the matter at hands seriously, and attire is one of the ways to do just that.