Preparing to Testify in Court

Preparing to Testify in Court

There are very few places that are as intimidating as a courtroom especially if you don’t regularly appear in court.  If this is your first time in court you may have no idea what to expect.  You need to be on your absolute best behavior while you are in court, whether you are part of a trial or acting as a witness you still need to conduct yourself accordingly.  Preparing to testify in court ahead of time will make your appearance far less frightening.  Here are some steps that will help you.

Go to Court Ahead of Time

Courts are open to the public and most of the time you can watch a case while it is going on.  Go to court ahead of time and watch some proceedings, you can learn the layout of the courthouse.  Check with the staff to see if there are proceedings that you can sit in on so that you familiarize yourself with the proceedings.  If you can’t get to court here is a closer look at what happens in court.

Get There Early

On the day you are expected to appear get there early.  Depending on why you are there, there is a good chance that one of the attorneys will wish to speak with you ahead of the proceedings.  However bring a book and be prepared to wait, while you are expected to be early the judge isn’t.  Sometimes you can be waiting awhile before your case actually gets underway.

Dress Appropriately

You dress for court the same way you would dress for a job interview.  Appearances do count here, dressing appropriately conveys to the court that you respect the proceedings and take them seriously.  Whether you are testifying or appearing as a defendant your appearance adds to your credibility.

Dress Appropriately

You dress for court the same way you would dress for a job interview.  Appearances do count here, dressing appropriately conveys to the court that you respect the proceedings and take them seriously.  Whether you are testifying or appearing as a defendant your appearance adds to your credibility.

Speak Respectfully and Appropriately

Just as you dress appropriately you also need to speak appropriately not only to the judge but all of the attorneys involved as well.  Going to court is never fun and it can be highly emotional but you absolutely need to keep your cool.  Don’t become emotional or lose your temper, pause and take a deep breath if you need to.  Judges know that this isn’t easy for you but their patience isn’t endless.  You will have water available to you and you only need to speak to one person at a time.  Never interrupt someone else speaking wait for them to stop speaking first.