Courtroom Behavior

By Andrea Johnson

Attorney, Cordell & Cordell

In terms of legal strategy in a divorce case, courtrooms are a place where a person should be conservative and formal regardless of how laid back the attorneys or the judge may seem.

When you are there as one of the parties in the case, you need to present yourself as respectful and of good moral character.

With that said, how you look will be the first impression.

You need to make sure you are clean, your hair is combed, and your clothes are without wrinkles or stains.

You should be wearing a suit, but if you do not have one then you should make every effort to at least get a nice pair of pants and button up shirt. Wear a tie as well.

Be conservative! This is not the time to “express” yourself with flashy colors or patterns.

If you have to ask yourself whether what you are wearing is acceptable, chances are it is probably not. You want the judge to not draw any negative opinions of you simply because of what you are wearing.

When in the courtroom, you should only speak to your attorney. This should be done softly and discreetly and certainly at a minimum when the other party’s attorney is addressing the court).

Other than your attorney, the only other times you should speak in the courtroom is when you are giving testimony or if the judge asks you a question directly.

If this happens, you must speak clearly and loudly enough for the judge to hear you. Most importantly, be very respectful to the judge and only answer the question the judge asks. I have seen too many times where a party in a case will ramble on to the judge, and I have never seen it benefit that person.

Never lose your cool or demeanor in the courtroom. You will likely hear many things that will upset you or may even be a lie. Things like this will happen.

Your attorney is there to address such matters, and that will be done in due time. Therefore, sit back and relax.

It is vital that you keep your composure as the judge is always seeing what is going on in the courtroom and you don’t want the judge to think you have anger issues. A good technique to keep calm is to just take slow deep breaths.

When it comes to giving testimony in the courtroom, again, you need to be calm and collected.  The other attorney will attempt to get you to lose your temper. You can’t afford to do that.

If you are asked a question you do not like, you should still answer the question if you are able to. Again, your attorney is there to address any inaccuracies or lies.

Remember, judges are human so if the judge does not like something about you, it could affect the way the judge decides your case.

Therefore, you want to make sure that you do not do anything that could result in the judge getting a bad taste in his/her mouth about you. Following these helpful hints will greatly minimize the chance of that happening.

Cordell & Cordell has men’s divorce lawyers located nationwide should you seek legal representation.


men's divorce lawyer Andrea JohnsonAndrea M. Johnson is a Senior Attorney in the Atlanta, Georgia office of Cordell & Cordell, where she practices domestic relations exclusively. Ms. Johnson is licensed to practice law in the state of Georgia. Ms. Johnson was born in the metro-Atlanta area and has spent most of her life in Georgia. She received her Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia in 1998. Ms. Johnson received her Juris Doctor from Mercer University School of Law in 2002.  Since graduating from law school, Ms. Johnson has practiced in the area of family law. Additionally, she has worked in general civil practice, immigration, and estate planning. Ms. Johnson has briefed two cases successfully before the Georgia Court of Appeals, one of which was a modification of custody action.

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