Attending court can be an intimidating and stressful endeavor, even for those people who do so on a regular basis. It can even be more so for those that are doing so for the first time with minimal or no idea of what to expect. Lacking knowledge on where to go, or how to act can also heighten the stress of having to present yourself before a judge. It can be challenging to know how you should behave and act to lower the stress of attending court and present yourself in the best possible light to the judge. Below is the most practical advice that you can use to present yourself well in court:
Attend court before your hearing date
The court is a public place. There is usually no reason for you not to visit before your hearing so that you can know the layout and how the court operates. You can also attend another hearing if an appropriate one is available. Talk with the court staff and ask them about sitting in on a hearing. If you make it clear to them why you want to do so, then they can advise you on what is available. They will offer you the chance to familiarize yourself with what a hearing is actually like.
Arrive early on the day of hearing
Do not make it a point to arrive on time for you hearing, instead you should make sure that you arrive early. This will provide you with plenty of time because the defendant might want to talk to you regarding settlement before going into the court. It is not a rare thing for cases to be settled before going into a hearing. However, if the defendant tries to settle your claim, you should remember that they will be expecting you to be nervous and stressed and some of them might try to use that to deceive you into accepting a lower fee. Ensure that you keep your cool and do not accept anything less than your claim is worth just because you are stressed or nervous about the hearing ahead of you.
Make sure that you always dress smartly, as you would do for a formal or job interview. Keep in mind that appearances matters a lot, and while in a perfect world you would be judged purely on your case, in reality how you present yourself and your attitude in court will have a great impact on your case. Dressing well indicate s that you respect the court and the process that you are engaged in.