24 January 2006

Excellent advice from Blonde Justice about courtroom etiquette for the friend/loved one of a criminal defendant:

"Dress like you would for a job interview (but not an interview to be a stripper)"

Don't come "if it's a domestic violence charge and you still have a black eye."

"Don't eat, don't drink, don't chew gum. Don't sleep. Don't snuggle, kiss, or make out with anyone. No, this is not cute."

"Leave the kids at home. Yes, I know you're probably thinking, 'Maybe if the judge sees that he has these little kids, he'll let him out to take care of his kids.' Most judges are really thinking, 'God, what kind of parent brings their kids into this building built for dealing with criminals?' or 'What kind of parent wants their kid to see daddy in handcuffs?' or 'I really don't want to let him out to keep doing these kinds of crimes if there's a next generation that's going to be learning from him at home.'

Sit quietly and patiently: "There is nothing worse than someone who lets out a big sigh after each case is called. Or does that clucking the tongue thing. Or rolls his eyes. Or sighs and says, "Oh god!" Or throws up his hands. Or slams down his hands. Or makes any sort of visible reaction to each and every case name called, obviously frustrated that each case isn't his loved one's. And if you really can't control your eye rolling and sighing, at least sit toward the back of the room so you're not doing it right in the judge's face."

1 comment:

Ken Lammers said...

My worst along these lines was when my client brought her neighbor's kids with her to court and I had to plead with the judge not to throw her immediately into jail because the neighbor's kids would be stranded in the courthouse.