If you are going to court for the first time, you probably have a lot of questions, and some of them likely have to do with how you should present yourself for the hearing. Dressing professionally can go a long way towards a successful hearing. While this is especially important for a criminal case, it’s necessary for civil cases as well. Here are a few tips that can help you send the right impression:
1. Dress how you would if you were going to a job interview
A good rule of thumb when you’re preparing for your hearing is to consider how you would dress if you were going to a job interview. You want to dress somewhat formally, and it’s best to cover tattoos if you have them. Always wear shoes as opposed to sneakers or flip flops.
Men should wear a fairly conservative suit, and you should always make sure that you polish your shoes. Women should avoid revealing clothes, and both men and women should avoid flashy jewelry. However, you do not necessarily have to wear expensive clothing. Affordably priced but professional attire will be sufficient.
2. Allow your attorney to speak for you, and maintain a calm demeanor if you do have to speak
It’s best to avoid taking the stand if possible. Instead, you should allow your lawyer to speak for you whenever you can. If you do have to speak, it’s important to remain calm. Appearing nervous or stumbling for words could make your case less convincing.
Furthermore, it’s important to make sure that your demeanor fits with what you’re describing. For example, if you are describing a traumatic event, it’s important to avoid appearing detached. This could take away from the credibility of your case, which could be difficult to recover from later in the hearing.
3. Do not appear nervous during the hearing
It’s best to project an image of confidence without being overly confident and bold in your manner. Appearing nervous can cause the other side to question your honesty, which can sabotage your case. Some examples of things that can make you appear nervous are fidgeting, appearing shaky, stuttering, and having a worried facial expression.
There are different techniques that you can use to calm yourself prior to the hearing. It’s important to make sure that you get plenty of sleep on the night before your case is heard. If you do find yourself getting nervous, you can take a few breaths to calm yourself prior to entering the courtroom. This technique can also be effective if you’re feeling anxious prior to taking the stand.
4. Choose your words carefully
If you do speak at the hearing, it’s important to seek the advice of your lawyer prior to taking the stand. Your lawyer will be able to help you phrase things in a way that those on the other side will not be able to misconstrue to bolster their case.
This is the main reason why you generally should not take the stand. It’s all too easy to say the wrong thing and end up seriously harming your case. Your lawyer will have the experience to know what works in the courtroom and what doesn’t. Most laypersons do not have this knowledge or experience.
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If you’re looking for a lawyer for just about any kind of civil litigation in the San Diego area, Guy Levy is the right choice for you. We have helped many clients from southern California receive compensation for themselves and their family. We have worked on just about every type of civil litigation, and we have a proven track record of helping our clients win their case. So, give us a call or get in touch with us online today!