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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

GUIDELINES FOR GOOD BEHAVIOR IN THE COURTROOM


1.  Come across as a serious person. Divorce is a painful process that leads to neglect of oneself, physically and emotionally. Make that extra effort to reach the court on time, look well-groomed, wear neat and tidy clothes. Avoid outlandish attire, weird hairstyles and garish makeup. Maintain a calm attitude at all times, avoid negative body language (such as crossing your legs or arms while speaking, laughing unnecessarily, sounding silly) and turn off those distracting gadgets.
2.  If you're asked to speak up, maintain eye contact and be respectful to the person who asked you to answer or comment. Avoid sharp sarcasm, mockery or any other harsh responses, even if the situation justifies it. Avoid glaring angrily at your spouse or his/her attorney.
3.  If you're startled by a question or if you do not understand it, say so and ask for it to be repeated. Do not make any assumptions on behalf of the judge while making your point. It is certainly not the time to be reserved, superstitious or hesitant. Be truthful and honest. At the same time, be extremely careful not to make up lies and concoct stories to prove your point.
Ask your attorney to arrange for a mock trial in case you have never been to a courtroom before or if you're unsure of the nature of divorce proceedings and rules and regulations of the court.
4.   This is perhaps a no-brainer, but do not spring surprises at your own attorney with regard to the facts of the case or "skeletons" in your closet. Any sign of disagreement between you and your attorney may not instigate a judge, but it might prove beneficial to the other party. At all times, project your trust in your own attorney.
5.  In general, before every single reaction/response, put yourself in the shoes of the judge and imagine what reaction would be appropriate. If you wouldn't like what you imagine, chances are they won't either. This way, you can work at effectively curbing any behavior that would hamper your credibility and weaken your case.
6.  At the time of the trial, if you're already in another relationship, do not bring your new partner into the courtroom. Even if it's a custody battle, where the new person's credibility or position in society could prove beneficial to your case, consult your attorney before bringing them to court.
7.  Do not engage in conversation with your spouse or his/her attorney during trial recesses.

For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

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