Best Practices for the Courtroom
When I was growing up, I loved watching courtroom dramas like L.A. Law. The case was presented, maybe a surprise witness took the stand, and in just one hour, a case was settled. Over the years I’ve come to learn and appreciate the system doesn’t quite work that way.
It’s slower than you think it is.
Legal proceedings follow a slower process than those courtroom dramas of my teenage years.
Through a series of witnesses and questions, attorneys build their case. If you’ve ever watched a live court proceeding, whether in-person or on television, it can feel like a snail’s pace. And it likely is. The reality is that it takes time to build and present a case. Most aren’t as cut and dry as what we see on television and there are far less surprise witnesses who get the defendant off the hook with their testimony.
Remember You’re Not the Owner of the Courtroom
Our court reporters have seen new as well as seasoned attorneys attempt to take over the courtroom with verbosity and ego. That’s not going to go over well in most courtrooms because they’re not the owner of that space. The judge who is overseeing the case is in charge, no matter how much the attorneys may want to be or think they are. It’s the role of court reporters to abide by the law, guidelines, and requests of everyone present. Some days it’s easier than others!
Be Succinct with Motions and Briefs
Our Las Vegas and Minneapolis court reporters will agree when I say that I, along with them, and our attorney clients, love words. We love words so much, it can be somewhat detrimental to cases, especially when preparing motions and briefs.
Courts and judges are swamped with cases so the more clear you can be, the more your work will be appreciated. Use direct points related to your case without excess verbiage with statements like, “The defendant believes,” or “We argue that…” Just an overview of the type of claims, key issues in the dispute (without editorial comment), and a brief statement of the settlement requested are all that you need to include.
The best practices for the courtroom start before you even enter the room. It begins with your court reporter and deponents, moves on to being succinct in written communication, and continues to court where the judge takes the lead. While not all days are methodical, many are procedural in nature. Our court reporters are here to help make the process simple for you and your clients. Contact Depo International today to learn more.