Nervous About Going to Court? - Tips to Get You Through It

|

  1. If you don’t know what to say, how to say it, get nervous, or just need someone who can be your voice you should really consider hiring counsel. Your lawyer is your advocate, your shark, and in Court – your very best friend. Your lawyer has spent hundreds if not thousands of hours in the courtroom. They know the Judge, the bailiff, and know how to protect you when you need to be protected. If you have a lawyer you should inquire if you can meet with them to practice testifying before Court.
  2. Be prepared to tell your story and advocate for yourself. In court the Judge does not know anything about you other than your general appearance on the day of court and what is filed in the court pleadings. That is it. When going to court you have the opportunity to shine, and really help your case. Be ready to talk about how things have changed since the last court order, along with how/why the status quo has changed. Also, highlight key facts that really distinguish your position
  3. Try to summarize the high points of your case (maybe 5-10 things) that you believe are the most important and write them down before you go to Court. Then try to break those points into 1 or 2 short sentences. If all else fails read the Judge those short sentences so you don’t forget anything. The Judge will appreciate you being direct, on point, and prepared.
  4. Have you thought about how you are going to answer the tough questions from the Judge and the opposing counsel? Why were you late to a timesharing exchange? Why is the school you want your child to go to better than the school suggested by the other parent? How is your proposed timesharing plan superior to the plan that is already in place?
  5. Practice what you are going to say. If you are nervous about what to say you really should practice. In law school they teacher attorneys to practice their opening and closing statements out loud and in front of a mirror. With proper practice the words will flow out of your mouth like you need them to.
  6. To the best of your ability try to propose solutions to problems for the Judge. Judges will often ask the lawyers and the parties for their thoughts on how to resolve issues. Go into court with a plan to solve the problem. Take into consideration the effect this plan will have on your child(ren), finances, and the resources of the court.

Randy W. Powers, Jr.