The way you present yourself in Rhode Island Family Court makes a huge difference in the way that the judge sees you and your case. The reason you see lawyers do what they do in the way of formalities and expressions of respect to the Judge is not just because they are lawyers, it is because they know that presentation makes all the difference.
10 Points of Rhode Island Family Court Decorum
Adjusting your behavior to follow these 10 points of decorum for behavior in the Rhode Island Family Court will help prevent your case from being harder than it needs to be.
1. Apparel: Wear decent clothing. No t-shirts, shorts, jeans, clothing with holes or clothing with patches.
2. Things to Avoid: Avoid Items that may not be appropriate in Court such as peircings, gum and tobacco chewing, "busting a sag", excessively casual clothing, etc...
3. Standing: Always rise when speaking to the Judge.
4. Hands: Avoid putting your hands in your pockets when addressing the Judge or when listening to the Judge speak.
5. Electronic Devices: Always make sure all electronic devices you have are turned off while in the courtroom. Placing devices on vibrate or silent mode is not acceptable. This includes cel phones, ipods, ipads, itouch, mp3 players, computers, pda's and any other electronic technology device other than necessary devices such as hearing aids for those with hearing problems.
6. Interrupting: Do not speak over the Judge. When the Rhode Island divorce court judge is speaking, it is rude and considered disrepectful to the court when you try to speak when the Judge is speaking.
7. Posture and Stance: How you stand actually does make a difference in the courtroom. Stand up straight no matter now tired you are. Just in the way all divisions of the military teach their enlisted men and officers to stand up straight, you should do the same. Standing up straight gives the aura that you are confident but as well as respectful. It is not, as some might think, a position of defiance. If you want the court to take you seriously, then you have a better chance when you maintain a good posture.
8. Positioning Your Arms: When you speak with your arms folded across your chest, this has the appearance of defiance to the court or that you are not listening. Crossing your arms in front of you likewise projects an appearance of defiance or that you are not paying attention.
9. Eye Contact: Make eye contact with the Judge from time to time. Do not be afraid to look at the judge. Avoiding eye contact with the judge has the appearance that you are not telling the truth or that you have something to hide.
10. Tone: It is a good idea to consciously remain aware of your tone of voice when speaking in court. A hostile tone is about as helpful to your cause as kicking a beehive is in getting the honey out of a beehive. Maintain a calm tone when speaking with the court. Anger does not get you anywhere. Remaining calm and focused will help you achieve the best possible result.
All my Best to All Who Go Before the Rhode Island Family Court,
I am Attorney Christopher A. Pearsall and I am "The Rhode Island Divorce Coach."