This started as a post about court room manners and etiquette. Then it turned into a lecture. Then I realized that it is Friday and no one likes to be lectured about manners generally, and especially not on a Friday, so I deleted everything and figured I would try some reverse psychology.
So, here is a step by step guide on how to really (and I mean REALLY) infuriate your Judge, tank your case, and waste everyone’s time (and money)! No attorney representation required.
1. Show up late. Judges HATE this. You have court at 9:00 a.m.? Strut in there at 9:30 like you own the place. Slam the door. Drop something on the ground when you walk in so everyone knows you are there.
2. Wear the loudest shoes possible. That really helps make the grand entrance. (*Ladies, Ann Taylor has a great pair right now with some clunky zippers that make you sound like a pony. I had to superglue mine for court).
3. Speaking of your outfit, make sure it is AWESOME. Get creative. Blazer and swim trunks? How about your old wedding dress? (SO ironic if your case is a divorce). Alternatively you can be REALLY comfortable and just show up in pajamas or sweats. This ensemble really lets the Judge know that you care so little about the outcome of your case that you didn’t even bother to change for court when you woke up this morning. Take a “french shower” by dousing yourself in the thickest perfume or cologne available.
4. Once you have arrived in the court room, try to sit in the very front row. Even if it says you should not in large letters. Break those boundaries! If the bailiff tries to make you move, the best course of action is to high five him.
5. If you manage to remain in the court room at this point, it is really time to bust out the big guns. Judges have a very specific calendar to call in a certain order of all the cases in the court room. You definitely should let the Judge know that you have arrived (since you were late) and you are here for your case. Judges really hate when people interrupt them, so asking when he or she is mid sentence is the best course of action. Use your first name only. And forget the other party’s name. Not your problem! (Especially if you are the plaintiff. Pshaw.).
6. The Judge will likely let you know that your case will be called in order. Loudly demand to be heard immediately. Wave your fist for full effect.
7. Once the Judge refuses your request, sigh loudly and sit down. Then, definitely take out your cell phone (make sure it is on LOUD) and start playing a game of your choice. The only requirement – LOTS of musical and sound effects. Not a gamer? Call EVERYONE. This is a wonderful opportunity to catch up with long lost friends.
8. When the Judge calls your case DO NOT stand up. In fact, do not even respond until he or she calls your name at least twice. Then raise your hand and say “yup.”
9. NEVER EVER ADDRESS JUDGES AS YOUR HONOR if you really want to make them angry. Use “dude,” “man,” “brah.” If you are really motivated, look up the Judge’s first name before your court date.
10. When the Judge asks if you are ready and how much time you will need, the best response to really irk the court is “whatever, I don’t know.” You can also reverse the question and say “I don’t know, Judge Dude. How much time will YOU need?” That will really light some fires. The most hated response, however, is no response at all. Just a little shoulder shrug will have a lasting effect.
11. Slouch. A LOT. Do some stretches too while you’re standing up there. Multitasking is where it’s at.
12. During the proceeding of your case, roll your eyes and sigh LOUDLY at every statement the opposing side makes. Thump your hands on the table. Make sure the Judge realizes that you DO NOT AGREE and you DO NOT CARE about what they have to say. Act like you just can’t even.
13. Once you are finished presenting your side of the case, loudly interrupt the other side. Object to everything. That’s what attorneys usually do, right? At least on TV anyway. And TV is the best example of what happens in real life, so why wouldn’t you follow it?
14. Once the Judge announces the disposition of the case, leave loudly. Slam the door on the way out.
**Hait & Kuhn in no way endorses any conduct described herein; we would advise that any of our current or potential clients do the opposite of anything listed above**