Austin Family Lawyer: Tips on Appearance at Your Court Hearing
Below is a guideline of what to expect when attending a court hearing for a family law case:
Getting Ready for Your Court Hearing
One of the most important things to consider when headed to your court hearing is your appearance. When attending a hearing you should wear “business casual” attire. This is respectful of the Court and of the Judge. No jeans, flip flops, hats or tennis shoes are allowed in the courtroom. Men do not have to wear a full suit; although you will seem more professional if you do wear a suit, dress pants and a nice button up shirt with a tie are acceptable. Women may wear a dress, skirt, or dress pants with a blouse. Women are not expected to wear heels, however, please stick to your “Sunday best” when considering your attire.
The Morning Of Your Court Hearing
Prior to the hearing date you will be told where to meet your attorney at the courthouse. Once your attorney arrives at the courthouse, he or she will have to attend “docket call”. Docket call is required: the attorneys go into a room to announce that they are ready to move forward and each case is assigned to a Judge at that time. Travis County follows the central docket system that assigns cases to the first available judge. On any day in Travis County you do not know who your judge will be. In the other counties, you will have the same judge each and every time you attend court. You will not need to be in docket call with your attorney; if your attorney does not find you prior to docket call, please wait in one central location and he or she will find you after docket call. Once your case is assigned to a Judge, your attorney will brief you regarding where the hearing is being held and what Judge will be hearing your case. Sometimes you will not receive an assigned Judge in docket call due to the amount of cases on the docket. If so, you and your attorney will wait until there is a Judge available.
Your Court Hearing
Once in the courtroom you will sit next to the paralegal who will set between you and your attorney to take notes and help with organization of evidence. You should pay very close attention to the attorneys, witnesses, and Judge, and you will be able to write notes to your attorney or paralegal regarding anything you would like to be addressed or statements made by other people that are untrue. You should not speak out loud during the hearing unless you are on the witness stand or addressed by the Judge specifically. You should always remain calm when listening and speaking; the Judge will be watching you closely.
When it is your time to take the witness stand you will be asked questions by your attorney and the opposing party’s attorney. Please remember to take your time before answering and remain calm while answering. Make sure you answer yes and no questions with a “yes” or a “no” without unnecessarily expanding on your answer unless your attorney asks you to expand. Always speak into the microphone and do not nod your head or answer “uh-huh” or “nuh-uh”, as there will be a Court Reporter taking everything word down during the hearing. Do not talk over the person speaking – attorney or otherwise– as it is hard for the Court Reporter your he paralegal. The rest of the hearing will continue, and at the end the Judge will state his or her ruling and we will be dismissed.
After Your Court Hearing
When your court hearing is completed, we will walk out of the courthouse together and discuss the outcome of your hearing when we have left the courtroom. Please refrain from confrontation with the other party after the hearing, including gloating should you prevail. Your attorney and paralegal will be conducting themselves with utmost respect; you will be expected to treat the Court and its processes the same way.
Newberry Law always prepares its clients prior to any court hearing and knows what the judges expect out of the parties and their witnesses in the courtroom. If you or anyone you know is in need of an experienced Austin Family Lawyer who is experienced in the courtroom please contact Newberry Law for assistance.
Joe Newberry has attended hundreds of hearings over the last 10 years. These hearings have occurred in many counties including Travis, Williamson, Hays, Bastrop, Comal, Guadalupe, Bexar, Gonzales, Lee, McLennan and Bell counties. There are 254 counties in the State of Texas and each one has their own system for hearing cases. Newberry Law is capable to handle family law cases in all counties in Texas and makes sure all court requirements are met prior to any hearings being held.