Courtroom Etiquette


Area of Law: 

The old saying, “You only get one chance to make a first impression,” is true and spplies especially in the courtroom. If you are awaiting trial for any type of criminal offense then it is important to know that how you act and dress will greatly influence the jurors in making a judgment toward you and your case.


From the moment you set foot into the courtroom all eyes are on you so, properly dressing for court is essential to gaining a favorable result in your case. Dressing professionally and conservatively will send a respectful message to the jurors and the rest of the courtroom. This means displaying yourself in a neutral color like a grey, navy, or beige suit.


If you are the defendant, then under no circumstance should you ever wear a black suit; good guys never wear black. Stay away from loud colors as they only draw unwanted attention to you and your case, with the same rules applying to jewelry. Head and facial hair should be neatly groomed and presented in a way that compliments your professional attire.


Now that you are looking sharp you will want to address how you present your demeanor. You never want to be perceived as arrogant, disinterested, or defensive when on the witness stand. Make sure to never be chewing gum as it can interfere with the clarity of your testimony and also send a disrespectful message to your audience.


Gesturing with your hands is always ok, but when not using them it is important to keep them in a neutral position such as folded and on your lap. Reviewing body language signals is another useful tool that can ensure that you are conveying a positive message in the courtroom.


Remember that when you are in the courtroom you will be under constant scrutiny. It is up to you to convince people of your innocence and it all starts with how you present yourself.


Joel Heiligman Law Firm
6300 Shingle Creek Parkway
Minneapolis, MN 55430
United States
Phone: 763-788-9231
Minnesota US