No-No’s of Courtroom Decorum

Courtroom decorum takes over where your mother left off, and creates an environment where tough situations can be debated without distraction.  Sometimes you need that serious atmosphere to move forward through a difficult legal problem.  In keeping with that courtroom decorum, certain items, behavior, and wardrobe choices should be left at home or secured elsewhere. No-No Items Court is not a good place to have a FaceTime conversation with your brother…but that is another story.  Turn your ringer off or leave your cell phone or electronic device in the car. Also do not bring your guns, knives, scissors, and other weaponry. No-No Behavior Do not come to court just to talk non-stop with those sitting around you.  Take your conversation outside if you have to talk. Do not verbally or non-verbally communicate with prisoners in custody. Limit your comings and goings in and out of the courtroom. Eat, sleep, and chew gum elsewhere. No-No Wardrobe Choices Even if it is Dolce & Gabbana, shorts, tee shirts, and flip-flops are not permitted. Milk-soaked business attire is also frowned upon…but that is another story too. Read More

Happy Birthday…To Me!

Not everyone would want to be in court on their birthday, or dealing with serious legal matters.  Not everyone is me. Probably the judges are not going to throw me a party today, or rule in my favor just because it is my birthday, but I enjoy being an attorney and having the education and knowledge to help people through a legal problem. Not everyone would want to be onstage playing and singing, but I enjoy that too.  My brother, Stephen, and I are in a band called Old Enough-2-Know Better, and we play tonight at Gypsy Cab’s Corner Bar starting at 7:00 p.m.  You are welcome to come join the party.   Read More

Mediation Instead of Trial

In Mediation, you do not get as much of a winner and a loser, but you do get to settle the matter.  Depending on your circumstances and your goals, Mediation may be the right thing for you. A trial is going to result in a winner and a loser, and a judge is going to decide which is which.  In Mediation, however, you have the opportunity to sit down with the other side and hammer out a deal.  Then once the deal is made, it is made, and you have settled the issue.  It gives both sides more control over the outcome. There are a number of civil law matters where Mediation can be used, such as divorce.  Seek competent legal counsel to determine if Mediation is an option in your case, and if it would be beneficial to you.   Read More

Out of the Sun in Jury Duty

If you think jury duty is bad, try being the defendant.  Most people would rather be fishing than in court, especially if facing legal action against them, but that is when they need their peers.  “Attendance is essential to the fair administration of justice,” the Florida Bar points out regarding jury duty. A jury is an exclusive club—not everyone gets called, and not everyone gets selected.  Jury duty is live, reality courtroom drama, and if you are chosen, then you have a reserved seat up front for the trial.  And you have the power to help uphold the freedom of this country by being a participant in the judicial process. You may not be able to get a tan during jury duty, but at least the courthouse is air-conditioned.  Thank you, jurors, for your service. Read More

Courting Disaster

Criminal court is where bad people are at their best behavior, and divorce court is where good people are at their worst behavior.  Take your pick, neither one is very pretty, but sometimes court is the proper place to deal with a problem. The US Legal System is designed to sort out differences.  There will be a winner and there will be a loser–you do not have to split the trophy for a tie.  Some problems need a definitive resolution, which is what the court offers, even if it is not a happy resolution. In many cases, you are going for the best benefit.  Good legal counsel reviews your circumstances–personally, financially, legally–and guides you toward an optimal outcome.  Dealing with a disaster in court–whether it is foreclosure, bankruptcy, divorce, or a criminal charge–gives you legal options towards the best possible resolution.  Consult an attorney to discuss the details of your case and to find out what legal choices are available to you. Read More

Drunk in Court

Bring a throng of justice A docket full of time, Four-and-twenty cases Stacked in a line   When the courtroom opened The plaintiffs then to bring Their claims against defendants Over minor things.   There was a lady waiting Her case to be called out She had a flask of whiskey Tucked inside her blouse.   While the lady waited She took a little sip. One case led to another and She’d take another nip.   Finally was her turn, Her docket number called. The bailiff found her sleeping, Slumped against the wall.   When he went to wake her The woman would not budge. Now isn’t that a silly way To ‘ppear before a judge!   The judge was on his justice bench Weighing her contempt. He locked her into custody So sober she’d present.   Sober to bed and sober to rise makes a body NOT passed-out-drunk in court and charged with contempt.  Turn off your cell phone, leave your gun behind, and do not go to court drunk (or get drunk while you are there).  It is NOT happy hour when you wake up with a hangover in jail. Read More

Gone A-Courting

Going to court is not for everybody.  There is the seriousness and the formality…plus the Judge has an armed guard!  If you do not know how court procedure works, you may feel uncomfortable by yourself in the judicial system. You may represent yourself in a court of law, but you may not want to.  A little legal counsel can go a long way to prevent devastating procedural errors.  Lack of response, failure to meet deadlines, or an improper response in a legal matter may hurt your position for what you are trying to accomplish. Do not court disaster.  Seek competent legal representation. Happy Valentine’s Day from Rusty Law! Read More