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

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

Duval’s Palace of Justice

Access to justice has been a scramble in Duval County with the new ten-year-old courthouse that was supposed to open and did not…and was supposed to open, and did not…etc. A $350 million building of 800,000 square feet, 51 courtrooms, dozens of hearing rooms, a jury assembly room that seats 500, elevators and escalators, a middle atrium that goes all the way up (I wanted to toss a paper airplane from the top)—it is everything you ever wanted, complete with wedding arbor and plastic flowers…and best of all, we get to use it now! On Monday, June 18, 2012, I had the first case ever heard in Courtroom 402.  No more annex of justice for Duval County cases! Read More