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

Courtroom Experience

The St. Johns County courtrooms are getting updated—huge TV sets are being installed.  With A/C, big TVs, and plenty of seating, the question is, which courtroom do you want for the Super Bowl? Not every person’s experience in court is as grand as a Super Bowl party.  While the courtrooms are physically comfortable, they can be an intimidating scene.  There are some very serious people who look like they know what they are doing, and there is a guy with a gun. You might not be up for this.  While you have the right to represent yourself in court, you may want to seek competent legal counsel before going in front of that big screen TV and the Judge. Attorneys remove the emotion so their clients can take the necessary steps to move through a legal problem.  A lawyer can reframe the situation into business terms to help you look at the possible choices and consequences.  Furthermore, the more you know about the legal process, the less stress you have about the unknown. If you think you cannot afford an attorney in a civil case, contact your local Legal Aid office.  Even if you do not qualify for Legal Aid, […] 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

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