Using these suggestions, whether you’re an applicant, respondent, defendant, or witness, may make your court appearance less stressful. There are a few things you should be aware of if you have to represent yourself in court or are about to see your barrister or solicitor for the first time. The top tips for going to court that you need to know. When it’s your turn to speak to a judge or magistrate, a lack of preparation can cause you to talk more slowly, digress from what you were going to say, become distracted, or lose your train of thought.
- Get a pen and some paper. You must jot down your thoughts. Regardless of how good your memory is, make a note of it. Write it down if you want to remember what you want to say to the judge or your representative, or if you want to record conversations with witnesses, your opponent’s representative, or their representative.
- Organize the case documents. It is in your best interests to get ready for a court hearing, regardless of how organized you are at work, at home, or both. This isn’t a game. Hearings in court are important. Purchase some file dividers and lever arch files.
- You should file and serve any important paperwork. Any document that has not been submitted to the court and served on your opponent(s) prior to the hearing in compliance with the timeframes established by the court in court directions will not be admissible as evidence. It also indicates that you could be responsible for the hearing’s costs if the hearing is postponed due to the late provision of pertinent evidence.
- Learn the location of the court and how to get there. Whether you plan to drive or take public transportation, it helps to thoroughly research your route to court. Where can I find parking? How far is the court from the railway or bus station? What time does the court start? What time do you need to arrive? Lack of planning will cause you to be late and could ruin your day if you have to appear in court as a witness or as a participant in legal proceedings. It won’t help you at the court hearing if you arrive late and frazzled. At least 1 hour prior to the hearing, arrive early. Hearings in court are scheduled at a time that works for the court, although they are subject to last-minute changes.