Preparing for the Courtroom

Dallas Family Law Dispute

In most cases, legal disputes rarely enter the actual courtroom.  However, a Dallas family law dispute is different.  In most cases, it is very common for a divorce, child custody or child support case to result in at least one contested hearing.  It is not uncommon for this type of case to have numerous trips to the courthouse.  Knowing how to prepare for your day in court, therefore, is extremely important.

As an attorney, I need as much information as my client can possibly provide.  More information is always better.  Even bad information is helpful because it helps prevent surprises in the courtroom that cannot be minimized.  Identifying helpful witnesses is also extremely important.  Judges have a lot of experience listening to parties disparage one another.  However, a disinterested third party witness often carries tremendous weight and credibility in the courtroom.

Knowing what you are going to say is important before a hearing.  However, overly rehearsed testimony is not helpful in most cases.  Often, the most important part of testimony are how the words are presented.  I have seen the most negative reactions from judges from witnesses who are angry, or even refuse to answer the question.  When a witness argues with the attorney asking questions, they harm themselves far more than the questions being asked.  As a result, in my opinion, maintaining emotional composure and control is the single most important element when testifying in court.

Finally, it is important to behave appropriately when sitting next to your attorney.  Even though you may not be testifying, your character is judged based upon your behavior as much–if not more–than your words.  Making audible sounds, shaking your head, laughing, or similar forms of body language are generally viewed in an extremely negative fashion.  So, don’t do it.  Sit next to your attorney and take notes. Interrupting your attorney is almost always a bad idea because they are not listening to testimony while they are listening to you.  In a family law dispute, this loss of concentration can be costly.  Instead, take notes and work with your attorney as a member of the team.

Contact the Tadlock Law Office to help you prepare for your day in Court.  214-550-1122.