Published On: Thu, Jan 5th, 2017

First Time In Court? Essential Things To Remember

If you’ve got absolutely no experience dealing with the legal process whatsoever, then appearing in court for the first time can be an extremely daunting prospect, whatever the details. No matter how much time you’ve spent talking with your attorney, practicing statements in front of the mirror and so on, you’re bound to get nerves. I can’t magic away that feeling, but here are a few important things to remember to avoid a total disaster…

Golden Lady Justice

Don’t Go Out of Spite

Many lawyers will tell you that this is one of the most important pieces of advice there is about appearing in court. Sure, if you’ve actually been wronged by another person or entity and you’re due compensation, then you should certainly pursue it in court. However, the one thing you shouldn’t do is pursue legal action where the main motivation is spite or revenge. First of all, this can make it harder to keep a cool head in court, and may lead to you saying things which could harm your legal position. Secondly, if you end up biting off more than you can chew and pursuing legal action for malicious reasons, the other party can turn this around and use it as grounds to sue you instead!

Don’t Lose Control of the Case

While it’s certainly important to avoid getting too emotionally invested in the case, and trying to take charge of the case completely, it’s also important to retain some control, and to avoid passing it totally over to the lawyer. Sure, specialized legal professionals can handle cases involving personal injury, tax issues or anything else better than you can. However, for them it’s just another day at the office. The outcome of the case is going to have a significant impact on your personal life, so obviously it’s important that your case remains yours. If you feel that your attorney is going back on what you discussed with them, or manipulating the case in a way as to benefit themselves more than you, it’s essential that you jump on it straight away. Remember that you’re the client here; you always have the option of firing your lawyer and looking for another one.

Don’t Bet More Than You Can Lose

Just like with gambling, you should never risk more than you’re prepared to lose in a court case. In any kind of litigation, even if you’re at the “prosecutor” table, you’ll always stand to lose something. You can never be 100% sure what that something is, either! Though a lot of attorneys genuinely have their client’s best interest at heart, there are many others who will pursue a riskier course of action to secure a bigger pay-out for themselves. Be aware of this, and make sure you understand every little facet of your strategy before agreeing to anything. Even cases that look like they’ll be resolved quickly can become more complex in an instant, and backfire on the prosecuting party.

As stressful and nerve-wracking as your case may be, don’t forget this important advice!

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