Presenting Yourself in Online Court - a Guide

Today, more and more courts are offering online alternatives for individuals that need to attend courtroom hearings. However, the etiquette of presenting yourself in a case online can differ somewhat from going to a courtroom in person. Knowing online courtroom etiquette can help you impress the judge presiding over your case.

To schedule a consultation with our team for your family law dispute, contact us online or via phone at (718) 215-0121.

Wear Appropriate Clothing - Importantly, Wear a Full Set of It

You may think it's self-explanatory, but a brief search online will reveal an astounding number of blunders from individuals showing up for online court hearings failing to wear pants or just wearing inappropriate clothing in general.

Not everyone has the ability to show up in court wearing a tailored suit, and that's fine. If you identify as male, try and wear a nice button-down shirt and some khakis or dress pants, preferably coupled with a suit coat and tie if you have them. If you identify as a woman, a nice button-down or blouse, coupled with a pencil skirt or dress pants and perhaps a blazer - if you have one - is appropriate. Try and get a haircut if you can, or ensure your hair is washed. In terms of makeup and accessories, you generally want to tend toward the conservative side in court - you want people to focus on your case and presentation, not the eyeshadow or nails that you're putting on.

Be Conscious of Where Your Webcam Is

If you have an online hearing, chances are, you're either using an auxiliary webcam that you bought somewhere, or one that's built into your laptop or computer monitor.

Whatever the case, it's important to remember to look directly into your webcam lens when you're speaking, and not your monitor. That may not always be possible - especially if you want to have some notes in front of you while you speak - but try and make sure you're looking at the camera as much as you can while you're presenting your case. It will help you look like you're focusing on the individuals in the courtroom, and will also help them make "eye contact" with you through your lens, making your presentation more powerful.

Practice Speaking to a Camera & Get Familiar with the Technology

If you're having an online hearing, you'll probably be using a tool such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom. For many people, adjusting to speaking through a camera can be challenging, and for good reason. You may need to be conscious of how your body language comes off, and what gestures will show up on camera.

Additionally, you should try and familiarize yourself with whatever video conferencing app you're using ahead of time. Videos of people accidentally using embarrassing filters during courtroom hearings are a dime a dozen - make sure that you aren't showing up in one yourself.

At Levi Divorce & Family Law Attorneys, we'll help ensure you're prepared for your court case, no matter the circumstances. To schedule a consultation with our team, contact us online or via phone at (718) 215-0121.