The most important thing to know about preparing for a day in court is what to expect when you get there. It is your attorney’s job to guide you through the legal process before, during, and after a court appearance and to make it as easy to understand as possible. However, it is important to remember that your relationship with your attorney is like a partnership and the two of you should work together to reach a common goal and to obtain a favorable outcome.
Your preparedness and expectations for your day in court are directly related to your interaction with your attorney and the questions you ask. You should ask your attorney as many questions as you need to get a clear understanding about what your court day is for and how things will proceed when you get there. You should also ask your attorney whether you’ll be expected to speak to the judge, and if so, prepare your statement or testimony in advance. You should also talk to your attorney about how your day in court could affect your overall case.
Preparation for court includes helping your attorney represent you to the best of their ability. It is critical that you provide your attorney with pertinent information about your case well in advance of your court date and that you keep your attorney up-to-date with ongoing changes to that information.
If a settlement conference is scheduled, work with your attorney to formulate a strategy for settlement – including your best- and worst-case scenarios – and outline a final settlement position that you’ll be satisfied with.
If you have one of the vast majority of competent attorneys representing you, you can feel confident that he/she will be prepared on your behalf.
Stephen I. Silberfein has over 30 years of experience in matrimonial and family law throughout the five boroughs and surrounding counties. He is the principal of the Law Offices of Stephen I. Silberfein in Manhattan.