Maureen A. Howard, Playing Nice: The Dos and Don'ts of Courtroom Etiquette, Dec. 2010 De Novo 7 (2010), https://digitalcommons.law.uw.edu/faculty-articles/519
No matter how brilliant the lawyer, impressive her credentials, thorough her case preparation, or razor-sharp her analytic skills, she risks damaging her case — and her reputation — if she fails to comply with basic courtroom etiquette. There are certain dos and don’ts of courtroom behavior that are understood by seasoned trial lawyers and expected from judges. There are also common courtesies expected by jurors of lawyers who are viewed as professional and credible. A lawyer will undoubtedly learn these behavioral norms in the trenches over time, but she is well advised to have a courtroom etiquette checklist in her trial notebook as a quick reference guide. The aim is to avoid those small faux pas that can embarrass and fluster an advocate, as well as larger lapses in professional judgment that can damage a client’s case or a lawyer’s reputation. The list below is not exhaustive by any means, but serves as a handy primer on the basics of courtroom etiquette.