May it please the court

Most of us have perfected the Zoom wave over the last few years, even at virtual court you might have found yourself unintentionally waving at a Judge as a proceeding finished. These days we are well and truly back in physical court, and you might get a few looks if you start wildly waving at the bench to announce your appearance.

So, for those new to instructing in a physical space or who need a reminder like me I’ve asked around and here are three tips:

Leave plenty of time.

When I was a trainee I think my personal best door of the office to the door of court run was 5 minutes dragging a suitcase half my size. For context my office is a comfortable 10 minute walk away. Now I need at least 20 minutes by the time I stretch, get a motivational speech from a colleague, strap my ankles, make sure I have a suit jacket, ensure I’m compliant with the court protocol rules and allowing the time for waiting patiently at security. Maybe I’ll start posting my Strava data so you can see if I’m improving but arriving sweaty and stressed at court is no fun so give yourself that time.

Turn of those gadgets off.

This brings me to my next point. There’s nothing quite like the sinking feeling when you realise a phone ringing and it’s yours at the movies, let alone at the Red Court. These days the potential for noise pollution can come from the laptop to the ipad to the smart watch that is sending out notifications from all your mates impressed with your speed you’ve made it to court that morning. We’re all impressed but the Judge may not be. Make sure you’ve silenced them, or when in doubt turn them off completely.

Once you get there

Say good morning to the associate and staff, confirm the details of those in attendance and get yourself set up. Don’t forget to stand up when the Judge is announced and settle yourself in for the most important task of instructing- making sure counsel has enough water.

It’s nice to be back in a court room. If you see me give me a wave, I’ll be the one making great time on my way down William Street.

If you have any queries, please contact Jennifer Burnett on 9612 7306