EXAMPLE COURT RULES
Always keep in mind that not all courts have the same rules, or the same levels fo enforcing those rules. Below is an example of official court rules, which are typical of most courts:
- The dignity of the Court is to be respected and maintained at all times.
- Attire for counsel and spectators should be restrained and appropriate to the dignity of a Court of Appeals of the United States.
- Court security officers and Court staff are authorized to open and inspect any item carried into a courtroom.
- Everyone in the courtroom, unless physically challenged, must rise when the judges enter and remain standing until the presiding judge invites everyone to be seated. Similarly, when court adjourns, everyone stands in place until the judges are no longer visible.
- Standing in the courtroom may be permitted only at the discretion of the Clerk. Individual chairs against the side walls of the spectator area are reserved for law clerks and court staff.
- Counsel may address the court when invited to do so. Only counsel associated with the appeal being argued may address the Court, unless a judge directs otherwise.
- Only material related to the Court’s business can be read in the courtroom while court is in session.
- When Court is in session, no one should be heard except for counsel making argument or a judge.
- The following items are prohibited in the courtroom and adjacent lobby area: Mobile telephone or audible pager; Recording devices; Cameras; Food and drink except for the water provided at the counsel table; Computers (except for those to be used by counsel during argument).
- Inappropriate facial gestures or exaggerated gesticulating is forbidden.
- Repeated entrances and departures are to be avoided.
- Doorways and passageways should be kept clear at all times.
- No person under the influence of drugs or intoxicating beverages will be allowed into the courtroom or adjacent areas.