What To Do In Court
Many people go to Court, especially in Worker's Compensation, Pro Se. Pro Se means you are going in without an attorney. This is perfectly legal and accepted in Missouri. It can save money, not surprisingly, but it also can be very dangerous for your case.
If you do have to handle your own case, go into the courthouse and find a similar case going on. Watch how the Judge reacts to things and how the attorneys act. Wear nice clothes, minimal jewelry, hide tattoos, don't wear cologne or perfume. The Judge will notice that you have given the Court the respect of dressing well. IF you do end up doing your own hearing, you should treat the Judge well. No matter how things are going, don't lose your temper. Be nice.
If you do your own trial or hearing, you are going to need to do some research. If you want the Judge to consider pictures or papers or documents as evidence, you will need to know how to present those to the Court. The rules for that are complicated. Many such documents or papers are considered hearsay and cannot be used by the Judge in making a decision. A little time in the library learning how to present those items to the court will go a long way. I have seen several instances where a person appeared in Court with very important documents, crucial to their case, but they didn't know how to present them to the Court. The Judge can't give legal advice, so the person lost that issue and sometimes their trial. Most of the time, the other side will have an attorney and most attorneys know the rules of evidence and will prevent you from using documents or papers or photos the wrong way.
Of course, at Rotts and Gibbs, we know how to handle those issues and all of us are comfortable in a courtroom, discussing matters with a Judge or Jury. We enjoy the Court experience. Finally, remember that the suggestions and ideas in this post are not legal advice. They are at best tactical advice. You are not our client unless you meet with us, hire us and we agree to accept you as a client. Good Luck out there!
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