Thursday, August 2, 2018

Courtroom Etiquette

The Los Angeles superior courts have adopted a custom by which those present in a superior courtroom will rise when the judge enters, and remain standing until the judge takes his seat and says, “Please be seated.” – 1921

A Discussion of Courtroom Manners

Should superior courts of  Orange County establish the custom of opening court with the audience standing upon the entrance of the judge? Is the cry of the bailiff calling, “Hear ye, hear ye, the superior court in and for the County of  Orange is in session” advisable? These questions have been brought up at the courthouse by reason of the fact that the Los Angeles superior courts have adopted a custom by which those present in a superior courtroom will rise when the judge enters, and remain standing until the judge takes his seat and says, “Please be seated.” 


That formality such as this, has a tendency to impress people with the dignity and seriousness of the court’s business, has been declared by the two judges of Orange County, Z.B. West and R.Y. Williams. The question as to whether or not the custom should be instituted in Orange County has not been discussed by them. “I believe it is well worth doing and well worth instituting.” said Judge West. “We have always had the formal opening of the court by the bailiff.” The formal opening is not required by law, but is a matter of custom in individual courts. There may be some superior courts in this state in which the custom is established. It is not a general practice, however. – (AP) Orange County, California, 1921

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia