What is a witness? A witness is a person who is required to come to court to answer the subpoena to find out which lawyer has asked you to testify. It is a good idea to . when a child is testifying. Talk to the . to reach a verdict. The accused. Who do Dill and Scout meet outside? . children were, why do you think Calpurnia and Aunt Alexandra were so upset that the children were watching the trail?. Obviously, a child becomes competent at some age, but that determination lies of the court.3 Under the traditional common law, a child over 14 years of age is the child's ability to meet these five factors rests primarily with the trial judge, who against a child, the child's testimony is taken in a room outside the courtroom.
The solicitor will meet with you and your child to discuss the case and will offer you legal advice. They will let your child know what to do and say in Court. It is important to contact a solicitor before your first Court appearance.
Check with them whether you are entitled to legal aid. What happens on the day of the court appearance? You will be expected to arrive at 9.
It is important to check the time with your solicitor and allow for plenty of time to travel to Court. You will not be given a specific time for when your case will be heard. You will need to report to the Court Usher. They are usually dressed in a black gown and will be carrying a clipboard. They will also ask your name and which solicitor is representing your child.
Can I take a friend or relative with me? Yes, you can bring along a friend or relative to support you in the waiting room. But only parents or close relatives like grandparents, who may be involved in caring for your child, can go into the Courtroom with you. Who will be in the courtroom?
In the Courtroom, there will be at least two magistrates, your solicitor, a Crown Prosecutor and the Clerk to the Court who will ask your name.
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What happens when we go into the Courtroom? Your child will stand in the dock and will be asked to say their name, address and date of birth.
Will the Magistrates speak to me? The Clerk of the Court may welcome you in order to identify you as the parents. You can speak to your solicitor about this further if you are feeling concerned about this.
What will the Magistrates ask me? Write a trial memo — If you can, write a short summary of what you want and why. Break it down into sections: How should I handle myself in court and question witnesses? Do your best to stay calm.
The judge may give you choices how to present their own testimony. Write out notes for yourself about the important points in your case. Judges do not care for long testimony, especially if it is not on track with what the case is about. The judge will appreciate it if you can give a brief clear statement of what you want and why you think you should have it. Summarize your main points. Then give more explanation.
You must ask your witnesses questions. You will also have a chance to question the other side's witnesses. Write out the questions you believe are important to ask so you do not forget them. List the points you want to make to the judge so you can check them off as you make them.
You can practice with your witnesses ahead of time. Stress to them the importance of telling the truth.
In the courtroom, you start by asking the witness their name and address. If your witness is a counselor or other professional, ask: With the other side's witnesses, the other side will question them first.
The judge will give you a chance to "cross-examine" them ask them your own questions. Never ask a question you do not know the answer to. The answer may hurt your case more than help you.
You can choose not to cross-examine a witness if you think they will just repeat their direct testimony. It might be better to wait and contradict their testimony, either with your own testimony or with the testimony of one of your witnesses. What if I need more help?
Call Northwest Justice Project at to find out if your county has any free legal services available, or visit the Washington LawHelp web site at www. In King County, you can make an appointment for a free half-hour consultation with a lawyer at one of the Neighborhood Legal Clinics.
You can also contact your local bar association for more resources. Fill out all your paperwork before going in for your appointment.
This way, the lawyer can better answer your questions. Tips for Courtroom Behavior Be in the courtroom at least fifteen minutes before the trial is set to start. Your witnesses must be ready to go when they call your case for trial. If you do not need a witness for several hours, make sure they are available within ten to fifteen minutes with a quick phone call.
Plan to be at court all morning. Your case might not be the first one called.
Advice on going to court with your child
Do not bring your children. If your children will be speaking to the judge, they should wait outside the courtroom during the trial. You may bring a friend for moral support. That person must not speak once they call your case. Go into the courtroom and sit quietly to wait for them to call your case. In the courtroom, do not: Go over your paperwork before the hearing. If you or one of your witnesses has filed a declaration in the case, the person's testimony must be the same as what they said in the declaration.
You may use written notes or an outline during the hearing. Stand when the judge enters the courtroom.
Advice on going to court with your child - Family Lives
Listen to the court staff. They may announce other times when you need to stand. When it is your turn to go before the judge: When it is time for your hearing, the clerk or judge will probably read all the cases scheduled for hearing at that time.
When they call your name, you must answer and, if asked, tell the judge whether your case is agreed, a default, or if there will be argument. When they call your case for hearing, walk to the table or podium for lawyers in front of the judge. Stand facing the judge. The judge will tell the parties when to speak. Speak only to the judge and only when it is your turn. Opening and closing statements: You get to address the judge at both the start and end of the trial. You should summarize what you want and why.
Be as specific as you can. Do not interrupt or speak to the other party, even if they interrupt or speak to you. You want to appear polite and reasonable. Staying calm even when the other party is rude or lies will impress the judge. You will get your turn to prove the other party wrong.
If you need to explain something the other party said, wait your turn to speak or ask to speak again. When you talk to the judge, start by saying "Your Honor. Use words, phrases and terms you understand. Keep your hands away from your mouth. Do not ramble when giving evidence to support your side of the story. You may have no more than five minutes to speak. Call the court clerk to find out the time limits for your county before you work on what you want to say.
Do not talk about issues that do not support your case. Try not to use first names in addressing anyone in the courtroom. Only one person can speak at a time. A court reporter is taking down everything said in the courtroom. The judge will ask questions. If you do not understand the question, say so. Do not answer until you fully understand the question. Take your time when answering questions. Give the question as much thought as you need to understand it and come up with your answer. Explain your answer if needed.