Your Appearance Matters at Your Civil Trial

by K. Brennan
(Bryan Park, VA)

Appearances matter, even in small civil trials involving personal injury claims in local courts. Your defense attorney may be too polite or hesitant to tell you this, but here is some advice to heed if you are being taken to Court (sued): clean yourself up. Put your best foot forward. Say it however you want, but you need to make a nice appearance if you want a judge and jury to like you. Evidence matters of course, but so does the appearance and credibility of the parties involved in the lawsuit.


You may believe that such worries about what to wear to court and how to do your hair and things like that are reserved for highly-publicized murder trials. You may feel that it doesn’t matter whether a jury likes you or not, and that your insurance company will pay whatever the Plaintiff is awarded. That could be the case, but imagine that something about your appearance irritates the jury so much that they award the Plaintiff an amount above your insurance liability limits; you are on the hook for that difference. Appearances matter in even the smallest of cases.

In short, clean yourself up and try to look like someone your grandmother could take to a garden party. Talk like it, too. Wear a nice outfit (nice does not mean sexy in this scenario) and take out the extra piercings. You should be able to do that for a day or so.

This article is written for informational purposes and is not intended to take the place of competent local legal counsel.

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