When the Hearing Begins

Last Reviewed: April 2022 Reviewed by: JES Download
  • Stand when the judge or master enters: The Court clerk will say “Order in Court” when the judge or master is about to enter. Stand up. Stay standing until after the judge or master has sat down.The Court clerk will “call the case”. This will mean they will say something like “In the Supreme Court of British Columbia, this 11th day of February 2020, calling the matter of Smith v. Jones”.
  • Stand to introduce yourself: You and the other side will then introduce yourselves. You should say your name, spell your last name, and say who you are (for example, you might say “John Jones, J-O-N-E-S, and I am the claimant”. You should provide the justice with your name, title (e.g. “Mr./Ms./Mx./Counsel Jones”) and the correct pronouns to be used in the proceeding.
  • Sit while the other side is talking, stand while you are talking: Unless you have a medical issue, you must stand when talking to the judge or master. When the other side is talking, remain sitting.
  • Do not interrupt: Perhaps nothing annoys judges more than being interrupted. Always let a judge finish talking. Many judges speak slowly, so wait at least 2 seconds after a judge has finished speaking to begin talking yourself. Also, do not interrupt the other side. You will have your chance to speak. Interrupting the other side is rude and improper, and will only hurt the impression you make to the court.
  • Take notes, do not make faces: When the other side is speaking, it is best to keep your head down and make notes. You will want to remember what they said so you can respond to it. It is especially important to remember what the judge or master says in his or her questions. These can let you know parts of the case they may be having difficulty with. Do not make faces. This simply annoys the judge.

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