Shari Ireton
University of Washington School of Law


Courtroom Etiquette and Protocol

Courtroom Etiquette and Protocol

  • No food may be consumed in the courtroom while the court is in session. Because chewing gum and unwrapping candy is noisy and a distraction, no gum chewing or consumption of candy shall be allowed.
  • If you are consuming liquids, please open the container (cans) outside of the courtroom.
  • No hat may be worn inside the courtroom while court is in session. Head coverings that are considered religious garb will be permitted.
  • You are asked to wear appropriate attire (no shorts or cutoffs will be permitted).
  • You must turn off the ringer/beeper on your cell phones and pagers before entering the courtroom.
  • If you wish to take notes on a laptop computer, you must turn off the sound system or speaker. If your keyboard becomes a distraction to the court or counsel, you may be asked to turn your computer off.
  • You are not permitted to ask me any questions about the case until either the judge decides the matter or gives you express permission to approach the bench about the case. The judge will be available afterwards so that you can ask questions about the arguments and/or decision.
  • You may approach counsel while in recess and if they wish to talk with you about the case you may proceed to have the discussion provided it is not in the presence of the judge.

Unless otherwise indicated, oral arguments are open to the public.

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