Shari Ireton
University of Washington School of Law


Courtroom Decorum

Courtroom Decorum

  • Everyone in the courtroom, unless physically challenged, must rise when the judges enter and remain standing until the presiding judge invites everyone to be seated. Similarly, when court adjourns, everyone stands in place until the judges are no longer visible.
  • Court security officers and court staff are authorized to open and inspect any item carried into a courtroom.
  • Attire for counsel and spectators should be appropriate to the dignity of the Washington Supreme Court.
  • Standing in the courtroom may be permitted only at the discretion of the clerk. Doorways and passageways should be kept clear at all times.
  • When court is in session, no one should be heard except for counsel making argument or a judge. Please turn off cell phones and audible pagers. Though cameras and video recorders are generally allowed, the Washington Supreme Court asks that no flash, other lights, or noisy film advance mechanisms be used during the hearings.

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

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