Preparing for Court
Did you know that most domestic violence and sexual assault survivors who go to court don’t have a lawyer? It’s no surprise then that preparing for court is one of WomensLaw’s most asked-about topics. When survivors know what to expect, they can have better experiences and outcomes in their cases.
WomensLaw is here to help survivors prepare for court on their own. From starting a case to going to trial to after the judge gives a decision, WomensLaw.org has tips and legal information on every step. Survivors and advocates can also use the WomensLaw Email Hotline to ask an attorney for personalized legal information.
|Things to consider and do before filing a court case
Decide if going to court is right for you and learn how to gather and prepare evidence for the case.
|What happens after filing your petition or complaint
Learn about the usual next steps, common motions, discovery, and what to do if the other party doesn’t comply with your discovery demand.
|What to expect at a hearing or trial and how to prepare for it
We discuss how to prepare for a hearing, the usual set-up inside a courtroom, and safety considerations for survivors. We also go over things to think about before calling witnesses.
|Courtroom experience: Courtroom basics and common objections
Using a mock courtroom as an example, we explain how the courtroom process will likely unfold, how to talk to the judge, and common objections used in court.
|Courtroom experience: Admitting evidence into the court record and the basics of direct and cross-examination
Using a mock courtroom as an example, we explain how to enter evidence into the court record and how to question witnesses.