Courtroom Drama.

The courtroom drama is much like a play.  There are good and not-so-good ways to present your case, but theater is instructive in thinking about the most effective ways to present a family law case.

Every case needs a hero.

The effective lawyer will make you the hero.  The idea is to present evidence that shows the client as the “hero” in the case.   Whether it is the better parent, the more effective decision maker, or the nicer person… any evidence that bolsters the view of the judge of the client is a worthy effort.Every case needs a villain.

Every case needs a villain.

No lawyer wants their client cast as a villain, but frequently that is the goal of the other side.  Whether allegations of affairs, abuse, or financial mismanagement… all are fair game in the courtroom.

Similarities to theater.

Like a theater, a courtroom has an audience and a stage. The judge, lawyers, witnesses, and defendants are all players in a drama that unfolds before the court. The lawyers argue their case, presenting evidence and making emotional appeals to the judge. Witnesses give testimony, sometimes with great dramatic effect.

However, while both a courtroom and a theater can be places for performance, their goals are very different.   In a theater, the audience comes to be entertained, moved, or inspired. In a courtroom, the goal is to seek justice and resolve disputes according to the law.

While the lawyers and witnesses may use dramatic techniques to make their case, their primary goal is not to entertain the audience but to persuade the judge.

Furthermore, a courtroom is subject to strict rules of procedure and evidence that govern the conduct of the trial. These rules are designed to ensure fairness and impartiality, and to prevent the trial from becoming a spectacle.

So while there are some similarities between a courtroom and a theater, they are fundamentally different in their goals and purposes.

With that said, theater techniques are sometimes useful in presenting a case and should be part of your lawyer’s abilities.

Finally, another thing to consider is how you dress for court.  Follow that link for some tips.


Scott Allen has been a lawyer in Wake County North Carolina for over 28 years.  He has litigated hundreds of cases in front of judges and juries.

If you have questions or want a consultation, please contact him at 919-863-4183 or