The day I wore my overalls to court

Today I was not on general assignment, but I was summoned to the courthouse to cover a hearing of Matthew Akins. I knew absolutely nothing about the case, nor where the courthouse was located… and did I mention that I had ten minutes to get there?

Oh, and I was wearing overalls.

Needless to say, I enjoyed covering the hearing, but here are a few tips about covering court cases:

1) You have to go through security, so make sure that you allow time for that.

2) This one pretty much applies to being in the newsroom in general: ALWAYS wear relatively nice clothes… I got caught on a day where I hadn’t necessarily dressed in business casual (I can’t imagine what everyone thought of me as I sat down in motorcycle boots and a pair of overalls).

3) WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN: even though I didn’t really know about the case other than the name of the defendant and the location, I managed to figure a lot of it out, just by re-reading my notes.

4) Sit up front. The courtroom is really quiet and they don’t use microphones. In my case, the presiding judge for this hearing was a relatively soft-spoken female, and if the lawyers hadn’t had booming voices, I probably wouldn’t have been able to hear a thing.

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