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Courtroom Decorum Policy

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The dignity of the Court is to be respected and maintained at all times.

Attire for counsel and spectators should be restrained and appropriate to the dignity of a Court of Appeals of the United States.

Court security officers and Court staff are authorized to open and inspect any item carried into a courtroom.

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.

Standing in the courtroom may be permitted only at the discretion of the Clerk. Areas marked as reserved are for Court staff and Federal Circuit law clerks.

Counsel may address the Court when invited to do so. Only counsel associated with the appeal being argued may address the Court, unless a judge directs otherwise.

Coat racks in the hallways outside the courtrooms are to be utilized.

Only material related to the Court’s business can be read in the courtroom while Court is in session.

When Court is in session, no one should be heard except for counsel making argument or a judge.

The following items are prohibited in the courtroom and adjacent lobby area:

  • Recording or broadcasting devices
  • Cameras, including those contained in computers and other electronic devices
  • Food and drink except for the water provided at the counsel table
  • Computers (except for those to be used by counsel in argued cases)
  • Phones must be turned off

Inappropriate facial gestures or exaggerated gesticulating is forbidden.

Repeated entrances and departures are to be avoided.

Doorways and passageways should be kept clear at all times.

Effective October 1, 2009