SAN DIEGO CALIFORNIA INJURED CHILD QUESTION: If I am successfully appointed by the court to be the Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) for my child, what should I wear to the Court Approval Hearing (the Minor's Compensation Hearing)?

As with any court appearance, formal dress should first be considered. Not only does this show respect for the court environment, but it also teaches the minor child that this is a formal event, one of importance to him or her. I tell my clients to dress as they would for a job interview, or for church. If you do not have a formal suit or suit dress, then business casual is fine. If the minor child has to get back to school after the hearing, then business casual or school clothes are certainly understandable.

I also tell my clients to bring a book or newspaper, because the hearings are generally done in the mornings, and depending on the busy court calendar it may take some time for our case to be called before the judge. I have had minor compensation hearings called first in the lineup, and some for which we waited about two hours. I tell my clients to plan on taking the first half of the day off just in case it takes longer than expected.

Remember these Minor's Compromise &  Release Hearings can take as short as 15 minutes or more than two hours - so it just depends. The fact is you should dress like you are going to church, a job interview or business meeting. Use your common sense and you will okay. You will be next to your child's injury lawyer or will most certainly be wearing a suit.  People forget that courts have what is called "court rules" and those rules do address what an attorney wears in court.  All of the rules say a lawyer must wear a formal dress (suit).  Thus, you should wear a formal outfit when you go to your child's court approval hearing.

Mark C. Blane is a San Diego Child Injury/Accident Attorney and the managing lawyer of the Law Offices of Mark C. Blane, a San Diego, California Personal Injury Law Office dedicated to representing families of minor children injured due to the negligence of others. If you or a loved one, who is a minor child, has been injured or killed in a child accident in San Diego, please order your free copy of Mr. Blane's book, The 10 Secrets You Need To Know About Your Injury Case, BEFORE You Call A Lawyer. It is full of helpful information that will help you protect your legal rights and it normally sells for $16.95.  However, it is free to all California residents, or those injured in a California accident. Also, you can check out Mr. Blane's book on California child injuries called Justice for the Injured Child available for sale; this book has become a California parent's legal survival guide to their child's California accident case. 

Mark Blane
Founder of The Law Offices of Mark Blane, APC