People That Work in the Courtroom

People That Work for the Court

There are several people that work in the courtroom. These people work for the court system. They do not advise you or the other side about what to do in your case. Here is a list of the people you may find.

  • Judge or Referee: at the front of every courtroom is the person who makes the decisions. He or she may wear a black robe.
  • Court Clerk: every courtroom has a clerk who helps the Judge manage the cases, keeps track of the court file and orders, and calls out the names of the cases to see if you are there and to call you if the Judge is ready for you.
  • Court Attorney: many courtrooms have court attorneys who work for the court. They may meet with you and the other side to see if an agreement can be made to settle the case.
  • Court Officer: Most courtrooms have a court officer in charge of security.
  • Court Reporter: Some courtrooms have a court reporter to write down, word for word, what is said. Some courtrooms have a machine that records what is said. You can ask for a copy of this record for a fee. Not all court cases are recorded, like Small Claims cases.
  • Court Interpreter: if a party does not speak English well, the court will provide an interpreter for free.


People That Do Not Work for the Court

There are people who you may meet who are working in the courtroom but they do not work for the court system.

  • Lawyers (also called attorneys or counsel): Lawyers are in court to help one side with his or her court case. Lawyers are usually paid for their help. When lawyers come to court to help someone for free it is called pro bono. You do not have to talk to a lawyer for the other side without someone who works for the court with you.
  • Lawyers for a public agency: In some cases there is a lawyer from an agency there to represent the interests of one side or the other. For example, an attorney from the Department of Housing Preservation and Development may be in court when a tenant starts a case for housing repairs against a landlord.
  • Guardian: A guardian may be appointed by the Court to care for an adult or child who is unable to do so.
  • Public Defender (also called a legal aid attorney): In a criminal case, a public defender represents the defendant for free unless the defendant chooses to pay his or her own lawyer.
  • District Attorney (also called a prosecutor): In a criminal case, there will be a lawyer who is representing the state‚Äôs case against the defendant.
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