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People that work in the courtroom and people that do not work for the court

People that Work in the Courtroom

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/Magistrate – 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 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 by filling out a Transcript Request Form
  • 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.
  • 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 Human Services may bring a civil action to Court when there are concerns whether a child has been abused or neglected. 
  • Public Defender - 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’s case against the defendant.

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