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Can I Bring My Dog to Court?

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By George Khoury, Esq. on June 28, 2018 3:58 PM

While dogs may be making more and more appearances in courthouses across the country, few litigators will be so bold as to try to bring their pet with them to a court appearance. But, what's the worst that could happen? Right?

Perhaps surprisingly, there are not many reports of litigators trying to do so, despite the fact that more and more lawyers are bringing their furry four-legged friends into the office. One possible reason might just be that having a pet in the courtroom would just be unduly prejudicial, particularly if a juror or judge is a "dog-person." Additionally, it is easy to see how it would just be a distraction.

Nevertheless, below you can find a few tips on how to bring your dog to court.

1. No Seriously, Don't

If you've read this far into the article, you probably need to be reminded that this is a bad idea. Unless your pup is a "working dog," such as a guide or alert dog, it probably isn't a good idea to even test out whether the court will let you bring your dog. If a child, or other fragile, witness needs some emotional support to testify, seek permission of the court before bringing a trained support dog. However, there are a couple options that'll get you close.

2. Find a Dog Walker

Depending on what type of appearance you're making, you can take your dog to the courthouse steps and have a dog walker meet you there to take your pup for a nice long walk while you fight for justice. Thanks to the modern world we live in, there are apps and websites that can help you coordinate dog walkers and sitters, on the fly.

3. Leave Your Dog With a Staff Member, or Colleague

Dogs are excellent working companions (so long as they can be calm for long periods of time indoors). Depending on how your staff and colleagues react to your pup, it could be rather easy to drop the doggo off at the office while you go arguing.

4. The Only Way to Make a Court Appearance With Your Pet

If you are really bent on having your best friend right by your side while arguing on the record, there is one option available in some jurisdictions ... it's called a telephonic appearance.

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