If your case will be going to court, here is a list of guidelines that will be to your benefit:
1. Know the exact location of the court appearance and give yourself ample time to arrive at the courthouse no later than 15 minutes prior to the hearing, despite poor weather, traffic, etc. If you have a computer or access to a computer you may want to do a map quest for directions to the courthouse. You should be aware that most courts have metal detectors and you are not allowed to bring cell phones into the courthouse.
2. Under no circumstances should you be late for court. The courts operate on very strict schedules and judges tend to be extremely intolerant of anyone who does not respect their schedule and inconveniences them, the other attorney, the other party, court personnel, etc.
3. Dress very respectfully. You should dress as if you were attending church. There should be no gym shoes, jeans, facial hair, visible tattoos, low cut tops, too short skirts, wrinkled shirts, noisy or conspicuous jewelry or belts, sandals, t-shirts, or any other type of casual clothing. If you are in the military you would wear your dress uniform. If not, a suit is preferred for men and a shirt and blouse for women.
4. Under no circumstances are you to "express yourself" in a courtroom. While you are in the court room you should never talk, groan, argue with a judge or the other party, roll your eyes, jump out of your chair, use profanity, or argue with anyone. It is in my experience that a judge gives the least credibility to whoever is the most emotional in the courtroom.
5. Come to court with any documents that might be needed in an organized labeled folder so that you can locate them quickly. Be familiar with the documents that have been filed with the court such as your budget sheet and numbers contained therein. Be prepared to be questioned about all of the documents by the judge or the other attorney.
6. When responding to any questions asked in the courtroom, your answer should be short and definite. It should never appear that you have not carefully determined what you would like the court to do for you and why.
7. While you are in court if you try to discuss what you heard or read by someone other than someone who is in court, it is likely that the other attorney will object to that as hearsay.
8. Virginia Small Claims Court Procedures - PDF explaining Virginia Small Claims Court proceedings. How to file, etc...