When I was growing up, my parents and teachers always taught me to play fair. I know most attorneys wouldn’t take the time to write out a bunch of tips to help their opposing council in court; they’d want to keep all of these pro-tips for themselves. But I’m not most attorneys.
So in the spirit of sharing which was imposed upon me as a young child studying my law books in the den (not really), here are 6 tips to share with my opposing council on how to score bonus points with the judge.
1. Compliment the Judge
When you’re going in front of a judge for the first time with your client, it’s important to get on his good side immediately. You could always bake him some of your famous home-made snickerdoodle cookies, but paying a simple compliment to the judge is free and doesn’t require any ingredients.
Here’s how it’s done: As soon as the judge begins his opening comments, interrupt him and say something like, “Yer Honor, you look really great today. Especially for a man who wears a dress to work.”
He will be so flattered by your compliment, that is’s possible he could award you the case right then.
2. Wink at the Judge
This lets the judge know that you’re paying attention. Don’t over-do it with the winking. Sometimes a simple nod followed by gun-shooting finger gesture will get the job done.
But I’ve found a good ratio of 2:1 works well with judges. 2 winks for every 1 shooting gesture. The case is yours.
3. When it Comes to Dress, Be Yourself
Your career title is Attorney. But don’t let that define you. Be who you are. The judge doesn’t care how you dress for court, especially if you have plans afterwards and don’t have time to change. Rock those heels, workin’ girl!
4. Build Rapport With the Judge Outside of Court
After court, follow the Judge around. Find out where she hangs out – what she likes to do. If you have to, peek into her house and see what kinds of things she watches on TV or if she has any pets. Then, bring those things up in natural conversation during court.
Pretend you like the same TV shows and have the same kind of dog. You guys will be BFF and your case will be a slam dunk!
5. It’s OK to Be Late
Being late sends a strong message to the judge: “I’m a super busy attorney with a lot of cases; so hurry up and give me the win so I can be on my way!”
The judge will really respect you for this, and I’m sure he has places he’d rather be too. Showing up late is a great way to show the judge your professionalism, and 9 times out of 10 the judge will take you out for celebratory drinks that evening.
6. Bring the Kids
Your client wants to bring the kids to court? Absolutely! But I’m not talking just about your clients. Bring your own kids. Not only does this give your family a chance to see you work, it also shows the judge how compassionate you and your client are about family.
Cancel that babysitter and bring the whole family! You know, if you wanna win.
Conclusion – The Truth Revealed
This blog post is clearly my sarcastic way of saying that I would never do any of these things. I take my responsibility as your attorney very seriously. Preparing for every case is just half of the battle. How you and I both present ourselves and act during court is just as important. When you hire me to represent you, we cover all of our bases from start to finish to present the best possible case for you.
At Flood Family Law, listening, understanding, and advocating for our clients are our primary concerns. Call 317-430-3772 for a free consultation about your case and 6 (or more) tips on how to actually handle your case in court.