On Dealing with Judges by Nnamdi Okafor, Esq

In our daily practice as trial lawyers, we interact with judges on a daily basis.

We should know that judges do talk about us a lot among themselves and they often compare notes on which lawyers are to be trusted and respected.

To dominate in this area, there are several time-tested rules that you should bear in mind. They are:

1.Show respect for court, not only in the words you choose but your manner of delivering them. If you feel that you are being treated unfairly, your remedy is to appeal, not to show your disapproval by being rude.

2. Try to understand the judge’s point of view. You are an advocate, with a duty to plump for your client’s side of the case; the judge is required to see both sides. Ask yourself, “How would I react if I had to make the decision on this issue, rather than my own argument?”

3. Give the court all the help you can, in the form of clear and reasonable legal assistance. Be ready to shift grounds while taking dates. Avoid the temptation of showing us that your diary is filled to the brim.

Remember, a trial lawyer has a duty to everyone, including himself and the judge he appears before, to be a lawyer and a gentleman.

4. Always, always, but always make sure that your word is as good as solid gold when speaking to a judge. Courts could not function at all if they could not rely on the representations of counsel.

When you make a statement to a judge, consider yourself to be under oath.

Lawyers whom judges trust normally find their working environment pleasant.

Lawyers who mislead a judge just once will spend years living that one incident down.

With judges, as with others alongside whom you will be working in the practice of law, first impressions are important.

I hope this helps?

What other rules can you make out? You can add them below…

Compiled by:

O. N. D. Okafor Esq.

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