Learning how to make a judge rule in your favor is an art that every lawyer must learn to succeed in the legal profession.
If you want to make a judge rule in your favor requires effective advocacy that will move a judge to agree with a lawyer’s submissions.
A lawyer can use the power of persuasion to turn a hard case around and get the court on his side.
If the whole world is against you, you may still win your case if you can persuade and convince the judge.
Below are some strategies to help you make a judge rule in your favor.
Know the Court.
Judges who preside in courts are human beings with their differences. Therefore, there are no two courts that think and act the same way.
If you want a judge to rule in your favor, you should study and know the courts and judges handling your cases.
When appearing before a judge for the first time, it makes sense to make inquiries about the judge.
Every court has written and unwritten rules that all the lawyers appearing in that court must observe. Breaking the rules of a court is the first step to losing your case.
When a lawyer gets into the mind of a judge and understands his feelings, then he/she can appeal to those feelings.
Persuading a judge has a lot to do with the impressions you create and how the judge perceives you.
Nothing persuades a judge more than a lawyer being professional in his advocacy and practice in court.
Being aggressive, abusive, rude, offensive, and uncouth will never help you to make a judge rule in your favor.
When lawyers attack an opposing counsel, they undermine the force in their arguments.
The art of professionalism in court entails respecting the judge, the opposing counsel, and every other person in court.
In the words of Antonin Scalia and Brian Garner:
“An advocate should be instructive without being condescending, respectful without being obsequious, and forceful without being obnoxious.”
Master Your Case.
Apart from knowing the courts where he practices, a lawyer must also know the case he is bringing to court.
Mastering your case means knowing the facts, having a strategy, and being prepared for the matter.
A lawyer, who knows his case, is aware of the strong and weak points.
Experienced lawyers know how to highlight and emphasize the strong areas in their case and minimize the weak areas.
Outline the Theory of your Case.
A lawyer should know the case he is handling more than any other person, including the court.
The lawyer must create a theory of his case so that the judge and others can understand it.
Failure to have a clearly defined theory will make it difficult for a judge to follow a lawyer’s arguments in a matter.
The theory of your case must follow a logical sequence. It must include all the vital areas of the matter.
When you create a logical theory, the court is more inclined to adopt it in deciding the case.
Know your Opponent’s Case.
While it is vital to know every aspect of your case, a lawyer must also understand his opponent’s case.
Knowing the opponent’s case will help a lawyer contradict the arguments of the other side.
Failure to study and understand your opponent’s case will make it difficult to address some of their fundamental issues.
Always Start with your Strongest Points.
One great advantage of starting with your strongest points first is that it makes a great impression on the judge and court.
Judges, like all human beings, suffer from short attention spans. When going through a large volume of data, people tend to suffer from diminishing returns.
If you do not start with your best arguments, you stand the risk of losing the judge’s attention.
Lawyers must focus on their best points, and avoid burdening the judge with unnecessary arguments to bore him/her.
Be Clear and Concise.
Being clear and concise is one of the best ways to persuade and make a judge rule in your favor.
Judges handle numerous cases simultaneously and are always on the lookout for the salient points in each case.
When you are clear and concise in your arguments, you stand a better chance of persuading the judge in your submissions.
Remember that judges handle a high volume of cases and do not have the time to put the pieces of your case together for you.
A lawyer must present his client’s case and show the court how the laws and the facts are in his client’s favor.
Don’t Focus too much on Technicalities.
Legal technicalities refer to some fine details contained in our laws, particularly concerning legal proceedings.
A breach of some of these technical provisions sometimes leads to the dismissal of an action.
There is a recent shift in the attitude of judges to the application of technical justice.
Judges are now more inclined and willing to meet the justice of a case rather than dwell on its technical aspects.
Lawyers should appeal to the rules of a case and also the justice and fairness of their position.
You may fail to persuade a judge if you do not have a strong conclusion. There are several ways to create a powerful conclusion.
A conclusion is not an opportunity to start your case afresh. It is time to distill the main points of your case.
You can conclude by restating the main grounds of your argument. You can show the judge why the decision should be in your favor.
Final Words on ways to make a Judge rule in your favor.
The art of persuasion is a skill every lawyer should develop if he/she intends to succeed in the legal profession.
Research has shown that the way you present your arguments to the court determines how persuasive you will be.
If you know all the laws and rules but do not know how to persuade and make a judge rule in your favor, you will never win any case.