WE HELP FAMILIES RESOLVE CONFLICT PEACEFULLY


Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Judge is Watching You!

When presenting at a Motion for Temporary Orders, Restraining Order, Motion to Vacate, or similar hearing the Court will typically hear argument from parties or counsel without a full evidentiary hearing. This means that the Judge will make a decision that could significantly affect your life after having only 10-15 minutes to learn what is going on.

I tell clients to pay attention to everything the Judge does during that hearing to get a clue as to what the Judge might be thinking and how they might rule. When they are looking at you, when they are writing, and what questions they ask, are all clues as to what is important to the Judge.

Similarly, the Judge is watching everything you do during that hearing. Since the Judge only has 10-15 minutes to assess your credibility as a witness everything you are doing matters as well. Judges are not just listening to what you say, but how you say it. In addition, the way you react to the allegations of the other party can be crucial to your case. For example, if a hearing is about your inability to control your temper and you react to every negative comment by the opposing party by whispering to your attorney, or shaking your head, then you are showing the Judge that you can't control yourself. We speak volumes with our body language and how we carry ourselves. In the short amount of time the Judge is trying to get a feeling about you everything you say matters, whether you say it literally, or you say it indirectly with your body language.

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