Family & Juvenile Law Section “Top 10’s”

Top Ten Things To Do To Keep Your Judge Listening
By: The Honorable Cindy Callahan

  1. DON’T READ AND/OR ANSWER EMAILS WHILE AT COUNSEL TABLE!!!!
  2. Exhibits in aid of argument are extremely helpful to a judge, especially in a complicated case, but good in any case.
  3. Be accurate in your time estimates. If you ask for ten minutes, take 10, not 25.
  4. A prepared witness is much more likely to be credited, and tends to move through the relevant testimony more quickly.
  5. Confine your comments to the facts of the case. Attacks on opposing counsel really don’t get you anywhere.
  6. Refrain from using a judge’s ruling the last time you were before him/her as general precedent.
  7. If you intend to use a computer during your court appearance, be sure you have silenced pop-up reminders! Also see No. 1, above.
  8. Simple but true: come to court with copies of exhibits. The court’s budget (money and time) doesn’t including copying your evidence.
  9. If you are going to be late for court, CALL AND SAY SO. And see No. 3, above, re: how long it will be till you arrive.
  10. One time well said is enough. Don’t repeat yourself.