Hot Court-Cold Court – A Personal Story – Part 2

So what happens?

I got up to the Court early and the other side was there also.

We both go into the Courtroom together and the Judge comes out on the bench. All rise. The Judge has no papers with him. I started to feel some sweat on my forehead.

The first thing the Court says is, “What are you guys here for?” I knew there was going to be an issue. We told him we were there for the argument. And the second question he asked was, “Well tell me about the case.” This means the Court was cold and had not looked at my Brief or even knew what the legal issue was.

Now from a human side of things, if you are like me, your first reaction to this is going to be anger. I mean you have cases that are directly on point, you have submitted it well in advance of the hearing, you assume the Court has reviewed it to see why this is such an open and shut issue.

But one thing you have to do as an attorney is be able to put your anger in check no matter how unfair you think it is. Then calmly, clearly and with a pleasant tone, explain your position to the Court.

That’s what I tried to do as best I could. Pittsburgh Wrongful Death, Medical Malpractice, Slip & Fall, Car Accident and Criminal Defense Attorney Bernie Tully got the sense that the Court understood our argument because after I made my initial argument, he was more focused on the defense and their points. That is usually a good sign because it indicates the Court knows what you are saying and just wants to hear from the other side before it makes its decision.

I don’t know how the Court will rule on this. I will let you know. Hot Court – Cold Court. Geez.

The last thing to keep in mind is just because the Court has not reviewed the file or the record or knows anything at all about the case when you walk in there doesn’t mean that it is a bad Court. It is just the preference of that particular Judge to know nothing about the argument or the legal issue prior to the hearing and then after hearing your arguments, he will then review the files and your Briefs and make a decision. It is the same result in the end in that the Court will read the Brief before deciding the issue. So I am cautiously optimistic on this case.

Pittsburgh Wrongful Death, Medical Malpractice, Slip & Fall, Car Accident and Criminal Defense Attorney Bernie Tully thinks the point of all of this is that an attorney can never assume anything about what a Court is or is not going to do. You have to be ready for all contingencies. It was another learning experience for me for sure, even after 36 years of doing this.

Thanks for reading.

Bernie the Attorney