Judges are often thought of as men or women sitting on a high bench, way off in the distance, with a gavel in hand, and stern look on their faces. We need to remember that Judges are everyday people who have a certain kind of job.
Recently a number of lawyers from McLaughlins Lawyers attended an event to listen to members of the Judiciary talk about the work that they do and give some takeaway tips.
The important role of the lawyer in court
The Judges commented that they rely on good lawyers doing the best they can in presenting their client’s case. The challenges with self-represented litigants can sometimes be the integrity of the information which is presented to the Court. Technology allows self-represented litigants to find ‘Google answers’ which may provide misinformation and could be unhelpful in a Judge having to decide a matter. A lawyer’s role in preparing and presenting a case in Court is a benefit to the Judge who hears the matter.
Challenges faced by Judges
Judges can sometimes be uncomfortable with the thought that everything they say is going to be transcribed or aired in a public forum. This can place a great deal of pressure on them. Judges acknowledge the responsibility that they have in making orders in their courts, and consider this a privilege. One Judge explained that he doesn’t view himself as better then anybody else, just that he has a certain job to do. Judges make the best decision they can on the day with the information that they have at that point in time.
Tips for lawyers and their clients
- Be patient – the Court is busy and you are encouraged to try and resolve matters beforehand.
- Be prepared – know the law. There is no shortcut for preparation. Both the lawyer and the client need to have their case prepared properly when they go to court.
- Be precise and brief – there is no need to talk about the history of the case from the day the client was born. Not all of that information will be necessary for the Judge to decide a matter.
McLaughlins lawyers work hard to deliver the best outcome for their clients and to make sure that their clients feel supported and confident in the legal process. Joelene Nel is a family lawyer at McLaughlins Lawyers with more than 15 years experience helping parties resolve matters after separation. Joelene is involved in the Gold Coast legal community as a volunteer and a committee member of the Gold Coast District Law Association.
Contact McLaughlins Lawyers on (07) 5591 5099 so that we can help you with your legal matter.
Author: Joelene Nel
Directors: Sophie Pearson
Date: 1 April 2019