Friday, July 1, 2016

What to Do if the Judge Starts Asking Questions

It seems like in about every case that involves a hearing in Tarrant County, the Judge will ask questions of the parties and sometimes other witnesses.  You need to be prepared to answer properly and respectfully.  Here are some tips to keep in mind.

1.  Be polite.  Yes sir and yes ma'am sound good to the Judge.  Be on your best behavior.

2.  Answer directly, but don't volunteer.  Your attorney can help out by following up with questions, if necessary.  Often, no one wants to know what you think is important for the Judge to know. Let the Judge and your attorney decide what additional information is needed.  You might blurt out something that makes you look very foolish.

3.  Watch your body language.  Don't cross your arms over your chest.  Don't frown.  Try to look pleasant and interested.  You can lean forward a little.  Your attorney may whisper for you to change your posture or expression or arms if they convey the wrong message.

4.  Be reasonable.  That may mean being willing to share time, responsibility or something else.  Be flexible and cooperative.  Judges like that.

5.  Speak up, but not too much.  Don't get loud and obnoxious.  Make sure the Judge can hear you.  Speaking softly can make you seem unsure of your answers.  Speak confidently.

If you follow these tips, you can do well in court if the Judge starts to ask you questions.

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