ADVOCACY: THE JUDGE’S VIEW: THAT DIFFICULT SECOND SERIES 1: LEARNING FROM THE MASTERS
Last year I wrote a series on Advocacy the Judge’s view. There were ten posts which culled guidance from judges around the world. I had no plans to write another. However I read the article by Master David Cook “Advocacy before the QB Masters – Some Do’s and Dont’s” and it reminded me why I wrote the original series. These are invaluable sources of advice and information. Appearing before Masters can be intimidating, particularly if you normally work out of London. The basic process of finding the Bear Garden (where there are no bears) and getting into the Master’s room (there are no ushers) can be a challenge.
As in the previous series the aim is to encourage you to read the original text. These are edited highlights only.
MASTERS ARE EXPERTS
Master Cook points out that Masters are experts. It is unwise to overlook this.
“A Master is therefore unlikely to take kindly to being addressed at length on the correct test for summary judgment or for granting relief from sanction and may in such circumstances experience a (historical) urge to reach for the White Book; have the words ‘grandma’ and ‘eggs’ firmly in mind at all times.”
- Case summaries are useful.
- If a case summary exists do not repeat its contents in a skeleton argument.
- In many cases a chronology assists.
- When preparing a skeleton argument there is a big clue in the word “skeleton” – “we do not want the entire cadaver”.
“I am constantly astounded by the fact that even very experienced advocates seem to possess no concept of time when they begin speaking”
- On a 30 minute application you have 10 minutes to speak.
- If the matter cannot be completed in the time estimate given say so at the outset.
- Understanding and mastering time will improve your advocacy.
THE JUDGE’S VIEW (SERIES I)
- Things lawyers do to annoy judges: edited highlights
- Advocacy – the judge’s view II: Useful guidance from Down Under.
- Advocacy – the judge’s view III: More Guidance from Canada
- Advocacy – the judge’s view IV – “Avoid Bullshit, smoke and mirrors” (oh and beware “well padded vanity”).
- Advocacy – the judge’s view V: to persuade a judge think like a judge.
- Advocacy – the judge’s view VI: How a judge assesses witness evidence
- Advocacy – the judge’s view VII: Witness statements – short and sweet is best.
- Advocacy – the judge’s view VIII: “Credibility is all you have”.
- Advocacy – the judge’s view IX : What you wear matters.
- Advocacy – the Judge’s view X: 10 key points from around the world.