We’ve written quite a bit about the value of being nice. As we’ve remarked before, this isn’t because we’re especially nice people – it’s just that being nice is often quite a good way of getting what you’re after.
A particular case of this is that it’s worth being pleasant to the tribunal. They shouldn’t really let their decisions about which party wins be influenced by which party they like better – but they are human, and if the case is finely balanced and someone has to get the benefit of the doubt, being the party the tribunal likes better could just tip it in your favour. So if they ask you a question, answer it patiently, even if you think it’s a silly question. If you feel annoyed with them, don’t let it show. If you think the whole tribunal system is corrupt, keep that opinion to yourself until your hearing is over. Make eye contact at least some of the time when you are giving your evidence. Laugh or smile if one of them attempts a joke.