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The Imaginary, but angry Judge

The vast majority of Employment Judges are, the vast majority of the time, calm and reasonable.

It’s useful, however, to have in mind, when preparing your case, an imaginary Judge, who is rather angry and doesn’t seem to know much employment law. Imagine that, at any given moment in your cross-examination or submissions he might break in to say ‘What on earth are you talking about, Mr Reed? This all seems like complete nonsense to me!’

Would you be able to convince this testy Judge that you’re right? Can you support your position with the necessary scaffolding of legislation and case-law? Can you explain why your line of questioning is relevant to an issue in the case? Because if not, you may be heading for trouble. If you can’t support your view, maybe you’re wrong. And, even if you’re not, exactly how are you going to persuade a Judge who has doubts?

(I think this is really advice for professional representatives, who might find it a useful mental exercise – if they haven’t already internalised the process. If you’re a litigant in person, imagining a Judge asking agressive questions may just make you stressed. If you’re worried about this, I’d suggest observing a few hearings and see how real, rather than imaginary, Judges behave.)

One comment

  1. Mike

    I strongly agree that it is always essential to ensure that you have understood your case – and that of your opponent, and the underlying authority on which you seek to rely… just in case the Tribunal/Court is less familiar.

    However, when the Tribunal says “Mr X – there is a reason why you are not required to supply the Tribunal with certain authorities… the ones with which we are all familiar…”, then you know you have overstepped the mark !

    Painful !

    I suspect that certain individuals may be more upset by being ‘taught’ Employment Law than being unaware…

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