Monday, July 28, 2014

Another reason why knowing your judge is required

So at one point, a judge in Y county, before she was thankfully rotated off the eviction calendar, decided she couldn't be bothered with Plaintiff proving its side of the case.  So she would ask the Plaintiff, "Have you read the Complaint?" and the Plaintiff would presumably say "yes."  Then she would ask, "is everything it says true?" and the Plaintiff would presumably again say "yes."  Then she would turn to Defendant and ask Defendant to prove his/her case.

If you were Plaintiff's counsel and you did not properly prepare your client for this type of "trial" [term used loosely], the results could be quite unexpected.  This happened to a fellow Plaintiff's counsel, who obviously had never "tried" a case before this particular judge.

Judge:  "So, Mr. Smith, have you had a chance to read the Complaint?"

Plaintiff:  "Yes."

Judge:  "And is everything it says true?"

Plaintiff:  "No!  It's a pack of lies!"

My esteemed colleague almost passed out.  But he recovered sufficiently to explain to his client that the Complaint was HIS document.  The Answer was the Defendant's document.

Plaintiff:  "Sorry, Judge.  My Complaint is true.  Defendant's paper is a pack of lies."

Judge:  "You should probably apologize to your attorney.  I think you gave him a heart attack."

Plaintiff, turning to his attorney:  "Sorry."

Counsel, hand on heart:  "No problem."

Moral of this story:  Know your judge.

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