Improper implications

These are career killers. Maybe not necessarily the first time, but if you say them enough you are headed back to get your MBA or something. Maybe you can get a job in sales. They take everyone.

As it were. Of course everything is as it were. It’s also as it is and as it will be in the future. When you say this one you are either saying something dumb or you are coyly telling the Judge that you know what you just said was a bad cliché or a lie from the client, or something. If you’re worried about either of those, don’t say anything at all. Just move on so that the Judge doesn’t get really mad.

Apparently. You say this one to kind of hint that you have authority for saying something without actually being ready with a case cite to back it up. You’re implying somebody told you or you have proof when you don’t. You can also use this one to allude to bad things like insults or racist statements without actually being accused of saying it yourself. The Judges know it also gives you some cover to backtrack if somebody points out that you’re wrong. You can try to say “well, apparently that’s not true anymore” or something equally bad. Judges sniff this one out all the time. The first occasion they hit you for saying it will probably be your last so I’m giving you fair warning here.

If you will. This one is huge red flag. When you inject “if you will” into something you are saying you are asking people to believe some huge lie or exaggeration. You are asking the listener to just go along with you while you make some kind of argument about what could be or maybe should be. Either way, it’s a big way to tick off Judges. No they won’t, unless you really explain why which won’t require you to say “if you will.”

Personally. Nothing is supposed to be your personal opinion or your own life story in court. You are a professional lawyer who is being an advocate for your client. Stick to the facts and the law. The Judge doesn’t care about you or your personal feelings on something. Besides, it’s improper to try to use your personal credibility to bolster the facts as in “personally I believe my client and you should too.” So shut up about yourself.

-Samuel Owen

© Samuel Owen 2012. All rights reserved. Please read important notices and disclaimers by clicking here.
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