Rude commands and emphasis

Sometimes I hear lawyers saying these words to kind of take control of the courtroom and give extra emphasis to what they are saying. You don’t need to do that. These words are rude and really bother Judges:

Look. This is an order or command that you say to get their attention or orient everyone to something important. I don’t like it. Neither do Judges. They are already looking. So am I for that matter. Hearing you order us around grates on our nerves like someone’s fingernails on an old fashioned chalkboard. If you keep saying it, sooner or later you are going to get yelled at in a big bad way in open court.

Exponentially. You say this one to try to give emphasis and sound smart at the same time. The thing is, Judges are smart too and they know the mathematical term “exponentially” has particular meaning. There are very few times in which you can correctly use this one which means you are either exaggerating or don’t know what you’re talking about. Both are big killers in front of Judges.

Right? This one is used two wrong ways. The first one is a killer when said in court. You say it when you lack confidence in what you are saying and are seeking affirmation from the Judge. The other way is an aggressive command to pay attention and agree with you. Both really make Judges mad and turn them off from whatever it was that you were saying.

Seriously. This is another one that just doesn’t work. You say it to give emphasis but you sound like a little kid playing at being a lawyer. If you had the facts and the law on your side you would not have to say “seriously” because the Judge would know it was serious.

Whatever. When you say this one you are being a rude, insolent teenager. That is never good in front of a Judge. And if you say it TO a Judge you are going to need $1,500 to bail yourself out.

-Samuel Owen

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

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