Skipping too much

These are the lazy lawyers way of losing a hearing. When you skip over the important stuff, you don’t give the Judge a reason to rule for your client. I call these words and phrases skipping too much. The Bar sometimes calls them malpractice.

At the end of the day. I really hate to hear people say this one. It’s similar to the problem with “basically” up above. You’re trying to just jump to the end and avoid explaining things. You are there to tell the Judge the reasons. Don’t jump to the end of anything at all.

Basically. You say this one to try to skip over the legal reasoning and get to a point with some fake finality. You are trying to cut corners and it looks like you aren’t prepared to present legal reasoning for exactly why. Judges don’t want you to skip over anything. You probably learned to say “basically” all the time because you write long, rambling email messages and you use the word “basically” to get back on track and wrap it up. So, like, basically don’t do that in court.

In the final analysis. This one is just as bad as “at the end of the day” but for different reasons. You are not going to skip ahead and just tell the Judge what the final analysis is. It is your job to present logical evidence and legal argument so that the Judge can then make the final analysis. Don’t try to do their job or con them into a decision. It will backfire and the client will get really mad.

And so forth. There is no such thing as a “so forth.” You are supposed to explain each and every one of the facts. Every single one is important so don’t skip do the end. You have to lay out the reasons and the legal support. Don’t say this one and imply that there are other things you haven’t said or don’t want to say. Get them all out.

-Samuel Owen

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

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