Being a new lawyer can be a little intimidating. How do you prepare mentally for the challenges of your first court case? You don’t know the judge and you have not went against the opposing counsel, so what do you do to make sure you are mentally prepared? To mentally prepare for your first court case you must be confident, make sure you know all the facts of the case, make sure you know all of the applicable law and that you are prepared for any motions that may arise during your case.
Confidence is a large part of winning any court battle. You can gain confidence in your case by knowing your case inside and out. Confidence also gains favor with the judge and jury because it looks like you are in control of the situation and you are working in the best interest of your client.
Knowing the facts of your case is very important. Knowing the facts helps you to identify whether the witnesses are telling the truth when they are on the stand. It also helps you to be prepared with objections if the opposing party attempts to add facts to the case through testimony that are not in evidence. Be prepared with objections you may want to use to keep certain facts out. Also, have responses to objections prepared.
One way of being mentally prepared is to know what laws apply to the case. Just as important as knowing the laws that you are applying to the case, you must anticipate the laws that your opponent may be applying to the case. You must anticipate any arguments they make and have a response prepared in case they do.
Researching case law is your best indicator of what motions the opposing party may make and what arguments they are using against you. Cases that set precedents in your jurisdiction are the best indicators for how your case may play out. If a motion was successful, it is far more likely the opposing party will make that motion during the course of the case.
Have any anticipated motions prepared before you enter the courtroom. Once you make the motion, let the judge know that you have a proposed order for him to sign and that makes the process much easier. Having a proposed order keeps you from running back and forth from the courthouse to get paperwork filed.
Being mentally prepared for court is a large part of winning your case. If the judge and jury feel that you are prepared and doing a good job, the case is far more likely to go your way. If you know your facts, know your law and are prepared with your paperwork you can rest easy. With a little confidence and preparation, you will win your case.