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Richard Ames

Good for you. Sounds like you had a good day in court. I used to feel a lot like you describe until I started to see a pattern that there is no pattern. Good court days and bad court days, regardless of preparation, are rather unpredictable for the most part. So many factors are out of my control regardless of how “centered” or “in command” I might feel -- existing legal precedents, mood of the judge, time of day (just before or just after lunch = bad time), personality of opposing counsel, temperature of the court room (we have problems in that department where I practice), and oh, the facts -- all these things conspire to make me look foolish or brilliant at times.

Oh, and about the “your honor” versus “sir" -- Actually I personally think calling the Court “sir” is a good thing once in a while. I never call the Court “your honor,” just a personal rule for myself. I say “the Court” or “judge.” Too many “honors” elevates the court a bit too much for my taste, and judges respond better to me if they sense I have no awe, either real or affected, about them. It nicely puts them on notice that I recognize they’re just a guy or a gal in a Batman cape, and that we are, *together*, trying to come up with a decision that makes sense. The only really honorable thing in the courtroom is the caselaw and statutes, and a little casualness toward the person of the court can go a long way to gaining respect. Just my opinion, which I know you didn’t ask for.

Geez, all I wanted to say is I’m glad you had a good day in court. Sorry for the ramble.


Nicely done. Sounds like an experience I had a few weeks ago when I brought a motion to amend the court's order so that I could file an interlocutory appeal. The judge took one look at the complaint served on my clients, and told the plaintiff's attorney that if he were the plaintiff's attorney, he'd amend the complaint and try serving my clients again.

The plaintiff's attorney said, "I don't think I have to do that." The judge repeated his warning. Now we've got our petition filed...

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