“The counsel for the party is busy in another court, my lord may kindly give the next date of hearing.”
If I get a dollar, each time I have heard these words, I would be a millionaire by now.
Forget just hearing the statement, you, myself, or any lawyer, must have used this phrase at least once in their legal career. While most of the time the concern is genuine since a lot of legal matters demand in-depth adjudication, our legal system believes in justice delayed than injustice served; a lot of times this liberty does get misused.
Although the seasoned lawyer might use this often because of a prior commitment and might even get excused, but being a new addition to the bar, one should refrain from making it a habit. Now, the question would be why? For clients to take you seriously, for judges to appreciate your commitment, for you to set your path and for your juniors to follow that path are some of the few reasons to name. Seeking adjournment might seem necessary in the beginning but soon would turn into a lousy habit even before you know it.
The magical words of seeking adjournments remind me of Plato’s allegory of the cave. Once a noble person taught other noble people how to seek an adjournment and now everybody seeks one, hardly appreciating the real purpose behind it.
Many would argue that being a young lawyer, one does not have much of the choice but to use these words as instructed by the superiors. If you are in that then this piece is exactly for you. Here are a few tips, how you can reverse the osmosis:
HAVING THE FILE AND READING IT TOO
And there I gave you the important ingredient. Being a young lawyer, a lot of time either you are nervous or just careless. The first step to being taken seriously and progress in the short span, it is rather important that you never enter the courtroom in a lousy or haphazardly manner. Always carry the case file, it does not matter even if you know the case by heart you always respect the courtroom decorum and bring a file with yourself. Not carrying the relevant papers with you gives an impression of having a casual approach in the courtrooms. On the contrary, carrying paperwork does half of the job, it gets you the initial respect of being presentable. The latter half comes with the knowledge you carry to the courtroom. Not only being appropriate is important but knowing your client, the relevant case, and the law also shows how much you appreciate the professionalism.
So, next time even if you are in a situation of seeking adjournment on genuine grounds, being well versed with your client case not only helps your client from getting their case dismissed but also helps in an informed decision making. You might be surprised, getting the job done without having your senior by the side.
BE THAT BLUE-EYED PERSON
Reporting prepared at the workspace and in the courtroom, not only help you grow professionally but also make you a reliant asset for your superior. Next thing you know, a big client or a promotion coming your way. Always tell yourself, you are here to make a difference. The continuity in your learning will help you stretch your horizon and brings out a new definition of yourself and your capabilities.
FALSE ELOQUENCE IS EXAGGERATION
Entering as a newbie into the profession, many would romanticize the legal sphere by drawing their reference from suits, Boston Legal and other displayed realities. Going unprepared to the courtroom and pretending to know it all is a sure form of self-damage. Never make a generalized statement to the Bar, chances are you will get corrected or might get thrown out of the courtroom as well. It is very important to respond accurately and carefully, also a key to avoid exaggeration. The submissions made by legal personnel is defacto submitted under an oath. Judges have a keen sense of when you are exaggerating and they do not like it. Chances are you might be booked under perjury or contempt.
So next time when you have a hearing, not only suit up but suit-up!