If you’ve never appeared in front of a judge before, it can be quite an intimidating thought. But in reality, it’s not that scary. Here’s how you should get prepared for a tribunal.
Find a Lawyer
Even if your case is only minor, it’s still a good idea to find a lawyer that can defend you and make your case as professional as it possibly can be. People who choose to take on their case by themselves often make major mistakes that can result in them not getting the outcome that they want.
Remember, there are lots of different types of lawyers. They’re not all the same, so choose one that specialises in the kind of case that you have. VCAT lawyers are common for people who are facing minor cases or specialised disputes. Check their case history and see how successful they are before hiring them though.
Prepare Your Evidence
If you turn up at the tribunal without strong evidence, the chances are the case won’t go your way. You don’t want to risk this happening, so make sure you have as much comprehensive and detailed evidence as you can possibly get together. Your lawyer should be able to help you with this.
Evidence won’t be taken seriously if it comes from your brother or your best friend though. Witness testimony is vital, but it carries much more weight if the testimony comes from someone who is not associated with you. If they know you and want the tribunal to go your way, the judge will have to take their bias into consideration.
Work on Your Presentation
When you’ve got all your evidence, testimonies and documents in place, it needs to be organised so that it’s ready to be presented at the tribunal. You can’t just drop a file of documents on the desk and expect the judge to read through it all. You need to present it in a coherent and clear manner.
You might not think that this is very important, but it could be the difference between a successful case and a failed case. If you arrive well-prepared and look like you’re taking the case seriously, you’ll create a great first impression. Then, as long as your case backs up your presentation skills, you should be successful.
Don’t Ramble On
It’s important that you don’t talk too much when you present to the judge though. They don’t want to sit there for hours while you present your case. You need to focus on being as short as possible while still making sure you keep all the vital points of your argument in the presentation.
It is understandable that people talk too much (and it is a lot better than talking too little) but being short and snappy can be an effective approach. I’m not telling you to take shortcuts and leave out important facts, but don’t ramble on or include too many unnecessary details.
The final point to make is that you should be confident and calm when you present. As long as you do that and employ my other tips, things should go smoothly for you.