Success in a courtroom is not quite like the plausible climactic scenes that you might have seen in courtroom drama-based series.
To be a lawyer and represent a client calls for responsibility and accountability. A lawyer represents a lot more than just a client in the court. The ethics of advocating go beyond just the victory of a certain case. It is the practice and ethical conduct of the entire constitution that every single case represents and a lawyer is the voice of this representation.
India is a country where everyone gets a fair trial, however obvious a crime and a culprit may be, and a lawyer is important to facilitate the voice of an individual to claim their fundamental rights. So, the performance of a lawyer in a courtroom is so much more than the verdict of just one case.
Every case is different and needs different advocacy, but there are some things that a lawyer must keep in mind in order to succeed in a courtroom.
1. Read everything you can:
This is one of the most basic and yet, the most practical advice for anyone appearing in a court. Your details are your armor in a court. You get one fact wrong and your entire case might lose credibility. Read everything that can be read about the case. The opponent's claims, your client's case, the evidence, any medical reports involved, and any papers or documents related to the case. A lawyer who knows every detail about his client has already done half their job right.
2. Refer to similar cases from the past:
A case in a courtroom represents all the cases that were trialed before and all the cases that will be trialed in the future. This means, that examining a case that is similar to the case in question will be of immense help. If you can find a case with a similar background and similar complexity, and the judgment for that case seems to be the kind of judgment that you would want for your case, study the proceedings that influenced the case and the factors that lead to the judgment in favor. Studying similar cases helps a lawyer predict the verdict.
3. Know your client’s story:
A miscommunication between a lawyer and their client is an absolute disaster in the courtroom. If in a courtroom, the client and the lawyer cannot agree on details, the case is half-lost. Know your client's story. Take note of as many details as possible to avoid ambiguous storytelling in the court. Know the times, dates, names, and locations related to the case.
4. Work on determining the loopholes:
A great lawyer is also a great judge within. A lawyer must have the ability to predict the loopholes in their own case. Sometimes, certain things done by your client might be questionable in a court of law. In this case, the opposition might find a chance to strike you. To win a case, one must know why the case might fail. Know the loopholes in your own story.
5. Use visual representation:
Fighting a case is an art in its own way. The better you perform and the more clarity you can provide, the better the communication. Visual representations of your story and evidence help a lot. This can include pictures from the day of the event, pictures from the venue of the event, pictures of the people involved in the case, or anything that can be helpful for the case. Having said that, a lawyer must make sure to check the available technical facilities of the particular court before relying solely on digital representation.
6. When the opponent speaks, listen:
Many lawyers make the mistake of being too engrossed in what to say that they forget to listen. Listening while the opponent speaks is your chance to make note of their mistakes and loopholes which can be targeted to favor your own case. An efficient lawyer is as good a listener, as he is a speaker. When you speak, you defend and when you listen, you defy.
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7. Go through the opposition party’s criminal history:
There is a factor in every case that is just as important as the case. The individual involved in the case. The court of law is very responsive to an individual's character. Experienced lawyers always study their opponent as deeply as they study the case. If you can prove in the court of law that despite little evidence in the particular case, the opposition has a questionable character and has a record of being involved with similar crimes and circumstances, there is an instant lack of credibility from the opposition's side and that is a huge plus for your case.
8. Know your closing:
This is where the lawyer's intelligence and efficiency are truly tested. A lawyer knows how to end the case before he even begins it. Knowing your closing argument in advance means that you are more in control of your case throughout the session. It adds a structure to your narrative and prevents it from being random and improvised. Keep the space to accommodate new details as the evidence and the opposition's arguments unravel but do not wait till the last moment to prepare your closing speech. A closing argument, when done well and confidently has the potential to influence the verdict of the case to a huge degree and it does not help to make the closing argument sound like a patchwork of surfacing unclear facts. Having your closing argument already prepared and just adding new factors and angles to it as it occurs in the court is a pro-tip for courtroom success.
So, this was all that you needed to know before succeeding in a courtroom. If you need one more tip, it would be, to KNOW THE CONSTITUTION. If it does not seem obvious, you might want to wait a while before you are ready for a courtroom clash.