Anonymous feedback recently received from county, circuit and appellate judges in Palm Beach County reveal that area attorneys have room to improve when making their case in court.
Gunster attorney Roger Feicht, as the 2012-2014 chair of the Judicial Spokesperson Subcommittee, which conducts the annual interviews, assembles the responses and presents it to the Palm Beach County Bar Association‘s Judicial Relations Committee, provided an excerpt of their recent findings in the March 2014 issue of the PBC Bar Association’s Bulletin.
According to Feicht’s article, multiple judges commented on the topics of professionalism and improving one’s law practice.
On the issue of civility and professionalism, judicial feedback indicated that these qualities aided an attorney’s credibility with the court, which can become very important in a close case. Also mentioned by the judges on this topic was putting in the effort to resolve issues prior to a hearing before the court, showing respect to court personnel, and refraining from continuing to argue points after a decision has been made by the court.
On the issue of how lawyers might improve their law practice, judicial feedback included:
- Don’t forget contextual basics when stating your case (introduce yourself and your client, identify what your motion is asking for, and then concisely argue your case, including the precise relief you are requesting)
- Read the judges’ divisional instructions before appearing in any Palm Beach County court (these can be found at www.15thcircuit.com)
- Don’t abuse emergency motions (i.e., discovery disputes are almost never an emergency)
- Don’t waste the court’s time with a bad argument
- Don’t schedule a hearing for an insufficient amount of time
- Get a mentor or be a mentor
Feicht practices business and employment law in Gunster’s West Palm Beach office.
Read the entire article: Candid feedback: straight from the bench (Palm Beach County Bar Association Bulletin, March 2014)