The Chicago Bar Association

Be very respectful and courteous of all persons who are present at the hearing, and regardless of what happens during the hearing do not express anger but rather stay truthful, humble and sincere

  • Being very respectful and courteous of everyone at the hearing (the judge as well as the Employer's witnesses) never killed anyone, and instead can go a long way towards the judge having a favorable impression of you (including also that your version of what happened is more believable than the Employer's different version).
  • By contrast, showing anger at your Employer (or the judge) will not help your cause, but will be a distraction from the content of your testimony, and instead it may very well reflect negatively on you, and result in the judge having a negative assessment of the truthfulness of your testimony and the facts of the case.
  • There is an old lawyer saying that goes "if you don't have good facts bang on the law; if you don't have good law bang on the facts; if you don't have good facts or law bang on the table." In other words lawyers in arguing their case not only emphasize their strengths but attempt to distract from their weaknesses. But the judges also know this, so if you are showing anger or otherwise acting inappropriately the judge may very well believe (rightly or wrongly) that you are trying to distract them from facts that are bad for you - so don't do it.
  • Be prepared that the judge (or the Employer) may show anger frustration at you through no fault of your own.
  • Sometimes a judge may show anger towards you as a means of testing you to see if you will likewise show anger and/or to see if you will change your testimony towards attempting to get out the real facts of what happened.
  • Do not reciprocate anger for anger - keep calm and stay truthful, humble, and sincere.
  • At the beginning of the hearing the judge will swear in all witnesses thereby obligating everyone to tell the truth.
  • That said, expect the Employer's witnesses to lie (and if they don't lie then take that as a bonus). Do not let their lying offend you or throw you off-topic, but rather take strength from the fact that you are telling the truth and that you will be testifying during the hearing about what really happened.
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