Do lawyers evaluate the weak points of their arguments before going to court?
One of the most crucial requirements for a trail lawyer is to perform at his best professional abilities having a client orientated perspective. It is an inevitable part of a trial procedure where a lawyer considers to all existing arguments and potential counter-arguments, revising and evaluating them in order to fulfil his professional duty. According to empirical research, legal argumentation substantially affect the judicial decision-making, indicating that a performance of a lawyer during oral argumentation is one the primary factors affecting the case, as the judges react on well-presented and credible information. This denies the view that judges rely more on their ideological perspectives while reaching a decision, especially during high complexity cases including salient cases (Timothy R. Johnson, James F Spriggs II and Paul J. Wahlbeck, 2007).
A survey conducted by Robert M. Roach, where he interviewed well-respected appellate lawyers in the State of Texas, showed that the lawyers prepared for a trial by evaluating and preparing to respond to arguments that are not advantageous for his client. After the briefing process, the lawyers focus on most relevant and favourable arguments as well as ask themselves which points might be raised in court.
Not surprisingly, all lawyers said that they do not focus entirely on their strong arguments, as it is also crucial to identify and be prepared to defend their weak points (Robert M. (Randy) Roach ).Subsequently, they are able either to bring their weak arguments in court first in order to prove them reasonable from the start, or they are able to construct their argumentation in such a way to prevent the court to raise unfavourable arguments. It is thus, an inevitable part of a lawyers’ job to have a particular regard to weak arguments.
- Robert M. (Randy) Roach, Jr., “Preparing for Oral Argument: A Survey of Lawyers and Judges,” Houston, Texas
- Timothy R. Johnson, James F Spriggs II and Paul J. Wahlbeck, “Oral Advocacy Before the United States Supreme Court: Does It Affect the Justices’ Decisions?,” Washington University Law Review 85 (2007): 3
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