Everybody goes to the small claims hearing with one goal: to win the case. Yet, many tend to sabotage their case by committing expensive mistakes. Even lawyers handling your case may make a mistake that may not win the judge’s favor. Since the judge will decide your fate in the case, it is vital to know what to do to help your case during the hearing.
Here are five common mistakes you should avoid when you go for a small claims hearing.
1. Going to the court without considering other mediation methods
This is a common mistake. Using different mediation approaches and out-of-court settlement services can be helpful to talk to your potential court opponents. Be sure to carry out a court action when other forms of mediation are unsuccessful.
2. Interrupting the judge
During a hearing, you may not want to interrupt the judge. Yes, your local courtroom drama may not have portrayed real-life court scenes realistically. This could be through verbal murmuring or actual outbursts. To avoid this, you should keep your eye on the judge when they are talking. Avoid attempting to correct them when they seem to have made a mistake. Be sure only to speak when spoken to. Write down anything you intend to add before and say it when offered the chance to speak.
3. Displaying the wrong attitude
Your attitude in the courtroom is very crucial. Being aggressive or passive towards the judge, clerk, and other persons in the court can be detrimental to your case. You are upset about the issue, and that is why you are in court. Yet, while you may have reasons to be upset, losing your head won’t win you anything. You may want to keep your calm, composure and stick to your facts. You might as well take a cue from Teddy Roosevelt’s advice to speak softly and carry a big stick.
4. Not hiring a lawyer
Lawyers are professionals in the legal world. They are trained to provide legal counsel and are knowledgeable in various essential procedures. Therefore, hiring one would be very beneficial. An attorney also helps you appreciate the issues and prepare you adequately before the hearing. For instance, medical malpractice attorneys can ensure that your malpractice claims are heard and appropriately present evidence and facts to the court.
5. Assuming that the judge knows everything
Perhaps you know what happened and why you believe going to small claims court can provide you with the justice you deserve. Additionally, you know what you intend to prove. Yet, is that enough to win your claims? Not at all. You should be able to share your case to convince the judge to rule in your favor. Anything else without any meaningful focus will confuse the judge and cost you points. For example, you can’t ramble about your case that happened a few weeks as if it happened a decade ago. As therapeutic as it may be for you, you don’t want to bore the court into a deep sleep.