You are much more likely to persuade a judge if you understand what the judge needs from you. Judges are busy and have limited time to devote to your case. You want to make it easy for them to rule in your favor. Always try to do the following:
1. Be organized. Make sure you know what you are going to do and say. Make sure you have any exhibits ready and in order. Organization requires preparation and an understanding of what is important. The law will often provide you with your organization. The law usually provides a list of things that you need to prove, or that the judge needs to consider. Organize your presentation in accordance with such lists. Do not waste the judge’s time with a lot of irrelevant information.
2. Explain the situation clearly to the judge. Try to boil the whole thing down to a clear, concise story. If the judge is confused, all you are doing is irritating the judge. At best, the judge now has to spend additional time figuring out what you are trying to say. At worse, the judge will not be persuaded and will deny whatever relief you are seeking.
3. Have a sensible solution. Be ready to tell the judge what you want the judge to do. Your solution should be reasonable and make sense. You should be ready to explain how your solution comports with the law. You want to give the judge a solution that the judge can simply adopt.
4. Have a written order ready for the judge. Not only does this save the judge time and effort, it also helps you focus on exactly what you are asking for. Always ask yourself: if you were the judge, would you sign this order? If the answer is no, rethink what you are proposing.
None of this guarantees that the judge will rule in your favor. Judges are smart and experienced. They make up their own minds. But you want to make it as easy as possible for the judge to rule for you.