Welcome to the Court, Counsel

October 24th, 2012 by

Recently, I went before a judge to make my first ever Superior Court appearance on a motion to add a party to an action.  The motion was unopposed.  My motion was second on the docket but the court clerk asked that I go first as my motion would take the least amount of time of the motions scheduled to be heard that morning.

Going first was both a blessing and a curse.  It was a blessing because it allowed me to just get the motion over with sooner, which would allow my nerves a reprieve.  On the other hand, it was a curse because I could not read the judge’s body language, what if her car didn’t start that morning, or she had a bad cold or her dog had an accident in her front hallway, the last thing she’d want to do is hear my motion to add a party to my action…

Ready or not, there I was standing at the podium, flanked by my tabbed and highlighted Rules book on one side of me, my draft order on the other side of me and only my motion record and whole legal career in front of me.  It was evident that I was nervous and I told the judge as much.  She assured me there was no reason to be.  The judge was kind and patient.  So, slightly less nervous, I proceeded; I probably spoke too quickly and too quietly, those who know me however can attest that that’s normally not an issue for me…

No matter, I began by stating what the motion was for – to add a party and amend the statement of claim accordingly – and continued by briefly reciting the chronology of events that led up to the motion and concluded with the Rules we were moving under; the judge listened intently and asked me to clarify a few points, which I did.  Then the judge asked me to pass up a copy of the draft order for her to sign.  Motion ordered to go as asked.

Just before I stepped away from the podium the judge remarked: “welcome to the Court, counsel”.

And, just like that, my first Superior Court appearance was in the books.

N.B. Me, counsel?

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