Time Your Arguments to the Judge’s Lunch Breaks (and Adapt to All Decision Makers’ “Cognitive Load”), by Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm, Persuasive Litigator Blog
It comes as no surprise that a hungry person, be it the judge or members of a jury, find it difficult to concentrate and focus on your client’s case. Long stretches of testimony and argument are hard enough to follow, especially if the case is complex with numerous exhibits and witnesses. Regardless how comfortable the chair, sitting for long periods trying to listen carefully to a case is hard work.
There is more than one way to consider your audience at a trial or hearing. Persuasive argument is one. Excellent trial preparation using technology is another. Considerate and well-timed rest and meal breaks are another tool that can be used to your advantage.
The Rocket Science Blog mentioned in this post can be found at http://tinyurl.com/3dg5e8n. – CCE
Anyone who argues in front of judges knows that human factors can weigh as heavily as the law in determining your judge’s decisions. But it is still possible at times to be surprised at the degree of influence, as well as the banality of those human factors. Case in point: lunch and snack breaks. Recent research discussed in the excellent Not Exactly Rocket Science blog appears to show that judges’ decisions vary as a direct effect of the proximity of their morning snack or lunch break. In case you are using your morning break or lunch hour to read this post, I’d like to make it worth your while by applying the study findings to the more general issue of your decision-makers’ mental work load and offering some recommendations for anyone who needs to make arguments to a potentially fatigued audience. . . .