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Prepare the trial brief as far in advance of the trial as possible. The trial brief should include all of the relevant facts and background material the judge will need to familiarize himself with your case. Review the key elements of your case in a clear and concise manner, and be sure the content is well organized and properly formatted.
Write an opening statement that is logical and persuasive without being too long. The judge may become impatient if you spend too much time exploring minute details of the case. It's important to hold the judge's attention while you lay down the foundation for your case.
Make sure that any legal cases you refer to during the trial are properly cited. One of the worst
things you can do in front of a judge is make an inaccurate reference to another legal decision. You must maintain your credibility and legal knowledge in order for a judge to take you seriously.
Customize your presentation for your audience as you prepare it. Do not waste time explaining legal issues about which the judge is likely to be very experienced and knowledgeable. The judge, the only person you are trying to persuade in a bench trial, may find this condescending.
Find out in advance whether you will be allowed to use PowerPoint or other electronic-presentation devices to present your evidence. Some courts may prefer evidence in the form of printed documents and photos rather than computer presentations. It's a good idea to find out your judge's specific preference if possible.