NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING upsets a judge more than interrupting them or the claimant during a hearing.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told my witnesses this golden rule, and they still do it. I understand things happen, but I cannot stress the importance of waiting your turn enough. I too, want to say something when a claimant is clearly lying or taking minutes to get a simple answer; but time and experience have taught me to either not say anything – or make sure my phone is on mute and go to town.

Additionally, if you as my witness interrupt, the judge assumes I didn’t prepare you by telling you to not interrupt. He/she then think what else did I not prepare you for? The negative focus then may switch from the claimant to us.

Judges can recognize a respectful/prepared witness and tend to appreciate it in the hearing itself and the later decision. If we can maintain some semblance of restraint, we have a good shot.

Rule of Thumb: THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN SAY WHILE INTERRUPTING THAT WILL OUTWEIGH THE FACT YOU WILL LIKELY UPSET THE JUDGE.

 


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