Why can’t I talk to the Judge?

Many times parties to a lawsuit request that they be allowed to speak to the Judge about the case without having a hearing. They are told that this is not possible.

Our court system is set up to be an adversary system. That type of system allows each side to present their best case, and the Judge then decides which side has been most convincing. This system also provides and opportunity to cross-examine the other side, and to point out weaknesses in their case. At the heart of the system is the idea that neither side should have any better opportunity to present its views than the other has.

Rules set forth by the Supreme Court tell a Judge that he is not to receive evidence or argument about a case unless each side has received notice and has had the opportunity to be heard. A Judge is not allowed to listen to something attempted to be presented by only one party. Such a situation would be unfair to the other side.

The Judge and his staff are not allowed to give advice. By giving advice, the Judge would have already made a judgment as to how one party should proceed and would have partially decided the outcome.

Imagine how you would feel if you knew that the opposing side had been in to talk to the Judge without you being present. You would have no idea what was said. You would have no chance to present your side. You would have no chance to show why they were wrong.