Judge Ronda van der Hoek

Ronda van der Hoek HeadshotProfil prepared by Emily MacDonald

What advice do you have for counsel who appear before you?

Often judges opine that a return to the practice of law would see them become much better lawyers. Over the years I have come to share that opinion; allow me to explain. Sitting on the other side of the courtroom affords a judge opportunity to think about what counsel might do to better advance their client’s interests. Sharing a few examples, it benefits your client’s case to provide the court briefs and case law upon which you intend to rely, but that should be done well in advance of the hearing allowing the judge time to review and better appreciate your oral submissions. Additionally, lawyers could benefit from improving communication with the court when matters resolve or will not proceed. Courtesy and communication inevitably save the court many hours of needless preparation and will assuredly elevate your own professional reputation. Finally, do not worry about insulting a judge by referencing oft considered caselaw, courts expect to hear from you on the principles relevant to your case.

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