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Objection! Welcome back to English for Lawyers, brought to you in collaboration with the Legal Writing Institute (LWI) and the India Justice Foundation (IJF). Today, we tackle a crucial skill: expressing lack of knowledge or awareness in court.

Honesty is the Best Policy:

As a lawyer, there will be times you won’t have all the answers. It’s important to be honest and upfront about what you don’t know. Here are three respectful ways to do so while addressing the judge:

  1. I’m not aware/privy to, My Lord…
    This is a professional way to state you lack knowledge of a specific detail.

Example: “I’m not aware of any prior convictions for the defendant, My Lord.”

  1. I don’t have that information, My Lord… This is a direct and clear way to inform the judge you lack specific information on hand.

Example: “I don’t have that document readily available, My Lord. However, I can retrieve it during the recess.”

  1. That detail is not within my knowledge, My Lord… This is a formal way to state you’re unfamiliar with a particular aspect of the case.

Example: “That detail is not within my knowledge, My Lord. Perhaps the opposing counsel can shed light on it.”

Remember:

  • Always maintain a respectful tone.
  • If possible, offer to find the missing information or suggest alternative solutions.

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Bonus Tip:

Never fabricate information or make assumptions. Be honest and transparent throughout the proceedings.

Stay tuned! Tomorrow, we’ll explore another key legal communication concept.

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