You are not alone. Find others, clients, assistants, other counsel, and lean on them for support during a hearing.
If you want to conduct a hearing well, prepare for it. What preparation? Whatever demands your thought and mind make of you to know the case and be prepared to speak to it, explain your case to the judge, and to counter your opponent’s arguments.
Aim at the goal (best outcome for your client) and not at doing well at the hearing’s processes.
Being funny is okay, sparingly, but not funnier than the judge.
Being smarter than counsel opposite is good. Being smarter than the judge is not good. Being cute is miscommunication – never okay.
Being an agent of chaos vis-a-vis the other side is good. To the judge, forbidden.
The nerves happen – get them over with. For some, this means making your first speech, statement, argument or request – getting into it. If the nerves dominate you the entire time – even after and in your dreams – seek counseling.
Attack the affidavit, not the affiant. Attack the witness, not the testimony. Understand this as an issue of context. The clues that justify attacking a person come from their reaction, not their affidavit.
At trial, it’s about influence, not the truth. However, where the truth is on your side, emphasize the point.
Tell a story.
Use simple examples.
Clever counsel like to mix things up and it may catch you off-balance. Be prepared for things to go out of sequence. Even better, be the one unbalancing.
If you are ruminating on something, pay attention to it. There may be a lesson to learn or a problem to solve in all that hamster wheeling.
Best to accept human beings for what they are – not in search of the truth, but in search of the meaning of events so they can take the right steps to appear to be correct and maintain social harmony. Those who don’t are rare, usually seeking chaos because they are overwhelmed. You’ll know them when you see them.
Sympathize with the adjudicator. Murder the other side’s arguments, all while pretending to sympathize with them.
Make all your arguments – don’t balk unless essential. Remember, you committed to the court and the client to make them, so if you don’t, you’ve broken a promise. However, you’ve enough judgement to know when something should not be said. Trust it don’t fear it.
Intimidation on a small scale should not be feared. It teaches you a great deal about the person doing the intimidation, and costs you nothing.
Witnesses won’t impress you. You already know what they have to say. Most of it is window dressing anyway. But witnesses are impressive to others. So, keep yourself unimpressed, but remember others are.
Meet the difficulties of the case head-on, in confidence and faith. Avoiding the weaknesses of the case means if you lose, it was your avoidance that caused it. Confront them head on and be honest about them to yourself. Then you are prepared to explain to the judge why they are not determinative, so the judge can be correct in agreeing with you.
Not caring what the other side thinks of you serves you very well. It robs them of a powerful weapon.
Seriously, fucking meditate.