I used to tell all lawyers in my Court, senior or junior, to be brief in their arguments. I said that I was not trying to gag or muzzle the lawyers, but with the huge number of arrears ( 31 million) in our country's law courts, is it fair that one case drags on for days, weeks, and even months ?
I could, of course, keep hearing one case for days on end, and my salary and perks would remain unaffected, but would that be fair to other lawyers and litigants waiting for their turn ? Should their cases never be taken up ?
One brother Judge with whom I sat said that the Supreme Court was the last Court for a litigant, so we should give him a full hearing. I replied that it was the last court for all litigants, not just the litigant appearing before us. If all litigants were given a ' full hearing ', most of the cases pending in the Courts would never be heard.
So I would tell lawyers " Be brief, be bright, and be off ! "
Sometimes a long winded lawyer would ramble on and on with his arguments. I would then tell him of an anecdote which President Abraham Lincoln would relate ( he often related anecdotes ).
There was this preacher in a certain church who would begin a sermon, but forget to end it. On and on he went, with the people in church tottering, reeling and falling asleep, but the preacher would not relent, so determined was he to save their souls.
I would tell the lawyer that he reminded me of that preacher ! This was usually enough to make him come directly to the point, instead of beating around the bush or repeating what he had said before.
But there are several patient Judges in our country ( I was not one of them ) who believe in giving a ' full hearing ' to litigants