I often used this phrase when I already knew what the judge’s objection would likely be.
For example, “The result of all this is nuclear war. Now I know what you might be thinking—is that really likely? Surprisingly, yes it is.”
Although I’m not a fan of nuclear war disadvantages (sorry), that example illustrates how useful this can be. Many arguments you make will have an immediate judge objection, and thus you can use this phrase to alleviate their concerns immediately.
Another use for this phrase is to intentionally confuse the judge in order to make them curious. This might sound counterproductive, but bear with me. You can say something unexpected, then bring it back by saying “you may be thinking… ‘that makes no sense’. But give me a second and you’ll see why it actually does.” (For an additional example, this paragraph is another way of saying this. I said “this might sound counterproductive, but bear with me”, another way of saying “you might be thinking, ‘that’s counterproductive’, but bear with me.”)
A possible use for this can be found in my other post keeping the judge curious. Go read that as well!
Why use it?
Whenever you make a prediction about what the judge is thinking, and you’re right, the judge automatically feels a closer connection to you. If you’re wrong—there’s no risk, since you aren’t saying “I know you’re thinking”.
Go ahead and give this a try next time you want to make a potentially confusing but powerful argument.
Don’t get trapped into thinking this is the only phrase that works on this principle, though! You can try all kinds of different wording.
“When I first heard this argument, I figured it must be wrong because [reason]. But I found out that it’s actually true because [reason].”
That works as well because it tells the judge you went through the same thought process as them when first hearing the argument. It then leads them along to why you changed your mind, suggesting they should change their mind too.
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