I got some good advice this week from a counselor who does a lot of work in the courts. I am not how it works in all states, but here in mine, you are assigned a judge at the time you are served.
Once you know who the judge is, you can go online and research his/her rulings, the minutes from his cases, and learn as much about him as you can.
This counselor told me that she tells all her clients who may be heading to court that you should try to get to know your judge before hand so you know what to expect and won't be nervous when you show up for your trial. You can just go to court house, find out where his court room is and sneak in the back to watch other cases, learn and listen. She said to just try to look plain and be discreet and just try to blend into background with a little notebook.
I am hope hope hoping that we can settle before I have to do any of that, but I thought it was excellent advice and worthy of passing on....