Some thoughts to keep in mind about evidence in Court to prove your case:
-One item of evidence in Court can be sufficient to establish a fact.
-Evidence can be oral or documentary/demonstrative, or both. Generally, documentary or demonstrative evidence is more persuasive.
-Not all evidence is admissible. The Judge determines admissibility.
-The trier of fact, i.e., the Judge or Jury depending on the type of case, determines which of the admissible evidence is most persuasive.
-The applicable standard or standards of care, and the burden or burdens of proof, and in some cases the shifting of the burden(s) of proof, are very important on the issues of liability and which party prevails in Court.
-I view evidence as falling in three different categories: (1) evidence that already exists and that we have in hand; (2) evidence that we don’t have but we very reasonably believe exists and we know where it is, how we can get it, and that we will get it; and (3) evidence or facts that we believe or hope exists but we don’t know if we will be able to get it.
-If you can’t sufficiently describe what you did and what did occur (and hopefully support them with documents or demonstrative evidence), you run the risk that it might be decided that you didn’t do it or that it didn’t occur.
-Your story must tell, and convince the trier of fact (i.e., the Judge or Jury) why you are there in front of them.
-Evidence also relates to damages and possible recovery or payment of attorneys’ fees and costs – what damages can be established, are the damages recoverable, and what are the possibilities of a party recovering or having to pay costs and attorneys’ fees to the other side?
-Consider the above when you are evaluating the probability of your case.
Dave Tate, Esq. (San Francisco / California)