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Collecting Effective Evidence

Kevin Phelps Feb. 5, 2022

Presenting your case in court requires thorough, careful, extensive preparation in order to make a strong argument in your favor. This involves collecting the proper supportive evidence for your claims! Knowing what kinds of evidence are admissible, effective, and important to include will provide you with essential information to give you the best possible chance at success.

Admissible Evidence

The first thing to keep in mind is to make sure that all the evidence you collect will actually stand in court—as in, that all evidential points are just, and justly accessed. Evidence deemed “inadmissible” is useless to your case, so don’t waste precious time or resources trying to collect it! Inadmissible evidence refers to pieces that are irrelevant to the issue, that are clearly and heavily biased, that are prejudicial, that are protected by privilege or social status, that are obtained unjustly, and/or that are considered hearsay. Each of these qualities demonstrates a level of subjectivity or potential contamination that negates the validity or trustworthiness of the evidence itself. Admissible evidence includes anything tangible, documented, or any testimony of a proven witness. These are concrete and authentic sources of information that judges and juries can consider seriously.

Effective Evidence

Of all these forms of admissible evidence, put the most effort into collecting evidence that is as close to the source of the issue as possible. In other words, evidence that is in its original form (such as photographs, documentation of timelines of events, or any other recorded material) is most likely to be considered as accurate to the truth of events. This is called the “best evidence rule” and adds value to the points you provide in connection to the evidence given. If you choose to involve witness testimony in your case, you will want the witness to be objective and (like recorded material) close to the origin of the issue, to ensure that their ethos is established before the jury and their words can be deemed reliable.

Important Evidence

While quality evidence will almost certainly trump quantity of evidence, it is helpful to gather as much admissible data as possible. This provides sources of defense against claims that the prosecution may surprise you with. As for levels of importance, however, it cannot be overstated how powerful direct evidence can be in court—physical objects and evidence that requires no multi-step interpretation will impact the view your judge or jury has on the situation, better than any other form of evidence. The more of this kind of evidence you can find and include, the stronger your case will be!

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