Have you ever heard the term “Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight”? This is especially true when you are in the courtroom. When you go to trial on your child custody case, your support case or your divorce case, that is the time to pull out all of the stops. That means bringing all of your evidence in support of your case to the courtroom and bringing as many witnesses as you can that are going to be helpful and not cumulative to the presentation of evidence.
It’s not good if you go to court and are trying to prove a point to the judge “I have that evidence but it’s at home in my filing cabinet or such and such witness couldn’t come to testify”. It doesn’t work. If you have evidence or witnesses and they are not there at the time of the trial the judge is not going to consider that information.
This is something that I share in one of my courses, but I’m bringing this up now because I’ve had a bunch of trials the second half of this year and in many of these trials, people have come to court trying to talk the judge into reaching a conclusion that they haven’t had the evidence to support.
They had their testimony which is considered evidence but for whatever reason the judges wanted more. They were trying to prove it with testimony only. Testimony is evidence, but testimony is much more strong if you have evidence backing it up.
The time to think about your witnesses and your evidence is when your case first gets started. You have to get those wheels in motion and you have to think about what you are trying to prove in your case and what people can help you prove that case and what evidence can help you prove that case.
You need to start gathering that information early on. Why is this? Because you have to disclose that information before you set foot in the courtroom. You can’t just spring it on the other side and surprise them at trial. There are rules that need to be followed.