LEARNING HOW TO PROVE THINGS: A BASIC SKILL THAT NEEDS HONING
As part of the occasional series which jogs peoples memories about New Year’s resolutions for 2016 I am revisiting resolution number 6: “learn how to prove things”. A very basic skill in the litigator’s armoury, but one which is barely taught.
THIS IS HARDER THAN YOU MIGHT THINK
Since the beginning of the year, since February in fact, I have been writing a series of posts on “proving things”, there are 17 posts on this topic alone. It is surprising how many litigants go to court without the evidence to prove the most basic parts of their case. It is even more surprising how many claimants simply do not have the evidence at trial to prove their claim in damages, there are numerous examples of this on this blog.
‘Plaintiffs must understand that if they bring actions for damages it is for them to prove their damage, it is not enough to write down the particulars, and, so to speak, throw themselves at the head of the court saying “This is what I have lost. I ask you to give me these damages”. They have to prove it.’
(Bonham Carter -v- Hyde Park Hotel  WN, 92 Sol Jo 154, KBD).
Proving things: the series so far
- Proving things 1: Civil Evidence Act notices will not cut it
- Proving things 2: evidence to support a claim for damages must be pitch perfect.
- Proving things 3: the complete absence of evidence means the court will not speculate
- Proving things 4: Witnesses who just aren’t there.
- Proving things 5: witness statements and failing on causation.
- Proving things 6: “That’s what I always do” & proving causation.
- Proving things 7: If you don’t prove a loss you don’t get an order.
- Proving things 8: a defendant must prove that a failure to wear a seatbelt made a difference.
- Proving things 9: the role of experts
- Proving things 10: “He said, she said”: the difficulties of recollection.
- Proving things 11: Lies, damn lies and…
- Proving things 12: That oral contract is not worth the paper its written on.
- Proving things 13: Loss, there was no loss.
- Proving things 14: proving mitigation of loss
- Evidence, damages and a solicitor’s goodwill
- Highwaymen, evidence and damages all on the menu
- Evidence: proving damages and interest on damages.
- Witness statements and proving Loss of Earnings
- Striking out schedule of damages because of absence of evidence in witness statement
- Litigation, evidence, mitigation of loss and “black holes” in the evidence
- Make sure your witness statement proves your case