Monday, January 28, 2008

Time and Evidence

Time is involved in a number of important and separate ways in fact investigation, evidential argument, and evidence assessment in legal settings (and probably in many other kinds of settings):
1. Time and Fact (a/k/a Evidential) Investigation
A. The history of an investigation (including investigative paths not taken as well as those taken)
B. Guesses or predictions about the discovery of evidence through future action
2. Time and Events at Issue
A. The (possible) sequence of events at issue in time
B. The causal nexus between events at issue in time
3. Time and Sources of Evidence
A. The (possible) sequence of events pertaining to states of sources of evidence (such as "human sources," human beings)
B. The causes of changes over time in the states of sources of evidence
4. Time and Deliberation
A. The order of receipt of evidence by (or submission of evidence to) the fact finder or decision maker
B. The sequence of deliberation by the trier of fact or decision maker
5. Time and Mind (a/k/a Judgment)
A. Changes in the trier's or decision maker's recollections, sentiments, and similar matters that affect evidential assessment
B. Temporal causes of such changes in the mind or judgment of the trier or decision maker
A system to facilitate or support fact investigation, evidential argument, and evidence assessment should be sensitive to these various perspectives on evidence, to these various ways of organizing evidence and thinking about evidence. I pledge that future iterations of MarshalPlan will (eventually) incorporate (all of) these various ways of marshaling evidence and thinking about evidence.
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