Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Many Faces of Time in Organizing Evidence for Litigation and Possible Litigation

The concept of a time line is a simple one. But as I have noted earlier, the time line is a protean tool. It is also an essential one:
1. Events in issue can be arranged in the order they may have occurred. This is an event timeline.

2. Events in issue can be arranged in the order which they are arranged when presented to a trier of fact such as a judge or a jury. This type of arrangement -- one in which chronology is sometimes shuffled to some extent -- is involved in narrative.

3. The states and events connected to sources of evidence can be chronologically arranged. This is the history of sources of evidence (such as witnesses).

4. Evidence can be arranged chronologically to show when it was collected. This might be called a history of evidence collection.

5. Evidence can be arranged to show the chronological order in which it is presented to a decision maker. This might be called proof history or proof chronology.

Further variations on the time line are possible, useful, and important. For example, time lines can be developed on the basis of:
1. Actors in the events at issue

2. Actors and decision makers in the legal process of investigation and proof

3. Persons who may be sources of evidence, or witnesses

4. Tangible things that may be sources of evidence.

N.B. Here I have not even touched on the role of time in formation and deployment of a scenario or "causal hypothesis," which involves conjectures or hypotheses about the way events are connected in time.

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The dynamic evidence page

Coming soon: the law of evidence on Spindle Law

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