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Tuesday
Jul192011

Helping Your Attorney Prepare for the Hearing  

Different Attorneys have different ways of preparing for a hearing.  I like my client to prepare two types of documents.  The first is a table of relevant dates.  The second is a narrative of what happened.  Both should be in chronological order, in other words starting with the oldest event and going forward to the most recent event.  

I’d much rather have too much information rather than too little.  Most clients don’t have a real good idea what will be the most useful information and which will be the least.  So having as much as I can is helpful to me in sorting out what to use and what not.

Also, cases are won on the details.  Generally, the more details you can recall the credible you will be.   Examples of poor witness credibility is where the witness can’t recall if a conversation was over the phone or in person, if a letter was faxed, handed to someone or sent in the mail.  Other examples are where a witness can’t recall where a meeting took place or who was present.

On the other hand, a witness testifies that she hand delivered a Doctor’s slip to a meeting in conference room “A” where she, her supervisor and Jill from Human Resources were meeting on June 13, 2010 at 3:00 pm. The meeting lasted 45 minutes.  This is a good example of details making the recollection appear more credible and reliable.

Here are some short examples of what these documents should look like.

Table of dates:

 1/20/11. Brought in Doctors excuse.  I was told to still call in every day.

 1/21/11.  I called in sick and left a message on the call in machine.  I put the phone on  speaker phone so my wife could hear.

 1/22/11.  I again called in sick.  Again my wife hears the call on speaker phone.

 1/23/11.  I again called in sick.  My wife again heard the call.

 1/23/11.  Got a call from work saying I had quit for no-show no-call for three days.

 1/25/11.  Got a letter in the mail saying I had quit. 


Narrative:

Christmas Eve I was working  some chemicals were spilled at work and I was told to clean them up.  I felt dizzy afterwords but was ok later.  A few weeks later I passed out at work.   I didn’t know what it was but didn’t think it was the chemicals yet. No other problems that day.  A few days later I felt dizzy and later passed out at work.  Was sent home. I went to Doctors.  I was examined and test taken and told to go home and to work the next day.

That night I got very sick, throwing up and very dizzy.  I went into Emergency.  They examined me, gave me some medicine and sent me home.

I went to the Doctors the next day.  He wrote me a note to be off work for 30 days until  the tests and stuff could be completed.

On January 20 I brought the Doctors note into work.  They didn’t make a copy of it and gave it back to me.  I was told to call in every day I was going to miss work.

I called in every day the next three days.  On January 23 I got a call from Human Resources saying I was a no-show no-call for three days and had quit.  I got a letter the next day.

You can help your attorney prepare my composing these two documents and any others your attorney may want.

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