If you are involved in a lawsuit, you may be thinking of using video evidence. That can be a good idea, but guard against assuming that it will automatically get you everything you want in the case. Keep these things in mind:
- Discuss any existing videos with your attorney. Give him/her a chance to review them thoroughly and point out anything in the video that may be negative to your case.
- If you haven’t already made a video, but are thinking of it, discuss that with your attorney as well.
- Once you have a video it is probably “discoverable”. That means that you will almost always have to reveal it to the other side during the discovery process of your case, and provide a copy. (there are very few exceptions to this). If you have a discoverable video and hold back from providing to the other side, you can harm your case and there may be consequences from the judge.
- Sometimes just getting evidence or proving yourself “right” isn’t enough to help your case. For example, if you have to lie to someone or trick them to get the video, you can look so untrustworthy that you lose credibility. Another type of video that can be harmful is one in which someone (especially a child) is obviously suffering in some way, and there is the ability to stop it, but the video continues for the purpose of getting evidence. This will quickly alienate people from your point of view.
- You are not perfect. No one is. There may be things in the video that look bad for you. Let your attorney discuss this openly with you, and try not to get defensive. It is your attorney’s job to point out how you are likely to be perceived, as well as explaining the law to you.
These guidelines apply to video evidence in all types of cases, family law, business disputes, employment law and even property line disputes between neighbors.
At Kalish Law Office we strive to make the legal process understandable. Call today for a consultation.