Thursday, May 31, 2012
Forget Not the Trier of Fact: The Judge
Family trials are heard by judges, not juries. In a jury trial no self-respecting lawyer would fail to "publish", ie. display, to the jury important documentary evidence such as photos, diagrams or records. Yet, frequently in court trials I find that each lawyer and the witness have a copy of the trial exhibits, but I, the judge and trier of fact, DO NOT. So the direct or cross-examination asks the witness to "look at exhibit 7, page 4, line 3, and explain....etc." If the judge does not have the trial exhibits the judge has no idea what the examiner and witness are talking about. Seems quite elementary: don't forget who is the trier of fact.