THE MATRIX ELIMINATOR: THE EVIDENCE CASE MATRIX IN THE JIM PETERSON CASE

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THE MATRIX ELIMINATOR: THE EVIDENCE CASE MATRIX IN THE JIM PETERSON CASE

THE MATRIX ELIMINATOR

THE EVIDENCE CASE MATRIX IN THE JIM PETERSON CASE 

 

(Fact Pattern: Jim Peterson was struck from behind on his way to work in morning traffic.  He had slowed to allow an ambulance to pass where a road narrowed due to traffic cones.  It is asserted alleged tortfeasor Dominic James struck Mr. Peterson’s vehicle creating the loss.) One of the benefits for use of an Evidence Case Matrix in preparing your file for Arbitration has little to do with how you’ll leverage any one proof toward the Necessary Fact to be proven or its Probative Value or its Persuasive Impact.  Actually, this side benefit has everything to do with the Evidence you will not use.  What do we mean ?  Using a Matrix (as you decide where to place certain proofs on same) helps you in identifying those evidence items you will not need. Proofs that are not relevant; that are redundant; that are perhaps not credible       or not authentic.  Examples ?  If road or weather conditions were not an issue in the Jim Peterson case; do you need to include the weather report that is in your file ?  Your view … it is not ‘relevant’.  With the ambulance involved in our scenario … do you really need to include a third statement from an EMT technician that was in the vehicle ?  Could this be ‘redundant’ ?  How about … remember our witness who did not see the traffic cones but recalls the sirens ?  Is their statement too inconsistent to be reliably credible ?  Might you go with other witnesses and other statements.  Lastly, a photo of the accident scene that made its way into the file.  You would like to submit it but do not know from where it came (its source); since you cannot authenticate it … is that a concern ?  The view is that use of the Matrix can give you valid reasons to exclude evidence items such as the aforementioned.  Next week … how did we come out at the hearing on Mr. Peterson’s case anyway -

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