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Using Documents in Traffic Court

A gentleman that I watched in traffic court was determined to present his defense as thoroughly as possible. He had a manual with him and a collection of about a dozen pictures that he wanted to use to prove his point. Supporting your testimony with illustration is often a good way to show what is difficult to describe with words.

He flipped through his manual and spoke about what it said inside, referring to diagrams that he felt were important. He also placed the photographs in front of himself and described what he wanted the court to understand from what they depicted. It was obvious that he had taken time to research and prepare.

The justice stopped the man at this point in his testimony with the observation that it was very difficult for him to see what was being illustrated. Without being able to see, he could not take the material into account as evidence. The defense came to a halt.

This gentleman should have arrived in court with three copies of the material he wanted to use to show his point. It is not mandatory, but the information could have been organized into a booklet, highlighted and labeled. Copies go to the justice, the prosecution and the man needed one for himself to refer to. Had the gentleman done this, everyone would have been able to see and refer to his information easily.

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