documentary evidence

The Officer found that the Respondent’s insured was responsible for the accident’…how many times have you seen this narrative presented in a party’s Contentions regarding their case ? ‘We direct the Arbitrator to page 3 of the Police Report and the highlighted portion for Charges assessed Unit # 1’. How many times have you NOT seen that in a party’s Contentions nor do you see this ‘critical’ portion of the Police Report highlighted? The advocate believes the Arbitrator will find it.

But, how many Awards have you received where you wonder if the Arbitrator saw or took into account Documentary Evidence you included ? And that is the mantra for your best advocacy. Never assume the Arbitrator will locate the exhibit and if they do…take away from it that which you intended. The same way you give attention to your Demonstrative Evidence such as a Scene Diagram with placement of the vehicles; which party is which and what their actions were at that moment in time  the collision occurred…assertive advocates need the same attention to detail with their Documentary Proofs. If you highlight multiple comments in a Statement; be sure to tell the Arbitrator which statement from which page you are referring to in your Contentions so they can locate it. If there are one or two line items on the Estimate subject of the Damage dispute; highlight on the Estimate itself and (again) provide the page number in your narrative.

Here’s the view…parties have a tendency to provide a lot of Documentary Evidence in Damages cases. What they also need to consider is having an inclination to think … what part of this Evidence is so critical to prevailing and then what do I need to do to ensure the Arbitrator sees it. So your highlight from this Blog issue…emphasize what you are emphasizing!

Case Presentation 101 is produced by Claims Resource Services; one of the nations top arbitration and subrogation services firms.  The writer Kevin Pike can be reached at and has daily tips on arbitration via Twitter: @Arb2Win