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It can be in the form of documents or other materials but in the vast majority of civil cases, even where documents appear clear, oral evidence is still important as there may be arguments that whatever was documented was varied by conversations or subsequent actions.
As regards documentary evidence, you should of course consider this right at the outset. In doing so, you should be mindful that your opponent may also have documents that don’t support your case or even perhaps do support your case but which you don’t have. Disclosure of documents is often a key stage of a dispute and this topic is dealt with on our disclosure of documents page.
Evidence – stick to the facts
It can all be too tempting, in a witness statement, to try and cover every point or argument that you anticipate your opponent might argue at court but this is a mistake. A carefully thought out and drafted statement is very important and should only focus on :-
If you are the claimant, your evidence needs to also deal with not just liability but loss – don’t expect the court to just accept your word on this – you will need to prove it with documents and your evidence and loss is just as complicated if not more than legal liability.
Note that, except where expert evidence is needed, the focus is on facts and not opinions. Filling a witness statement with opinions is the wrong approach, and may be counterproductive on many levels.
If you have any questions or concerns about evidence, either at the beginning of a dispute or at any stage, get in touch with our litigation team.