Q: Is this a true and accurate copy?
A: No. I don’t know whose writing this is…I don’t know what those circles mean…
Attorney: Objection. It’s obviously not a true copy, as the original does not have writing and circles on it.
Court rules can be tediously picky. If something isn’t phrased the right way, authenticated sufficiently, or previously produced, if requested, you may not be able to use it. This is true even if it is something important, reliable and tangible to the issues before the Court. This is just one reason why Court is so frustrating.
I had a case where the witness highlighted certain portions of an email. When the time came to testify about the email, the other party pretended to not recognize it, nor remember it. He wasn’t sure if he used that email address at that time. He certainly knew he didn’t highlight it and wasn’t sure he had seen it before. It was a dance of avoiding the obvious.
Ultimately, the email came in when the sponsoring party testified and I believe the other party lost credibility in feigning ignorance, however it was a good lesson on the rules/tricks of Court.
Matthew Thompson is a Family Law attorney in Mississippi and encourages you to practice, with your attorney, your testimony and how to authenticate an exhibit and get it into evidence.
Just because someone files something in Court does not make it so.
Allegations must be proven, by a preponderance of the evidence, meaning more likely than not, or by clear and convincing evidence, which is a much higher burden.
Filing papers is the easy part. Making wild accusations takes little effort. Backing up your claims with corroborating testimony, physical evidence or other support is the hard part.
Before you make a claim think about how you will prove it. Are there witnesses, recordings, photographs, videos, incident reports, police reports, documents or other evidence? If not, perhaps you need to rethink your claim. You may lose credibility with the Court.
Matthew Thompson is a Family Law attorney and warns you that crying wolf may lead to you getting the result you deserve.
Cash is King, but only when you can prove you paid it!
When a party alleges that the other has not paid their support obligations the Court looks to the payor to prove what was paid, not the payee to prove what was not. In simple terms, if you owed $500 per month in child support and I sued you for contempt and said you had not paid, that’s all I have to do, and the burden shifts to you to prove you did pay what was Ordered and owed. If you cannot prove it, you may be out of luck.
“But I paid cash…,”are famous last words. She is not going to admit that you paid cash or if you did it was because you owed her money, not that it was the child support payment.
Get a receipt. Everytime. Hand write it on notebook paper if you have to. Keep good records. How much was paid and on what date it was paid. Your wallet and your freedom, at least temporarily, may depend on it.
Matthew Thompson is a Family Law attorney in Mississippi and advises you to get a receipt.
Follow the blog: BowTieLawyer Visit the website: Thompson Law Firm You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at
(601) 850-8000 or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms