Trial by Checklist

September 26, 2017 § Leave a comment

If you’re a newcomer here, I want to acquaint you with the concept of what I call “checklists.” I’ve posted about it here numerous times. A post with a list of trial checklists is at this link. You can also find a checklists category up there on the right in the “Categories” search box.

We all know that the MSSC and COA have spelled out certain factors that the chancellor must consider to adjudicate custody, equitable distribution, alimony, and a host of other issues. The idea is that to help you make sure that you put on proof of each of the factors applicable to your case, you turn them into a checklist that is a template for your presentation of evidence.

As I said in a prior post:

Remember that these factors are the ones that must be decided by the judge in order to decide your case. In essence, the factors are the elements of the case that will determine its outcome. If you are not putting on proof as to each factor that applies in your case, you are running the risk that the Chancellor will find that there is not enough evidence to rule in your favor.

Practice Tip: When trying a case involving any of the foregoing issues, have a list of the factors applicable your case at hand, and methodically cover them in your questions for the witnesses. Give some thought to questions that will best develop evidence that will support a finding in your client’s favor for as many factors as possible, and how to minimize the impact of factors that are not in your favor.


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