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Your Records Are Your Weapon In Court

At ONRECORD we are dedicated to helping people help themselves if they’re involved in a serious and ongoing problem, especially if you are being attacked in court. We understand how a serious problem can take over your life, be in your mind all your waking hours and feel unbearably bad to the point of causing you ill health and psychological damage. It’s all consuming and no one else will be as committed as you to trying to get the right outcome.  We want you to have the weapons you need to win your case.  That’s why we developed ONRECORD because your records are your weapon in court.  Knowing you are well armed will bring you some peace of mind.  

Don’t let your evidence be easily ignored

We have talked to countless women and men who describe not being listened to, being ignored and their complaints shrugged off when caught up in a dispute, whether it is with their ex, their boss, their landlord, the local authority, social services, the police or a large company.  It seems particularly common among those involved with the family court through hearings over their children. 

We’ve interviewed some extraordinary people about this and these interviews can be found on our YouTube Channel. Do take a look. 

So what can you do if you’re struggling to get heard? The answer is to understand that your records are your weapon in court and we have worked hard to give you the best possible tool for making records and weaponizing your evidence.

Why do you need to make records that will be your weapon in court?

We were shocked a while back when meeting a group of family court lawyers to find that some of them didn’t like the idea of their clients collecting and collating their own evidence because they thought it would stoke the fire of conflict and harm the process of resolving the issues between the two parties, especially in cases involving children. Of course, in easy cases where the two parties are able to deal with the issues constructively that may well be true and in those circumstances thinking of court as a battle is unnecessary. But so many cases are not like that if one parent starts to attack the other with no compromise.  It can be an appalling bloodletting.  Quite apart from the frustration of having your lawyer raise the white flag in the face of such an attack, it’s wrong to suggest that you shouldn’t do everything you can to gather and present the best and most impactful evidence you can to make your case.  You need all the help you can get and your records are your weapon in court

Sometimes this situation is made even worse by professionals having biases or prejudices and stereotypes about certain groups of people, making it even more essential that you present the best evidence you can. For example, some lawyers and judges are easily deceived by the charm of a manipulative parent.  Or they are impressed by a particularly wealthy parent or one with a high level of education.  Some believe that women can never be abusive.  Some have deeply held prejudices about race.  The problem of being heard can be worse if the court decides that the evidence it’s willing to hear has to be cut down or is too old to be relevant. Some of these ways of working are outrageous.  They make the work of the professionals easy and less time consuming but they mean that litigants can be sold down the river and failed by their legal advisers. This can lead to a poor outcome for a family if the evidence is not sufficiently powerful to shift those prejudices and get you listened to.  You need to weaponize the evidence to get through these blocks.

3 key advantages of making your own records

1.  You know all the facts, nobody else does.

Write or dictate a record facts, things that happen, things that were said, things that were done, by whom, when and where.  You are the best person to know all this because you were there, you know all the circumstances and the people involved.  If you rely on not making a record of events yourself but instead telling your account to your lawyer so that they later provide the record, you are very likely to lose some of that essential detail in the process.  Your lawyer can’t know what happened better than you do.

2.  You can make your records contemporaneous.

Make a record of what has happened at the time or as soon afterwards as you can.  The sooner you make a record the less other people can claim that you didn’t remember accurately because of forgetting over time.  If you wait to see your lawyer before any record is made of what happened, you may have forgotten essential details and the account will have lost some of its credibility.

3.  You can be more detailed and thorough than anyone else.

Try to anticipate what events may prove to be useful evidence.  If you have had false allegations made against you, try to foresee which situations need to be recorded so that no lies can be told about them.  Record every event that’s relevant even if there are lots of events of the same kind that keep happening.  The frequency and pattern of evens can be crucial evidence of the severity of a problem, especially if each individual event seems quite minor.  Few people can afford to keep phoning, mailing or texting their lawyer to tell them of yet another incident.  Every contact with your lawyer will attract a fee.  Save money and do yourself a mountain of favours by recording events yourself.

6 ways ONRECORD helps you make your records your weapon in court

 1.  ONRECORD helps you get things in perspective.

When your mind’s filled with anxiety, making your own records and then being able to see them laid out in the ONRECORD timeline or the calendar helps you put the problem into perspective. It’s a good way to clarify for yourself any pattern there is to events, such as whether anything provokes or precipitates them.  It helps you decide the seriousness and extent of the problem, what other information you might need, what details you need to note in order to strengthen your evidence. Then you’re better able to decide how important it is to get it resolved and to think about how you might achieve it. 

2.  ONRECORD helps you keep contemporaneous records

When you are keeping your own records using the ONRECORD mobile app, you can quickly and on the spot make a note each time something happens. It’s what the police and other professionals are trained to do, for good reason, so follow their example. If you don’t make records when the event is fresh in your mind it’s easier for someone challenging you to undermine what you’re saying and question your recollection. 

If you make your record straightaway after an event, ONRECORD will automatically record the date, time and location for you. You are prompted to give a factual description of the event in enough detail to make sure a reader, who doesn’t know you, can understand it.

3.  ONRECORD makes it easy to link supporting evidence to your record

ONRECORD makes it easy to link supporting evidence, such as photos, documents, screenshots etc to your records, giving your records greater impact and ensuring that your records are your weapon in court.

4.  ONRECORD includes an impact score to show what’s most important

ONRECORD also gives you a simple way to indicate the severity or seriousness of an event.  This impact score can be very useful in helping the court to see which events were particularly important.

5.  ONRECORD provides you with an immediate chronology

ONRECORD organises your records by date and time (a chronology) so you can share it with an advisor or the court and save time (and money).

A chronology is the usual way for a series of events to be presented in court and is key to showing the history of a problem. Whatever order you enter records in, perhaps having to go back in time to record past events along with new ones, ONRECORD will automatically put them into chronological order. When you download your records they will be presented in the right order and t he right format to use in court, showing not only each record with all the detail needed to make it credible, but also with any supporting evidence that you have uploaded attached.  So your chronology will  already have been done for you. 

6.  ONRECORD allows you to link your records to your lawyer or other support for immediate updates

Using ONRECORD, you can link your records to your lawyer or any other adviser so that they can login and get an update on events at any time.  Being able to show your chronology to a solicitor or other adviser will make it easier and quicker for you to get advice. It will also save you money as it will make the job of the  professional advisor easier and less time consuming. You won’t have to sit with them for a couple of hours or more trying to explain your problem, giving examples and racking your brain for the information they need. Your advisor can get to the nub of the issues straightaway and only has to ask additional questions if you need to explain what you’ve written. Your chronology can be used as the basis for any statement you’re required to make to prove your case, also saving time. 

This means that you can spend your money on getting advice and representation, the real job of a lawyer, and not on telling your lawyer the story whilst they make notes. Lawyers are very expensive notetakers! Only use them to do the work you can’t do yourself. 

And finally

When you write your records, be sure to tell the truth and not exaggerate. Don’t go into an emotional rant but if you reacted badly, say so and explain why. For example, if you’ve been threatened or sworn at, quote the actual words used, including any swear words, to bring your story to life and so it’s clear how serious it is.  Record whether there are witnesses, giving names and contact numbers and any role they have.  For example indicate if it’s a work colleague or friend. 

Follow the links for more guidance and advice on how to make good records, how to use ONRECORD to gather evidence,  and what kinds of evidence are needed in different cases

 

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