Our feature article this month is a passionate reminder that the truth is out there but requires search to discover it and turn it into justice.
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There Can Be No Justice Without Truth and No Truth Without Search
By Ralph Losey
Justice is based on truth, on what really happened. That is a basic problem in law because facts are usually contested. Each side has their own story. The truth is out there but requires search to discover. Truth and justice thus depend upon effective search.
Truth in the law means objective, reliable facts that may be admitted as evidence in a trial. The testimony of witnesses is by nature inherently subjective. Testimony alone is an unreliable path to truth. Discovery of objective facts is often dependent on discovery of the writings made at the time by the people involved. Testimony taken later in legal proceedings, no matter how solemn the oaths, is filled with half-truths and, all too often, outright lies. Justice based on witness testimony alone is haphazard at best. Judge and jury must guess at who is lying. They are susceptible to lies, clever arguments, false hunches, publicity, and political pressures.
On the Deposition Trail: Tips and Observations from a Young Lawyer
By Matthew Moeller
One of the most challenging aspects of being a young litigator is navigating the process of learning to take depositions properly to achieve the best possible result for your client. My first experiences consisted of attending and participating in mass tort depositions on behalf of a manufacturer of industrial products. These depositions were invaluable learning experiences. There were anywhere from 15 to 30 defense attorneys present at each deposition. I had plenty of opportunities to watch other lawyers—with varying levels of experience—in action. I learned first hand what worked and, more important, what did not work. I learned some basic lessons that I have found to be helpful: