There is a distinction between a “trial document brief” and a “joint trial document brief” as a joint brief requires collaboration. This article will focus on times when counsel can’t agree on a joint brief or there simply is insufficient time to do so.
A joint brief is always better, as the authenticity and potentially the truth of the contents of a document may be agreed upon, vastly reducing the number of witnesses required.
A trial document brief is merely a compilation of the documents intended to be introduced as exhibits at trial. It does not include all documents in the case. Keep in mind that if a party intends to rely on a document, it better be in an affidavit of documents and served as far in advance of trial as possible to avoid objection.
In order to introduce a document at trial, one must generally call its authour/creator to testify and because of the best evidence rule, introduce the original document. There are some ways to get around these evidentiary requirements by using a joint trial document brief, request to admit and/or Evidence Act notices (business or medical).
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