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 relevant documents in the case, only those to be used at trial. Keep in mind that if a party intends to rely on a document, it should 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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