Proving Contradictory Statements With Trial Graphics

Contradictory statements can bring the jury to a state of confusion. Attorneys can use trial graphics to show contradictions in statements to the jury.

According to an article by STA Law Firm titled United Arab Emirates: Contradictory Statements, a contradictory statement is defined as “an incompatibility and clear opposition to two ideas which are the subject of the same proposition. Whether it be the defendant on the stand accused of a crime, providing insufficient information to what has been previously provided or if one or more witnesses reenact the chain of events that occurred but do not portray a mirrored story.” The article went on to state that “contradictory statements lead to much confusion for the judge and jury.”

A contradictory statement can be made to the police before the lawsuit begins. It can also be made in a court of law. A defendant in a statement can say X led to Y to the police some minutes after an incident occurs, and claim X led to Z during the trial. Smart attorneys look for inconsistencies in witnesses’ testimonies and use cross-examination to uncover or resolve them. In complex matters, such as a patent case, this can be accomplished. 

Contradictory Statements
Photograph by cdd20 (unsplash.com)

Contradictory statements help to know if the witness can be trusted or intends to deceive the court into believing what is wrong. In complex cases, trial graphics can portray these scenarios to the judge and jury to ensure that the contradiction is clarified and the truth is made known. 

However, to do this, the law on evidence should be followed; either the federal rules of evidence or other rules of evidence by different states.

How to Prove Contradiction under the Rules of Evidence

When proving a contradiction in the other party’s testimony, the rules of evidence must be considered to ensure that the evidence used in establishing the contradiction is deemed admissible. Rule 613 of the rules of evidence provides as follows:

  1. Showing or Disclosing the Statement During Examination

When examining a witness about the witness’s prior statement, a party needs to show it or disclose its contents to the witness. But the party must, on request, show it or disclose its contents to an adverse party’s attorney.

  1. Extrinsic Evidence of a Prior Inconsistent Statement

Extrinsic of a witness’s prior inconsistent statement is admissible only if the witness can explain or deny the statement and an adverse party is given an opportunity to examine the witness about it, or if justice so requires. This subdivision (b) does not apply to an opposing party’s statement under rule 801 (d) (2).

The first aspect of this provision is self-explanatory. When a witness is being cross-examined about a particular statement made before, they need not be aware that they are being examined for that specific purpose. This is to ensure that the goal of the court is reached; administration of justice. In the same spirit of fairness, such disclosure must be made when requested that it be disclosed. 

In section b of rule 613, extrinsic evidence was mentioned. According to the free dictionary, “extrinsic evidence is similar to extraneous evidence, which is not furnished by the document in and of itself but is derived from external sources.” Therefore, when the contradictory statement is not contained in the official agreement between the parties, the opportunity to deny or explain such a statement must be given to ensure that the evidence showing such contradiction is admissible. 

Using Trial Graphics To Explain Contradictory Statements 

Trial graphics is not required in all cases. However, some cases cannot be clarified except with legal graphics. Trial graphics can be used in proving contradictions under two circumstances. They are as follows:

  1. Trial graphics can be used to portray contradiction in a situation where the opposing party created the contradiction using trial graphics. It is only appropriate to recreate the right scenes using trial graphics in such a situation. This can be done in complex cases such as a patent case.
  1. Trial graphics can be used in a case where any of the parties has not used it to depict the facts of a case. There is a point where a contradiction gets to that causes ultimate confusion. In that situation, it is best to use trial graphics to depict the contradicting facts and the correct facts of the case. With this, such contradictions can be efficiently addressed

To win a case with trial graphics, the trial graphics must be done by an experienced trial graphics company that understands the facts of the case.

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