A careful, detailed preparation for a child custody or divorce case for trial is a very important part of successfully presenting your case to the Judge. While your attorney will handle most preparation work, your ability to participate and contribute to the process and more importantly provide the right information and evidence is vital to be fully prepared for trial. We provide the following tips to our clients prior to their child custody or divorce trial.
1. Do not wait until the last minute to provide evidence or the names of witnesses. Most cases require that evidence and/or witnesses be presented a number of days prior to trial. Failing to comply with those deadlines can result in your witness or evidence being excluded. In other words, don’t wait to the last minute to share that information with your attorney. The sooner you provide it the better. In Nevada, Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure 16.2 requires that in an initial child custody or divorce case, that evidence and names of witnesses must be produced within 45 days of service. It must also be updated throughout the case. The final date for providing this information is according to the rule thirty (30) days before trial.
2. Provide complete information on any witness. Information on witnesses should include their first and last name, address and telephone number. In addition, you should also let your attorney know the relationship the person has to the parties, a brief summary of what they know that relates to your case, and if the witness is a friendly witness or not.
3. Provide evidence in an organized manner and with all critical information included. Simply providing documents and evidence to your attorney in an organized manner may actually help lower the cost of your case. This prevents law firm staff from having to spend extra hours organizing your case information. Make sure that any document you provide includes all the pages, is not altered in anyway, and does not contain unnecessary handwritten notes. Photos should be clear and free from alterations. Make sure you and your attorney have discussed what evidence is important and that you both understand what is to be provided.
4. If you are not sure if it is important, ask. Often clients will assume certain details, evidence or witnesses are not important. Do not assume. Ask your attorney if those items will be of assistance so that you can both discuss it and determine the true importance of the information. Not every piece of evidence needs to be admitted, but you should allow the attorney to review it and make that decision.
5. If you are aware of negative evidence against you, tell your attorney. The best way to deal with negative witnesses or evidence is to make sure your attorney knows. This allows the two of you to develop the best way to address the known issues. It is difficult for your attorney in the courtroom, caught in a surprise, to make the best out of the negative item. If you know such an issue beforehand, discuss it and prepare to address it beforehand.
These are just a few ways to add value to the preparation process and help insure your counsel has all the tools needed to make an effective case. This is not an all-inclusive list and you should discuss with your individual attorney how to best provide assistance and information for an effective trial.
This article is not meant to be all-inclusive or a substitute for legal advice from a licensed attorney in your own jurisdiction. If you are involved in a legal matter and have questions, you should contact a competent attorney in your own jurisdiction.
K. Beth Luna, Esq. is licensed in Tennessee, Florida and Nevada. The information provided is based upon Nevada law only. If you are looking for information for another jurisdiction, please contact an attorney in that area. The Luna Law Firm handles child custody matters on a regular basis in the Reno, Carson, Nevada area.
This post is not meant to be legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship with the Luna Law Firm, PC. If you are interested in retaining counsel, we are happy to set a consultation. Consultations may be set by calling 775-686-2490. View our weekly legal articles by The Luna Law Firm – Family Law Blog. View a full listing of The Luna Law Firm Areas of Practice
Contact the Luna Law Firm today 775-686-2490 to schedule a consultation to discuss your Nevada family law matter.