In almost any contested domestic matter, you will need to prepare the following items:
A List Of Potential Witnesses
Include their contact information and anticipated testimony. If you have identified more than one witness who can testify about the same thing, then indicate which one you think would be best and why. Some cases are simple and only require the testimony of one or both parties—in many divorces this is the case. The Court appreciates if you are respectful of their time and do not unnecessarily duplicate witness testimony unless critical. Initially, however, do not be shy on identifying everyone who may have knowledge about issues in your case.
Documents or Evidence You Have That Support Your Claims
Brainstorm. Investigate. Assemble. Gather these items as you generally maintain them and which are available to you from other sources. Do not ask your attorney to acquire evidence or possible evidence for you which you can obtain yourself, whenever possible. This will save you money. Know also that sometimes, it might be easier for your attorney to get than you! Provide the list of documents with their relevance and the documents or other evidence themselves. If a document can be verified or certified, then have that done. If the original is in color, have color copies made. As to photographs, please produce five copies of each or some other number as your attorney may approve.
Useful Documents or Evidence That You Do Not Have
If you believe there are existing documents that are not in your possession that may be useful to an investigation of your case, let your attorney know. Any ideas you have should be written down and discussed with Ms. Cinocca.
Remember, YOU are your best witness. Or, you are supposed to be! No one should know your case better than you. You have lived it. To the extent you can prepare, review and assemble the documents for your case and have or obtain PERSONAL FIRST HAND KNOWLEDGE of those documents and any later summaries of them, the better able you are to testify and present those matters before the Court in the most cost efficient manner possible.
We all know it is common sense to have your files and evidence together before beginning your lawsuit. However, we hope this bit of preliminary information will be helpful to those uncertain or who just need assurance.