KISS: Keep it Simple Stupid

Trying a lawsuit is not easy, but it should not be made more complicated by bombarding either the lawyer or the Court with information. There is no question but that trying lawsuits requires a thorough presentation of relevant evidence. However, lawyers and clients mistake “thorough” for “effective.”

Judges have a lot to digest and they have to digest it from admissible evidence in court. Admissible evidence often does not provide the whole picture. Most judges do not have a wealth of assistance in the form of law clerks or staff assistants, so they need to be given the facts in ways that are easy to digest. The magic of good advocacy often involves taking masses of information and condensing it down to a few simple summary exhibits.

Clients are encouraged to help lawyers by providing them with information, but clients would also be well-served by making sure they don’t inundate their lawyer with so much information they cannot process it effectively either. I am reminded of a client who went to court by herself with literally hundreds of documents but was denied relief because he could not locate the most important documents for the Judge, who said he could not possibly digest the amount of documents presented.

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