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Attorney Sherman Teaches Civics Class.

Recently, as one of the Florida Lawyers participating in the Florida Supreme Court, Justice Teaching Program, I was invited to teach a civics class to students in fifth grade through high school.  The class was presented with a lesson called, “The Invaders.”  It is brilliantly designed to immerse the students in current issues and their relationship to the United States Constitution.

 

Based upon the lesson plan and my forty years of experience as a trial lawyer, I presented and discussed the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution, called “The Bill of Rights.”

  • We talked about the most basic rights, like religious freedom, free speech, possessing guns, free press, jury trials, sanctity of the home, and the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.
  • We discussed why each of these rights were important to the founders of our country.
  • I presented news articles relating to those rights in today’s world.  For example, how religious rights were restricted and controlled in many countries, and how our Supreme Court found that citizens’ rights to possess guns could not be infringed by gun control legislation.
  • The students were then asked to each chose five rights to keep, to the exclusion of the other rights. They were next put into groups of five, and the group was asked to choose a spokesperson and the five rights that the group, as a whole, chose to keep
  • Finally, the spokesperson from each group, reported to the assembly about which rights the group chose and why.

 

At the end of the class, the students had done all of the things that our citizens should do.  They became informed on pertinent issues, they voted on their choices, and they elected their representatives.  What a marvelous lesson in civics.  If you have questions or concerns about Civil Law or Civil Litigation in the Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, Florida area, call Kim Douglas Sherman, Esquire, at (954) 489-9500.  Please look at our qualifications set forth on our website.

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It is Important to Understand and Use Evidence.

“Evidence” is all the means by which any alleged matter of fact, the truth of which is submitted to investigation, is established or disproved. Having practiced for over forty years as a Civil Law Attorney, I recommend that there are several types of evidence, which you should know about.

“Oral evidence” is when someone is speaking about the matter to be decided.  If the person testifying does not have personal knowledge–they did not see or hear what they want to testify about– their testimony is called “hearsay.”  Hearsay is generally not considered as evidence because there is a right to cross-examine the person who actually was the witness to the event. Testimony given by a witness with actual knowledge is good evidence, however, the way that they see or remember can be selective and biased.  If you can have the testimony of a disinterested person, who has nothing to gain or lose, that is the best kind of witnessAs a Civil Law Attorney, I try to have the witness write down what they saw as soon as possible after the event in question.  Such a writing, itself, may not be admitted as evidence, but it can help the witness remember exactly what they saw or heard long after the event happened.  This is a technique called “preserving” evidence.

A picture is said to be worth a thousand words, and we all know that is true.I find that when I am considering the Civil Law burdens of proving a case—When it comes to preserving evidence, take the picture and take it before there is any change in the subject matter of the photo.  Fort Lauderdale Civil Law Attorney, Kim Douglas Sherman,says, “Take a photo of the accident scene, the crashed cars, and the wounds. Take the photo of the over-flowing sewage or the moldy, collapsed ceiling.  You get the picture?  If you do, then make sure that you keep the photo secure and preserved to use as your evidence.

“Preserve the actual thing that is in issue.” If something broke and caused injury or damage, try not to discard it.  Instead try to maintain and secure it in the same condition so you can, like this Civil Law Trial Attorney, present it to the Court and say, “This is it!”  When you put your agreements into writing signed by the agreeing parties, that “written contract” is the best evidence of the parties’ intentions.

 

Remember these important points about evidence:

  • Testimony from a good witness–get it in writing, too!
  • Take the picture
  • Keep the actual thing preserved, including contracts.

 

When you understand how evidence can help you, you put power on your side.

If you have questions or concerns about Evidence and Civil Law and Civil Trial Law in Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, Florida or if you need a civil law attorney, call me, Kim Douglas Sherman, Esquire at (954) 489-9500.  Please look at our qualifications set forth in our website.