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Thank you for your question.
The pre-trial conference will cover the following types of issues:
1. How much discovery is left in the case? You need to be able to tell the judge whether you need to conduct any further discovery, and if so what kind of discovery exactly and how long it is going to take you. You also need to be prepared to answer an argument from the plaintiff that they will need additional discovery. If you disagree with the plaintiff, then you need to be able to state why the plaintiff should have already finished the discovery and that the plaintiff is merely delaying now.
2. How long will the trial take? You need to know how many witnesses you are going to call and have an approximation of how much time you will need to make your case.
3. When are the parties available for trial? You need to know the dates on which you can for sure go to trial. If you have any third-party witnesses, you need to know whether they are available on your proposed dates as well.
4. Any other motions which you want the court to hear? If there are other motions, such as motions for summary judgment or motions to exclude experts, you need to tell the court that these motions need to be submitted and heard before the trial starts.
In regard to your question about your deposition, if you are being deposed then there is absolutely no reason that you need to blow anythiing up or mount it. That is the other sides responsibility. You only have to bring with you the actual documents being requested. If these are photographs, then you only have to bring the photographs. You will want to make sure that the photos you bring are copies and not the originals.
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Q? Can a witness who lives out of state somehow witness via phone so they do not need travel expenses? We can't hire a lawyer so we certainly can't pay the expenses.
So, if I need this witness but they can't travel here, what are my options?
This will be entirely up to the judge. Some courts allow it and some do not. You will need to ask the judge if he will allow an out of state witness to provide telephonic testimony or testimony via skype.
The other option would be take the witness's deposition over the phone...but this can be expensive as well, and if money is the problem it really is not an option.
So I wait till this call to inquire with the judge?
Thank you very much! I have no further questions at this time. I'll be back when I do.
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Q? Am I allowed to share all the filed papers from all sides with my witness? My witness is very well aware of the situation and I have no idea if I am allowed to allow the witness to read the papers from all parties or is it better for the witness to go onto the stand with only what they personally know about the situation?
Having them read the papers would allow the to know how the other parties are thinking as well as my witness could help me get through this but I do not in any way want to influence this person. How do lawyers handle this?
Yes, you are allowed to show the witness documents.
If you have a witness which is willing to work with you and offer favorable testimony, you can prepare the witness for questioning by going through documents together and by interviewing the witness and talking with the witness about his/her answers. The witness may only testify about documents of which he/she has personal knowledge, so the witness must see the document to testify about it.
The only thing you may not do is attempt to influence a witness to change their potential testimony by offering them money or otherwise threatening them.
Thank you. I was not sure if I was allowed to share the filings with a witness so this helps me a lot. We want our witnesses to be completely honest in all their answers and no, I am not offering money, etc.
Sounds like you will be ok if you do as you plan.
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The Plaintiffs have finally admitted taking photos into our yard from their second story windows. We are unsure if they are all still or if in fact, some is video.
A couple nights ago, my spouse was out in the dark watering the plants when he looked up and could see the blinds pulled apart and something pointed at him. He came inside, got his camera and took a few photos. In the photos, it appears there is infrared being used. Isn't it illegal to video into someone's yard, especially at night, in the dark? My spouse was only watering plants for goodness sake. Our privacy has been COMPLETELY intruded upon. Whenever we go outside to work on the yard which is their issue, we are being watched, taped and photographed. We have about a 6 ft block fence between us and lots of trees and bushes for privacy.
Where does the law draw the line when it comes to ones own backyard and what right does a neighbor have to be so invasive?
Civil case, similar to private nuisance but it is more than that at this point. Should we have called the police?
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