Evidence Collection for Civil Litigation
Every day lawsuits are won and lost based on the quality of the evidence presented at trial. Most law enforcement agencies are well trained in the collection and preservation of evidence in the criminal arena. However, many of these same agencies never fully contemplate the ramifications of civil suits.
Evidence crucial to civil police litigation is often lost, destroyed, sold or never collected in the first place. With the very real potential for plaintiffs’ verdicts supported by large awards of attorneys’ fees in federal civil rights cases, law enforcement agencies can follow a few simple procedures to reduce risk in civil litigation.
There are many steps law enforcement agencies can take to better preserve and present evidence in civil litigation. Most precautions can be taken proactively and with little upfront cost. The substantial savings come later when all the evidence gets collected, preserved and presented to the jury in the courtroom, seemingly without effort.
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