At the end of last week, the Judge handed down his decision in the Jian Ghomeshi case. The finding was that the Crown had not proven its’ case “beyond a reasonable doubt”. That is the technical definition of what needs to be established in a criminal case before someone is convicted of an offence.
In Business Litigation, which is generally a Civil matter, the burden of proof is: has the plaintiff proven their case “on the balance of probabilities”? This is often described as a lower threshold.
While this threshold is lower than the criminal requirement, it still exists and a Judge will not simply “take your word for it” that something happened. You must prove your case.
To prove a case, evidence is gathered: emails, notes, contracts, photos and witness statements. These all form an important part of proving your case.
If you “forget” something until the defendant’s lawyer is cross-examining you, the decision is not likely going to go in your favour. If a Judge decides you’re lying or colluded with people to build up your case, you’re definitely not going to win.
Believing you are entitled to Judgment is not the same as proving it: you must prove your case or you’re not going to win.
Inga B. Andriessen JD