How We Handle Cases
“Bush pilots in Alaska talk about how there are pilots with a thousand hours of experience and then there are pilots with one hour of experience repeated a thousand times.”
Rick Friedman (2015). Becoming a Trial Lawyer: A Guide for the Lifelong Advocate. Portland, OR: Trial Guides, LLC.
“Good advocates are made, much as good airplane pilots are made — by study, by observation of experts and by training with experts. To pursue that analogy, an aspiring pilot who can fly a Piper Cub has learned something about flying, but he is surely not ready to fly large commercial planes or a modern jet airliner. The painful fact is that the courtrooms of America all too often have “Piper Cub” advocates trying to handle the controls of “Boeing 747” litigation. (I should add that by no means are all the “Piper Cub” advocates recent law graduates.)”
United States Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, The Special Skills of Advocacy: Are Specialized Training and Certification of Advocates Essential to Our System of Justice?, 42 Fordham L. Rev. 227 (1973). Available at: http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/flr/vol42/iss2/1
The attorneys at the Law Office of Aaron D. Bundy, PLC, are effective at obtaining results for clients due to each attorney‘s meaningful experience, knowledge and skill. Each attorney has real experience trying cases to judges and to juries. However, as the quotes above suggest, courtroom experience alone is not enough. Annually, each of our attorneys attends training nationwide with the world’s finest attorneys and experts. Every year each attorney exceeds Oklahoma’s minimum continuing legal education requirement by a wide margin. Then, our attorneys work together and collaborate on every case, applying their collective knowledge to give each client the highest level of service, legal advice and representation.
We are highly skilled at putting together and trying a lean, efficient case that is based on facts. We investigate matters before filing to gather relevant information, then we use the discovery process to gain admissions from the opposing party and confirm facts through witnesses. We have specialized training and experience in ethical witness preparation for depositions, evidentiary hearings and trial.
Judges and juries are humans, and they bring all the flaws of human decision-making with them to trial, including natural human biases and fatigue. Our focus is on credibility: when we say something, we have the evidence to back it up, and we get to it. We don’t waste time in the courtroom.
The word “trial” may evoke an image of a witness on a witness stand testifying verbally in response to a verbal question from an attorney. Scientists and psychologists have determined that humans — judges and juries — remember things better that they see and touch rather than what they hear. As a result, we emphasize the use of visuals whenever possible. In family law cases, this means photographs of our client with the children, photographs of the home where the children will sleep, maps showing the location of significant events, and so on.
Many attorneys do not understand how we handle cases or why we do things a certain way. For example, we disclose our client’s evidence early in the case, including photographs, income information, text messages, and so on. We use discovery requests to force the other side to acknowledge the authenticity of the information disclosed. We prepare cross-examination well before trial, then, at trial, we use tight, controlled leading questions to gain key facts and admissions from the opposing party and opposing witnesses. Some attorneys do not use these tools because they do not know how to do it. Unfortunately, some family law attorneys are threatened or insecure about these “foreign ideas” such as showing the judge a photograph of the children or a map showing the distance between two parents’ homes, so, rather than cooperate, those attorneys attempt to obstruct the litigation process by refusing to make disclosures, produce their evidence, or admit the authenticity of our evidence. The behavior of these attorneys is bizarre but predictable. They will lie and deny receiving documents, they will play word games and attempt to avoid having their client admit basic facts, and they will try to hide evidence. We are equipped to handle obstructionist attorney bullies. We do not back down from any attorney who makes false allegations or who engages in bad faith, obstructive behavior.
- current income information and recent tax returns (at least from the last two years)
- a list of property owned by each spouse before marriage, together with all information related to an increase in value of any of that property due to marital efforts, such as joint investments, home remodels and repairs
- a list of all property acquired during the marriage, including any business startups or partnerships, together with any available information concerning the value of the property, such as appraisals, Kelley Blue Book estimates, and the current sale price for the comparable property
- a list of all debts owed by each spouse before marriage and a list of all debts incurred during the marriage
- 6 months of statements for every bank account
- statements for utility bills and other regularly monthly expenses
- a statement for every retirement and deferred compensation account
- if health insurance is available, a document indicating the monthly premium cost
- a list of eyewitnesses with contact information for every material issue and fact
In addition, in custody cases we will need:
- a photograph of the client with each child
- recent report cards and any IEP for each child
- a statement showing the cost of child care
- photographs of the client’s home and each child’s bedroom
- a list of professionals involved with each child, including teachers and counselors
- a record of payment of child support
- documents related to any child’s health or behaviorial issues
- a copy of the child’s health insurance card
- a timeline of significant events related to the child and the other parent
Our preparation and disclosure of information helps us obtain results for our clients. Independent, objective evidence makes a case much stronger than a “he said / she said” battle of words. Our strategy pays off in negotiation, mediation, and in the courtroom. It is part of what makes us different from the rest.