Evidence is the only thing that matters
A recent story hit the headlines. Short version: LL Cool J’ daughter (Itialia Smith) is a real estate agent. She went into business with a real estate broker in New York. The deal was she’d split commissions on transactions she was involved in. The broker (allegedly) took advantage of the LL Cool J name to sell properties and never gave Smith a cut. You can read the long version here.
What you should pay attention to in this story is the following sentence:
“Her 11-page, tell-all lawsuit includes copies of emails between her and her bosses about how they promised to pony up. But they never did, she says.”
What’s the important piece? – “Copies of emails”
What Is Evidence?
Evidence is anything you can show to help your claim. You can claim adultery – you need evidence. You can say, “John stole money from me” – you need evidence.
Evidence is what you show a third party who doesn’t know you that you are the one who has been wronged.
If you say, “he used to beat me” a third party might ask, “Do you have any photographs to show the marks he made?” or they might ask “Did you file a police report documenting the abuse?”
If you are a business and you have a claimant who’s saying they’re injured, how can you say they’re not without producing some hard evidence?
Anyone that’s been through a court battle will tell you that evidence trumps all. You can’t just make claims without evidence to back those claims up. You’ll be seen as a cry-wolf (not the movie or the singer).
An evidence example
One of our clients hired us several years ago to look at her husband’s computer. She thought he was having an affair. Early in our analysis we discovered the computer contained child pornography. We immediately turned our evidence over to the police.
Our client called us and asked how the analysis was going. We told her what we’d found and what we were doing about it. She asked us to not go to the police and to please destroy the image we’d obtained of the hard drive. In effect, she was asking us to destroy evidence. What she didn’t know was that we were recording the phone call.
She hired an attorney and filed suit against us. Not a position any company likes to be in.
We wrote a one page letter back to the attorney who was suing us. In the letter we told the attorney to listen to the phone call which was recorded on CD and included with the letter. (We don’t recommend you ever answer an attorney’s letter without consulting your own attorney).
We never heard back from that attorney or from our former client.
I wonder if Italia Smith, LL Cool J’s daughter, sang the song “Mama Said Knock You Out” on her way back from her attorney’s office after she retained them to sue the real estate broker?