A blupete Essay

On Evidence, Part 13 to blupete's Essay
"An Essay On Lawyers"

It is always best to have a lurking suspicion of all statements made by a person who has a contrary interest. While one must be ready to admit the obvious, one has to be careful not to give away points too early in the game; and, at any rate, some things, on a second look, are not so obvious.
"So in offering a definition of any subject, if we feel a misgiving that there is any fact or circumstance emitted, but which we have only a vague apprehension, like a name we cannot recollect, we ask for more time, and not cut the matter short by an arrogant assumption of the point in dispute." (William Hazlitt "On Genius and Common Sense," Table Talk, [1822].)
It is the sign of an accomplished advocate when he tries, as he should always do, to throw the onus propandi on his adversary. Remember always the legal maxim: "He who asserts must prove." The reason for this rule is not that it is impossible to prove a negative, but that a negative does not admit of the simple and direct proof of which an affirmative is capable.


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Peter Landry

2011 (2019)