The Law of Affidavits
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As author and veteran litigator, John Douglas Shields maintains, “Affidavits are a craft, requiring insight, experience and patience, peppered with limited artistic licence. Cases can be won on artful and careful drafting or lost on the shoals of an affidavit that should never have left the printer.”
To help fellow practitioners develop winning affidavits – and also “properly and ethically decimate the opponent’s case” – Shields has drafted this new volume, The Law of Affidavits, based on his decades of experience as a litigator and his meticulous research that included reviewing over a century of jurisprudence and approximately 5,000 cases.
A Comprehensive Reference
Unique in the litigation resource landscape, The Law of Affidavits is the first book in Canada to focus exclusively on affidavits, which have become the most prevalent and important form of evidence in litigation.
This detailed reference book sets out best practices when it comes to both drafting and objecting to affidavits, backed up by the applicable case law and extensive technical guidance. Relying on the Rules of Court for British Columbia – which are similar to rules governing affidavits across Canada – Shields provides lawyers, judges and masters with access to the law and jurisprudence related to these critical documents, with authorities cited from Canada.
The Law of Affidavits is a comprehensive volume, examining affidavits from a variety of perspectives, including as part of criminal law and family law matters, as well as affidavits from lawyers and legal staff. By addressing everything from drafting rules and techniques, to common pitfalls, to tried-and-true methods for critically examining and challenging affidavits prepared by opposing counsel, this book sets out the law and ethical and professional obligations for any lawyer preparing, or defending, an application or Summary Trial, or in dealing with affidavits and statutory declarations.
Indispensable for Litigators
Anyone involved in the practice of law will benefit from adding The Law of Affidavits to their bookshelf or desk, including:
- Lawyers, who will refer to it for guidance when drafting affidavits in a variety of contexts (i.e., civil, family, criminal matters) and assessing those prepared by opposing counsel
- Litigators and solicitors, who deal with affidavits on a regular basis
- Judges, who can rely on it when ruling on issues of admissibility, especially given the growing prevalence of affidavit evidence in court proceedings
- Law and articling students, who can use it to learn about a key area of legal drafting
- Law libraries, who can include it in their legal research and writing collections
Table of contents
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Formalities
Chapter 3: Obligations of Counsel
Chapter 4: Withdrawal or Amendment of an Affidavit
Chapter 5: Admissibility – Generally
Chapter 6: Admissibility – Hearsay
Chapter 7: Examples of Inadmissible Affidavit Language
Chapter 8: The Internet
Chapter 9: The Role of the Court
Chapter 10: Don’t Try This
Chapter 11: Affidavits from Lawyers
Chapter 12: Affidavits from Legal Staff
Chapter 13: Language and Translations
Chapter 14: Objecting to, Striking Out, and Cross-Examination
Chapter 15: Family Law Affidavits
Chapter 16: Criminal Law Considerations
Chapter 17: Exhibits
Chapter 18: Self-Represented Litigants and Affidavits
Chapter 19: Costs Consequences of Improper Affidavits
Chapter 20: Practical Resources
Chapter 21: Conclusion
Table of Cases