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The Importance of Documentation in Legal Disputes – Advice from a Florida Education Law Attorney

| Aug 11, 2015

A common problem I see over and over again is a lack of documentation from clients. One of the most important tools for building a legal argument is clear documentation of the issue. Documenting phone calls or sending and printing emails only takes a minute and is critical to your case. For example, I recently defended a student in a school disciplinary proceeding in Miami. One of the issues involved what the professor represented to him during a meeting. Other than the student’s word, there was nothing else to substantiate his claims. A simple email to the professor after the meeting setting forth what was discussed could have made a big difference.

Tips for Documenting Legal Disputes

Regardless of the dispute, get in the habit of doing the following:• Write down the full name and job title of any person you speak to regarding your issue. • Be sure to note the date and time of any conversation or meeting. • If applicable, follow-up a conversation or a meeting with a letter or email setting forth what was discussed and/or agreed to. • Ask the other person to put what they told you in writing. • Save any paperwork associated with your dispute. If you have a scanner, scan all of the important papers and keep them in a folder on your computer.Taking the time to do these steps could make a big difference in a legal dispute. Richard Asselta is a Florida education law attorney and the founder of Asselta Law, PA, located in Broward County, Florida. Asselta Law concentrates on Education Law and Appeals. Mr. Asselta is a former school law attorney for a large public school district and draws upon the knowledge gained from the other side of the table to work with teachers and students on legal issues in a variety of educational settings. Visit the about the firm and education law practice pages for more information.

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