Documentation and Risk Management

An issue arises and later it is litigated. What’s the best way to protect yourself?

Traditionally, the Policeman’s notes have been the “gold standard”.

Well, maybe not anymore!

Are the witnesses trustworthy and are their notes reliable?

At a recent trial, three people all testified and confirmed exactly the same thing. Would you believe them? After all, three people said they all observed exactly the same thing! In fact, they even have written “notes”. They are police officers and they are required to make notes.

The first person made the observation, and the next two people met with the first person, confirmed that they had made the exact same observation and then, all three wrote it down in their notes.

One little problem, it was scientifically impossible!

So now, the question is one of collusion!

Real Estate Agents

If you are in the real estate business, you have two choices for documentation:

  1. Your own written notes, or
  2. Emails.

By far the best choice would be emails. They are sent to someone else, therefore they could be challenged or verified at the time. That would add an additional layer of safety and trustworthiness over private and confidential notes.

Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker

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