A diagram of a case, that outlines each stage of the process and provides an overview of the evidence, is a useful conceptual tool for the following reasons:

1)   It clarifies your overarching strategy;

2)   It directs your attention to where you should focus your efforts;

3)   It encourages you not to become lost in the minutiae of the case;

4)   It helps you see the relationship between pieces of evidence;

5)   It assists you in making tactical connections between different stages of the process (for example, using the preliminary inquiry to lay the foundation for a particular motion at trial);

6)   It turns your mind to evidentiary issues that may arise;

7)   It protects against a defence lawyer’s blindspot (that is, the tendency to turn a blind eye to evidence against your client);

8)    It reminds you of defence obligations at each stage of the process (for example, notice of Charter motions and expert evidence);

9)   It facilitates communication and continuity between co-counsel in a firm; and,

10)  It forces you to explore all viable paths to an acquittal.


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