On April 19, the LACBA Family Law Section hosted a Continuing Legal Education program titled "Evidence Series #3: Prove It. Meeting your Burden of Proof in Domestic Violence Restraining Order Trials." The program included Commissioner Jeffrey Korn of the LA Superior Court in Department 43 in Stanley Mosk and Phallen Gasken, Esq. from the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice as panelists.
The program was an informative and engaging discussion that covered many topics related to meeting the burden of proof in DVRO trials. Attendees were provided with practical tips on how to introduce audio, video, and photographic evidence, as well as how to effectively gather and present evidence to meet their burden of proof.
One of the key takeaways from the program was the importance of an effective direct examination of the party seeking protection. The panelists emphasized that the party seeking protection must be prepared to provide a clear and concise account of the abuse they have suffered and that this testimony must be supported by other forms of admissible evidence.
Another important topic discussed during the program was the role of police reports in restraining order matters. While police reports can be a valuable form of evidence,they are not determinative that actual abuse occurred and often get little consideration by the court. As such, it is important to ensure that there is additional evidence to support the party's claims of abuse.
The program also provided attendees with techniques for questioning witnesses, including cross-examination, and emphasizing the importance of understanding the role of the burden of proof as a preponderance of the evidence, practical tips on how to prepare witnesses for trial and effectively present their testimony to meet the burden of proof.
Overall, the program was an excellent resource for family law practitioners seeking to improve their understanding of the burden of proof in DVRO trials. Attendees gained valuable insights into the techniques and strategies necessary to meet this burden, a better understanding of the role of admissible evidence, direct examination, and police reports in these matters.