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Dogs that don’t bark

Inspector Gregory: “Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?”
Holmes: “To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.”
Inspector Gregory: “The dog did nothing in the night-time.”
Holmes: “That was the curious incident.”

People are often worried about missing evidence. For example, a claimant knows that most internal communication between his employer’s managers is conducted by email. But, during the disclosure process, no relevant emails are disclosed and their existence is denied.

One approach is to try to persuade the tribunal to allow you to dig out the information. Theoretically, a computer expert could be instructed to search their system and recover relevant evidence. This, however, will be expensive and extremely disruptive. It will almost never be considered proportionate by the tribunal and in the vast majority of cases it is futile to even try.

In 999 cases of 1000 the appropriate course is simply to cross-examine and make submissions on the missing evidence. You can point out just how implausible it is that no emails were sent. If it really is terribly unlikely, and you can convince the tribunal of that, they are likely to draw very negative conclusions about the Respondent’s credibility and conduct.

One comment

  1. Naomi

    If you’re lucky, you might get one of their witnesses to admit in cross-examination that the missing evidence must exist. Then you can make a more effective fuss about the fact that you were previously told it didn’t – and that it hasn’t been disclosed.

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