A trial lawyer is an advocate of justice that begin a case afresh at the court of first instance, whose woes and rows are beyond court room advocate as his dream of justice begin with case analysis, drafting, proper trial till end of judgement day.
The trial of case is in no doubt a road to justice full of caravan of requisite skills as its wheels. I dare say, that it is a marathon voyage as the case may last as long as possible in a court of first instance, though not for complacency but an imperfection of the system.
The trial of case will begin with mentioning of case down to the adoption of final written address and the final pronouncement of court on all dispute in issues.
One of the requisite skills that a trial lawyer need to always harm with as his sword and armor is the ability to indite a case file of a particular case that he is conducting trial on at the court of first instance.
Indictment of a case file simply means writing whatever happened in court inside the case file, whether it is an adjournment, the evidence adduced by the witnesses, the technicalities involved, the objection of counsel, the admissibility or otherwise of an exhibits, or the ruling when issue has been joined.
The need for indictment of case file is as a result of fallacy of human divination which no human being is excluded therein, as we’re all not free from impeccable behavior.
The indictment of a case file is a golden stone in writing an acumen final written address for a trial lawyer as it will serve as imperative guide and visual flashback of the trial conducted in addressing the court on all the issues canvassed and resolved in the cause of trial, as same will portray why the scale of justice should tilt in favour of a particular party.
A well indicted case file will assist a counsel where there is importation of fact in the final written address of an opposition counsel or where the records of court is not correct/inadequate on a particular issue raised before the trial court.
It is indeed, a fundamental skill of an experienced lawyer to reserve some weakness of his opposition party’s case exposed in the cause of examination in-chief and cross examination till final written address, as there will be no chance for the opposing counsel to adduce evidence to strengthen or clarify his case except by way of reply, this position has been succinctly stated in the celebrated case of AKIBU VS RACE AUTO SUPPLY LTD (2000) 14 NWLR (pt 686) that no matter how brilliant arguments of counsel maybe, it can never take the place of evidence (paraphrase mine). This will be possible because of a well indicted case file and retentive memory as a means of recap of such technicalities by a trial lawyer in writing an impeccable final written address which will convince a court to give judgement in his favour after a careful perusal of all evidence adduced and the probative value attached to each evidence.
About the Author
Ahmodu Qoyum Biodun is a law student of Ahmadu Bello university, Zaria.