Civil Litigation Brief

A single moment of logical thought will lead to the conclusion that it is strange that lawyers don’t learn about memory.  Much (indeed most) litigation relies on the memory of the parties.  Judges are, more often than not, called upon to decide whose memory of events is the most accurate. The judge cannot shy away from that task. Most cases are decided on the basis of accuracy of recollection rather than points of law.  For that reason it is worth reading The Memory Illusion by Dr Julia Shaw: “Remembering, Forgetting and Science of False Memory”.   This book raises issues of direct relevance to the working litigator.



Identity and memory, Dr Shaw shows, are inherently linked. Yet memory is like clay, and memory is malleable:

“Over the course of just a few friendly interviews… I have convinced people they have committed crimes that never occurred, suffered from…

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