As president of the State Bar of Georgia, I often have occasion to speak at events that extend beyond my own personal injury, wrongful death and commercial trucking law practice. The following is excerpted from my presentation — “Trial Preparation: 30 tips in 30 Minutes” – at the Georgia Law of Torts seminar at Mercer University Law School in Macon on September 23, 2011.

6. Investigate the case yourself.

Use Open Records Act requests to obtain all police photos and dashcam video,  and 911 logs and recordings. As soon as practicable, visit the scene of the incident in person and interview the reporting officer. When appropriate meet with the officer at the scene. Go see the vehicles in the junk yard. Get good photographs, though you may need to have someone else take the photos, hold the measuring tape, etc.  Interview witnesses. Consider use of investigators, but don’t rely solely upon them.