Stephen G. Cobb - Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer

How To Do A Fact Pattern Report?


Disclaimer: This article is in response to questions frequently asked of Mr. Cobb and is an unedited dictation transcript. Just like talk to text on your smartphone, there may be misspelled words or sentence fragments.

So, what do you do in order to communicate affectively with your lawyer if you don’t want to have a word vomit happen because as we’ve already found out from the last video, that can be a disaster. It’s a disaster that is happening right now as you are watching me somewhere in Florida if it’s between 8 and 5 on the two different time zones, someone is getting blown out of court because their lawyer did not teach them how to do a fact pattern report. Now, let’s talk about a fact pattern report, what the heck is a fact pattern report? This is basically what it is. You get up earlier than you normally do and you hit your computer and you type out everything that might, maybe, possibly could be important for your case or the case of someone you love if you are a witness. Now, this information, if you, again, have to ask, “Should I include”, yes, “Should I include about my childhood”, yes, “Should I include about accidents I’ve had”, yes, “Should I include”, yes, yes, yes, and yes. I would rather have 500 pages of single space typed material that is long and detailed and tiny print than 5 lines scrolled across the piece of paper that tells me nothing.

Now, the next step is it’s like that experiment when you are in high school and they make you take an egg and it’s your baby and you’ve got to keep it without breaking it for a week, well the fact pattern report is similar. In that, you are going to print out the fact pattern report, you are going to put attorney-client privilege on the top of every page. You can type, it’s much easier than handwriting it. And then, from there, you put it in a folder to protect your privacy and put a pen on your body or on the folder and it goes with you everywhere for the rest of day 1, all of day 2, day 3 and day 4. Now, why are we doing that? Because you might be like the client who is writing in a friend’s car and happens to just kind of notice the golden arches of McDonald’s like he’s never seen them before. Why? There was a witness at the scene he forgot about and he just simply wrote in the margins, “Guy in McDonald’s color shirt”. Well, it turned out that particular witness exonerated him and so instead of a 7-year minimum mandatory prison sentence for trafficking in drugs, it turns out this witness acquitted him. He would have never remembered this witness if we had done the usual office chat session. So, what you are going to do is you are going to do your fact pattern report on day 1, you are going to print it and carry it with you for the next three days along with day 1, and at the end of day 4, you complete your fact pattern report by putting all of those notes in the margins into the body of your report, and then you can get it to us as quick as you possibly can.

Now, personally, I don’t care if it comes by mail, I don’t care if it comes by carrier pigeon, but frankly, nothing is faster than the speed of light.

Disclaimer: This article is in response to questions frequently asked of Mr. Cobb and is an unedited dictation transcript. Just like talk to text on your smartphone, there may be misspelled words or sentence fragments.

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Stephen G. Cobb, Esq.

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