Monday, September 28, 2015, 10:25 AM
Posted by Administrator
After my first year of law school, I developed a system of doing well (before that, I was a mediocre student). The system was: take notes, write down everything the professor said, spit it back on the exam (there was only one exam per class), get "A". The professors, I figured out, only cared to hear what they had said.

But, taking notes leading to success in school is not what this entry is about (I did, however, want to take a moment first to pat myself on the back). This is about taking notes in business dealings.

The rules of evidence say that you can use notes taken near to the time of an event to refresh your recollection. In other words, you are on the witness stand and I ask: "Could you tell us what the man said when he phoned you?" (Note: "the man" is an agent for the company you are suing, in this example, and what he said comes in as an exception to the "rule against hearsay".....a "speaking agent", statements made by a party to the case). You answer: "I don't remember exactly." I ask: "Do you have anything with you that might refresh your recollections of what he said?" "Yes, I do." "What?" "My notes that I took during and immediately after our conversation."

Everyone in the courtroom gasps as you take out your notes and begin to refresh your recollection. Now, everyone will believe everything you say the man said because you have those notes. And, notes never lie.

So, when you are on the phone with the collection agent.....take notes on what he/she says. (Note: Don't say anything, yourself....just listen.) The car mechanic: "It's just a relay."...until you get the bill for replacing a compressor. The Dean of Housing at your kid's college. Sit there with your computer powered up and write yourself an email.

The other day, I had an a/c issue. The company had been out, before, and I began to get different stories from different people. I emailed myself about each conversation and transaction. When I wrote my letter to the company, I quoted their employees from my notes. And, in the end, we came to an "understanding". They recognized they had a problem........and that I had documented it.

My letter said, at the end..."If any facts stated in this letter are inaccurate, you must let me know within a reasonable time." I did this so that I would be in a position to post a review on the internet....and that they would be unable to complain/sue me for libel because I gave them the opportunity to "correct" me. The hint that I was going to post what happened, somewhere, was...I think...obvious.

Notes....now that we are adults trying not to get ripped off...they're not just for school, anymore.
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