By: Ragan Morrison, Spring 2019 HeLP Legal Services Clinic Intern
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video must be worth a novel. There are many cases where a recording of an event may prove decisive in a legal proceeding—whether it’s footage of a traffic intersection or from a police body-cam, a video will often tell a judge or jury just about all they need to know. This is not a new phenomenon, but the explosive proliferation of mobile devices today means there is ever more footage of people’s daily lives, including times that may be of significance in a future legal controversy.
Courts have been adjusting to this reality, and the value of this evidence can be even greater in the more informal setting of an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meeting at a school or a disability benefits hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). We in the HeLP clinic have already encountered instances where children’s classroom behavior is recorded by teachers on their phones, and we hope to use footage like this in certain cases to help prove the disability of the child and get them the financial assistance they need and deserve.