Inference or Evidence of Bad Character

A defense tactic which should be vigorously opposed by plaintiff’s attorney is any inference or evidence of a bad character trait attributed to his client. It would be improper for the defense counsel to attempt to introduce or imply that the plaintiff manifests a consistently bad character trait or habit. The courts have even held that the defense cannot set forth history of misconduct by the plaintiff or propensity for the plaintiff to act in a similar way, in conformity with previous instances of a certain behavior. The case should be tried based upon the facts and evidence in the particular case, not based upon something that might have occurred earlier in the plaintiff’s life. A plaintiff’s attorney who is on the ball, will either file the appropriate motion before the trial to prohibit this commentary by the defense or again vigorously object if the defense tries to make such improper arguments.