The Basics: Managing Legal Cases, Investigations, and Evidence

Whether you are personally involved in a civil or criminal legal case (with or without a lawyer) or you are a volunteer assisting with a legal case – understanding some basic concepts will make you much more effective.

This training syllabus is provided as a public service. The page is a work in progress and provides links to articles and other resources about the basics of managing legal cases, investigations, and evidence.


I, Donald Best, am not a lawyer. Nothing in this training syllabus is legal advice. I am a former Toronto Police Sergeant (Detective) with 48 years of experience in public and private sector investigations, intelligence operations, and legal case management.

You should be intensely aware that the laws, courts, and procedural standards vary by jurisdiction and are in constant change. It is critical that you research what is necessary in your jurisdiction.

While the information and procedures in this syllabus are based upon my research and experience in the jurisdictions I have worked in, the information presented might be out of date or just plain incorrect.

As a self-represented litigant I was convicted of Contempt of Court in an Ontario civil case costs hearing. Although I was later vindicated, I spent 63 days in prison – which if nothing else should convince you to exercise caution and due diligence when considering information presented by me or anyone else.

Legal cases are important and dangerous in part because they can result in unexpected and life-changing negative outcomes. Litigation should not be entered into lightly, and once entered is often difficult and expensive to leave.

Good luck with your court case. I hope that this training syllabus assists in your quest for justice.

Donald Best

February 8, 2024


The Basics: Managing Legal Cases, Investigations, and Evidence

Lesson #1: Reading Assignment:Bearing Witness

Lesson #2: Study Assignment: Lexicon of Evidence, Investigations, Legal Cases

Coming Soon…

Lesson #3: Study Assignment: Bates Numbers – Your Key to Organizing a Million Exhibits