I commend Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes‘s post on what the law demands when giving evidence of conversations. Contrary to a common heterodoxy, the witness who cannot recall the precise words can give evidence of the effect of the conversation. The New South Welsh are the most excited about direct speech, especially in affidavits. Personally, I detest the constant repetition of ‘words to the effect of …’. Better, I think, to say ‘He told me that he knew nothing about the knife’ than ‘He said words to the effect of “I know nothing about the knife”‘.