Doing Times, Doing Truths: The Legal Case File as a Folded Object
The study of time and temporality has drawn attention to the active and partial ways legal practices take and make time. In this contribution, however, I draw attention to a rather recalcitrant, if relatively understudied, temporal actor in these everyday work practices: the legal case file. Drawing on the notion of the temporally ‘folded object’, I show how the legal case folds within itself multiple temporalities. Not only does it record and trace both ‘the facts’ and its own procedural history, it also makes its own histories of production partially invisible. Tracing how precisely these ‘invisible’ histories are mobilized and used in Court, I show legal practices of truth-finding to be intimately tied up with the folding and unfolding of the case file’s multiple histories. Emphasizing the relationship between truth-finding and the making of multiple temporalities in legal practices, this piece offers a discussion of the temporal agency of legal case files.