Experts

Judges “need neutral assistance” in commercial cases, says Lord Chief Justice

Lord Thomas_crop

The legal profession’s objections to judges having access to neutral assistance from a third party when facing specialist commercial or scientific matters in court need to be overcome, the Lord Chief Justice has said. He also revealed that the judiciary was “revisiting the rather neglected use of judges as arbitrators”.

May 19th, 2017

Hot-tubbing of experts should not be “forced on unwilling parties”

Courthouse

The giving of concurrent evidence by expert witnesses or ‘hot-tubbing’ should not be “forced on unwilling parties,” a sub-committee of the Civil Procedure Rule Committee has advised. The rule committee agreed with this and has asked it to draft rule changes that would nonetheless promote the practice.

May 18th, 2017

Fixed-cost plans for clinical negligence “will prevent many cases being brought”, CJC warns

surgeons

Government plans to impose fixed costs on clinical negligence cases worth up to £25,000 “will prevent many cases being brought”, the Civil Justice Council has warned. The CJC said it was particularly concerned that the new regime for experts “may indeed prove to be a barrier to access to justice”.

May 11th, 2017

Insurer loses bid to appeal indemnity costs issue in unusual case where expert agreed to cover its costs

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An insurer has failed to convince a judge that a medical expert who agreed to cover its costs in a whiplash case should be ordered to pay on the indemnity basis. Ageas Insurance appealed against the ruling at Liverpool County Court, but the appeal was rejected by the High Court.

May 9th, 2017

Court of Appeal warns judges against interrupting witness evidence too much

Sir Geoffrey Vos

The Chancellor of the High Court has urged judges to “temper eagerness with restraint” in the way they conduct trials, after a circuit judge was found to have made excessive interventions while witnesses were giving evidence. He warned that “continuous interruptions during cross-examination can so often do more harm than good”.

April 10th, 2017

Rule committee backs moves to increase take-up of expert ‘hot-tubbing’

stethoscope on keyboard - medical report

Expert witnesses giving concurrent evidence – or ‘hot-tubbing’ – should be the default position in the Mercantile Court and Technology and Construction Court, the Civil Procedure Rule Committee has suggested as it backed efforts to increase the knowledge and take-up of the procedure.

April 4th, 2017

Accident victims “forced into rehab by greedy lawyers”

injury2

There are suggestions that some accident victims are being “forced into rehab” by lawyers and claims management companies determined to “boost their own incomes”, an independent report has found.

February 22nd, 2017

Court of Appeal criticises expert who failed to disclose “close connection” with defendant

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A medical expert who failed to disclose that he had trained the defendant on whose behalf he was giving evidence and that they had “worked together closely for a substantial period” has been criticised by the Court of Appeal.

February 14th, 2017

Jail for doctor who duped solicitors with fake invoices

Benjamin Chang

A doctor who fraudulently submitted false medical claims worth £183,000 to unwitting solicitors has been jailed for two years. He was found guilty at the Old Bailey of one count of fraud by false representation and for being in possession of articles for use in fraud and money laundering.

January 31st, 2017

Row over “unique” RTA claim where expert ended up paying successful defendant’s costs

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A row has blown up over a county court case in which a doctor accused of exaggerating medical evidence agreed to pay the costs of the defendant insurer, which the judge said was “unique”. Dr Grace Kerali is now threatening to sue Ageas for defamation over comments it made about her in a press release about the case.

December 8th, 2016

Blog

Fixed recoverable costs: unfair and wrong in principle?

Alex Bagnall

Are fixed recoverable costs inevitable? On 11 November 2016 it was announced that Jackson LJ was to consult on the extension of fixed recoverable costs. That announcement was clear: those involved were to “look at options to extend fixed recoverable costs much more widely”; and to “develop proposals for extending the present fixed recoverable costs regime”. It was said that “the momentum is heavily for reform” and that the purpose of the review was to provide “opportunity for comments and submissions on the form and scope that reform should take”.

April 18th, 2017

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