Experts

New hot-tubbing and ‘costs of costs management’ rules come into force

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Variations that judges can adopt in orders for concurrent expert evidence – known as ‘hot-tubbing’ – came into force last week, along with a new provision that clarifies how the costs of costs management should be calculated.

December 1st, 2017

Scientists and lawyers team up to provide evidence primers for judges

Inaugural Harbour Litigation Funding Annual Lecture - 8 May 2013

The judiciary has worked with the Royal Society to create primers on scientific evidence as a working tool for judges. The first two cover DNA fingerprinting and techniques identifying people from the way they walk from CCTV, so as to assist the judiciary when handling forensic scientific evidence in the courtroom.

November 22nd, 2017

More bad news for government PI reforms: Experts not willing to accept LiP instructions

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Expert witnesses in personal injury work are not willing to work with litigants in person if the government’s plans to increase the small claims limit for personal injury cases are passed into law, new research has found. It also said 38% of experts operating in PI have been affected by a law firm or other instructing party going bust.

November 13th, 2017

Hodge urges judges and lawyers to improve “scientific literacy” to understand expert evidence

Lord Hodge

A Supreme Court justice has called for judges and lawyers to improve their “scientific literacy” to ensure they did their job effectively in cases involving expert evidence. Lord Hodge also reassured experts that courts do not presume them to be “hired guns” who allow their instructing solicitors to call the tune.

October 19th, 2017

We need openness, not the “team view”, senior judges tell experts

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Senior judges have called on expert witnesses to show greater openness and avoid “hiding behind the team view”. Also, medical experts were criticised for paying lip service to the requirement to include a range of views in their reports, while those in criminal cases were encouraged to be honest about shortcomings in their data.

September 25th, 2017

Civil Justice Council sets out streamlined procedure and fixed costs for deafness cases

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The Civil Justice Council has recommended to government a streamlined procedure for handling fast-track noise-induced hearing loss claims and a fixed-costs regime to go with it. The report, publication of which has been delayed for some months, puts a strong emphasis on settling cases before proceedings begin.

September 6th, 2017

QC proposes ‘no disclosure’ rule for arbitrations

Peter Rees QC

Arbitrations should begin with a default position of no disclosure of documents, a leading QC has argued. Peter Rees QC said for many disputes, each side had “all the documents it needs” and disclosure was a “time-consuming and expensive luxury”.

July 21st, 2017

Rule committee takes ‘softly, softly’ approach to expanding approach to hot-tubbing

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The Civil Procedure Rule Committee agreed minor variations that judges can adopt in orders for concurrent expert evidence – known as ‘hot-tubbing’ – but acknowledged the changes it has approved to the CPR are “not as radical” as had been recommended by the Civil Justice Council.

July 14th, 2017

Rule committee opts for straightforward approach to hot-tubbing

Courthouse

Concurrent expert evidence – known as hot-tubbing – should only be carried out in the “classic” manner where experts are sworn and give evidence at the same time, the Civil Procedure Rule Committee has decided. It decided against an alternative approached that embraced “the full range of methods”.

June 27th, 2017

Silk takes over as new chairman of Expert Witness Institute

Martin Spencer QC 2

The Expert Witness Institute has appointed leading clinical negligence specialist Martin Spencer QC as its new chair of governors. He replaces the Sir Anthony Hooper, who completed his four-year tenure at the institute’s AGM last month.

June 13th, 2017

Blog

All I want for Christmas is…

Stack of documents and papers

This is my valedictory blog for 2017. I am grateful to my loyal reader for enduring the polluted flushings of my diseased mind over the past six months. It has been fun to write and I hope that I have given the reader an insight into the world of a litigation flaneur. Before I bid you happy holidays, I would like to share with you my two wishes for Christmas. For the avoidance of doubt, these relate to litigation finance and not my personal desires, which include a solid gold house, rocket shoes and the power to become invisible at will.

December 12th, 2017

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