Experts

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

foskett-j

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

hearing aid

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

Jacuzzi

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

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

Blog

Hands up who knows what litigation financiers sell?

A#1000

If your answer was ‘money’, you would be correct but sadly out of step with the prevailing thinking. If, however, you asked some other litigation financiers the same question, you would very likely receive answers like ‘project management skills’, or ‘an experienced litigation partner’. Whilst none of these answers are wrong per se, they do rather miss the point of why lawyers and clients engage with funders. Experienced and successful litigators do not want the views of litigation financiers on how to project manage their litigation – they want access to their cash pure and simple.

October 19th, 2017

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John M Hayes

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