Procedure

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

District judge takes claim for whistleblower protection to Court of Appeal

rcj 2

A district judge who claims she was denied protection as a whistleblower when raising her concerns to the Ministry of Justice about the detrimental impact of austerity on the courts, takes her case to the Court of Appeal today. Public Concern at Work, a whistleblowing charity and legal advice centre, has been allowed to intervene in the case

October 18th, 2017

“ADR is failing” says Civil Justice Council but compulsion is not yet the answer

Sir Terence Etherton

The Woolf reforms have failed to embed alternative dispute resolution (ADR), a major report by the Civil Justice Council said today, but it stopped short of calling for the introduction of compulsory ADR. However, a minority of members on the expert working group behind the report did back compulsion.

October 17th, 2017

“Panicked” solicitor suspended for signing witness statements himself

Signature

A sole practitioner with over 35 years’ experience has been suspended from practice for nine months after signing witness statements himself and attempting to mislead the court. He ran out of time to meet a court deadline, “panicked” and wrote in the signatures of his claimant client and two witnesses.

October 13th, 2017

High Court denies claimants relief from sanctions after “serious and substantial default”

RCJ portrait

The High Court has rejected an application for relief from sanctions from claimants found to be in “serious and substantial” default by serving their particulars of claims three months late. A deputy Chancery master said the claimants had provided “inadequate reason for the breaches”.

October 10th, 2017

Thinktank report urges “ultimate” form of no-fault compensation for clinical negligence

Dr Paul Goldsmith

The current system for assessing and paying medical negligence claims is “expensive, unsustainable and can cause more harm than good”, according to a report published by the Centre for Policy Studies that said it should be replaced by no-fault compensation.

October 9th, 2017

Competition Appeal Tribunal decision to refuse biggest-ever class action “not susceptible to appeal”

Mr Justice Roth

The Competition Appeal Tribunal has refused solicitor Walter Merricks permission to appeal its decision to deny him a collective proceedings order to bring a £14bn action against Mastercard on behalf of 46m people. It said there was no right to appeal the decision, and even if there was, it would have refused permission.

October 4th, 2017

High Court questions growing use of standstill agreements

Business & Property Courts Rolls Building

The High Court has questioned the growing use of standstill agreements in litigation, saying they are “potentially just another self-inflicted complication” when it would be simpler to apply for a stay. Mr Justice Coulson said he did not understand why they had become more common.

October 3rd, 2017

Supreme Court to hear appeal against defective service ruling in law firm negligence case

Supreme Court night

The Supreme Court will hear an appeal in November by a litigant in person over the defective service of a negligence claim against a Midlands law firm, it has been confirmed. The Court of Appeal agreed with Wright Hassall last spring that the litigant’s service of a claim form as an attachment to an email could not be regarded as good service.

September 29th, 2017

Exclusive: Law firms face off in High Court over lead solicitor role for VW group action

Volkswagen logo

Two law firms are in the High Court this week, battling it out to be named the lead solicitors in the group action being taken over the Volkswagen emissions scandal, Litigation Futures can reveal. The face-off comes ahead of a hearing next month on whether to grant a group litigation order in the case.

September 28th, 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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