Stories abound in relation to the court’s attitude to matters after Mitchell. Below is an e-mail kindly copied to me by David Kirkham, from a London Barrister. It highlights the very real risks involved. The story tells itself.
“I was acting for the Defendant in a very straight forward FT RTA.
Matter was listed for trial yesterday and all directions had been complied with, save that the day before trial the bundles hadn’t arrived (should have been 3 clear days). DJ, made an order of his own volition vacating the trial and listing it for CMC instead. C’s sols had the bundles hand-delivered at midday the same day when they found out what had happened.
Everyone turned up yesterday fully prepped for a trial in any event. However, when I actually got to see the order vacating the trial I made an application (to a different DJ) to strike out the Claimant’s case for failing to comply with the direction in relation to the bundles, citing amongst other stuff the Mitchell case. We could easily have proceeded with the trial. The DJ was persuaded and struck out C’s case, awarding me (D) full costs, leaving C’s sols facing a nailed on negligence claim.
I think we must warn solicitors, if they don’t realise already, to be HYPER vigilant, and prepare ourselves for a lot of prof neg cases”