Category Witness statements

CIVIL LITIGATION REVIEW OF 2016: PROMISCUOUS BUNDLES & THAT CRAZY LITTLE THING CALLED PROPORTIONALITY

This is the third annual review of the year on this blog. 2016, as ever, has been an interesting year.  As ever, a comprehensive review can be found in Herbert Smith Freehills A litigator’s yearbook: 2016 (England and Wales). PREDICTIONS FROM LAST YEAR Proportionality will remain a big (and largely unresolved) issue. The meaning of […]

ADVERSE INFERENCES NOT DRAWN WHEN WITNESSES ARE ABSENT: ANOTHER EXAMPLE

There are several posts on the blog which deal with the approach the trial judge takes when certain witnesses are not present.  In some cases it leads the judge to draw adverse inferences, in others it does not.  In Welds -v- Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust & Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust [2016] 3325 […]

PROVING THINGS 45: IF YOU CAN’T PROVE LOSS THE DEFENDANT IS GOING TO GET SUMMARY JUDGMENT

This series (and this blog) have looked at several cases where a party  has asserted a loss but not been able to prove it. There are a large number of cases where a party fails to put the basic information before the court to show that any loss has incurred.  This can be seen in […]

TAKING WITNESS STATEMENTS AND FACT FINDING: VEHEMENT CRITICISM (OF A SURPRISING SOURCE)

The need to take care when drafting witness statements has been a regular theme of this blog. The delegating of witness statements to a party or client is an extremely dangerous (and foolish) practice.   I have also examined, regularly, the painstaking and careful process that trial judges go through when assessing facts and witnesses. […]

WITNESS STATEMENTS, STATEMENTS OF TRUTH AND CONTEMPT OF COURT

The judgment of Mrs Justice Slade in Aviva Insurance -v- Randive [2016] EWHC 3152 (QB) involves no findings of fact.  However it does demonstrate the dangers inherent in being involved in the drafting of witness statements and replies to Part 18 questions.Where facts are set out which cannot be proven, or are simply not true […]

PROVING THINGS 44: FINDINGS OF FACT, WALTER MITTY AND WITNESS TRAINING

The judgment today of Mr Justice Coulson in Harlequin Property (SVG) Limited -v- Wilkins Kennedy [2016] 3188 EWHC (TCC) shows the importance of the judge’s assessment of  witnesses. The judge made a clear and robust assessment of the witness evidence, the difficulties posed by witness training, the difficulties posed by missing witnesses and the (virtual […]

PROVING THINGS 43: HOW THE COURT DECIDES: A PRIMER

The judgment of Master Matthews in Adepoju -v- Akinola [2016] EWHC 3160 (Ch) includes a useful primer on how the court goes about the task of deciding civil cases. “…the decision of the court is not necessarily the objective truth of the matters in issue. Instead it is the most likely view of what happened, […]