Tag Archives: Witness credibility

WITNESS STATEMENTS: SAYING “I AGREE WITH HIM” IS HARDLY GOOD PRACTICE

Large number of litigants pay large amounts of money to their lawyers to draft witness statements. This blog often documents the problems caused by witness statements that are simply inadequate. The issues of inadequate witness statements is seen again in the judgment of Mr Justice Fraser in Imperial Chemical Industries Limited -v- Merit Merrell Technology […]

WITNESS STATEMENTS: SAYING “I AGREE WITH HIM” IS HARDLY GOOD PRACTICE

Large number of litigants pay large amounts of money to their lawyers to draft witness statements. This blog often documents the problems caused by witness statements that are simply inadequate. The issues of inadequate witness statements is seen again in the judgment of Mr Justice Fraser in Imperial Chemical Industries Limited -v- Merit Merrell Technology […]

PROVING THINGS 47: FIRE IN THE LOFT: IT WASN’T THE MOUSE MAN AT ALL

The judgment of Mr Justice Coulson in Palmer -v- Nightingale [2016] EWHC 2800 (TCC) is another example of a claimant failing to prove their case. More curiously, in some respects, the claimant’s own evidence contradicted their case. “In circumstances where there are a number of potential causes of a fire, it is not appropriate for the […]

LAWYERS, LITIGATION AND MEMORY III: THE GESTMIN PRINCIPLES APPLIED

“This may be an interesting year for the consideration of issues relating to the accuracy of memory.   An interesting case where the relevant principles were considered in detail can be found in the judgment in EF -v- The Catholic Child Welfare Society (Diocese of Middlesbrough) [2016] EWHC 3336 (QB). The judgment reviews the principles […]

LAWYERS, LITIGATION & MEMORY II: HOW YOU ARE AFFECTING THE MEMORY OF WITNESSES (AND POSSIBLY SOWING THE SEEDS FOR DEFEAT)

The post on “Lawyers, litigation and memory“clearly struck a chord. It had many hundreds of readers (on a Sunday too). It highlights the fact that a failure to be trained in, and consider, issues relating to memory, causes litigators numerous problems.  These problems only become apparent once a witness is cross-examined. Here we look at […]

IF YOU ARE BELIEVED YOU WILL WIN: THE NEED FOR A DEVIL’S ADVOCATE IN CIVIL LITIGATION

The post written yesterday on litigators and memory has already given rise to a large number of responses, particularly on Twitter.  It is worthwhile taking the matter further by considering how and when a litigator should take stock of the quality of the evidence. There is much to be gained by making a critical examination of […]

LAWYERS, LITIGATION & MEMORY: THE MEMORY ILLUSION

A single moment of logical thought will lead to the conclusion that it is strange that lawyers don’t learn about memory.  Much (indeed most) litigation relies on the memory of the parties.  Judges are, more often than not, called upon to decide whose memory of events is the most accurate. The judge cannot shy away […]

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. […]

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, […]