Tag Archives: Witness statement

WITNESS STATEMENTS: THE LAWYER’S DUTIES: A FAMILY CASE

There are some observations in the judgment in Hampshire County Council -v- O [2016] EW B22 (CC) that are of general importance. It relates to the duty of lawyers to ensure that witness statements are full and adequate. “It is the role of a solicitor in these circumstances, not only to take down what they […]

BANQUO’S GHOST NOT AT THE FEAST: WHEN A KEY WITNESS IS NOT CALLED – THE INFERENCES A COURT WILL DRAW

There is an interesting discussion of the role of the “absent witness” in the judgment today of Mr Justice Kerr in O’Hare -v-Coutts & Co [2016] EWHC 2224 (QB). There are dangers in a party not calling someone who is clearly a key witness in a case. The presence of relevant documents is not a […]

YOU ARE PAYING YOUR WITNESSES BY RESULTS: WE WANT TO STRIKE YOU OUT

The judgment of Mr Justice Fraser in EnergySolutions EU Limited -v- Nuclear Decommissioning Authority [2016] EWHC 1988 (TCC) is a highly technical analysis of procurement legislation in an action that had already had a somewhat tortuous procedural history.  However I want to look at one part of the judgment that dealt with the fact that […]

PROVING THINGS 29: MAKE SURE THE WITNESS EVIDENCE DEALS WITH THE RELEVANT ISSUES

In Re B (a minor) (habitual residence) [2016] EWHC 2174 (Fam) Mr Justice Hayden had some important observations on the preparation of witness evidence. Although made in a family case the comments are of general observation: those who take witness statements must know the relevant law and make sure that the statements deal with evidence […]

YOUR WITNESSES ARE LINED UP ALL IN A ROW: THEN YOU MAY BE IN TROUBLE

Many cases have many witnesses saying, essentially, the same thing. Inconsistencies between witnesses are (often subconsciously) ironed out by lawyers during the statement stage. However consistency is not always a good thing. WHEN WITNESSES AGREE 100%: THEY’RE PROBABLY WRONG This is the title of an article by Joshua A. Krisch on vocativ. The opening paragraph […]

LOOKING AT LITIGATION FROM THE LITIGANT’S VIEWPOINT 1: A BOOK WORTH READING

There is surprisingly little written about the actual experience of being a litigant, particularly a litigant in the civil courts.  What is more the “experience”, or viewpoint of the client does not figure greatly (if at all) in legal training.  Doctors have better training. There are several excellent books, by doctors, on their experience of being a […]

FRAUDULENT CLAIMANTS AND THE NEED FOR SELF-PROTECTION BY LAWYERS

A report in Litigation Futures last week illustrates the need for “self protection” by lawyers. The headline says it all “Insurance Fraudster who tried to blame his solicitor jailed for 18 months”. “IT WAS ALL MY SOLICITOR’S FAULT” The claimant was jailed for eight months for contempt of court. He, in turn,  sought to blame his […]

STATING THAT YOU ARE NOT WAIVING PRIVILEGE IN A WITNESS STATEMENT IS FAR FROM CONCLUSIVE

There are several reasons litigators should read the judgment of Master Matthews in Coral Reef Limited -v- Silverbond Enterprise Limited [2016] EWHC 874 Ch. For the discussion of whether a Master is bound by the decision of a High Court judge (they are not); for the consideration of whether a court can draw adverse inferences […]

PROVING THINGS 27: BURDENS OF PROOF, HEARSAY EVIDENCE AND…. ATTEMPTED MURDER

In Daley -v- Bakiyev [2016] EWHC 1972 (QB) Mr Justice Supperstone dealt with issues relating to the burden of proof where there very serious allegations.  The fact that a central witness for the claimant did not attend court, and his evidence was adduced as hearsay, played an important part in the decision. THE CASE The […]

THE ARROYO JUDGMENT 3: WITNESSES AND CREDIBILITY

This is the third in the series of posts on the  judgment of Mr Justice Stuart-Smith in Arroyo -v-Equion Energia Limited [2016] EWHC 1699 TCC. The first looked at the issues that arose from unchecked schedules of damages; the second at the expert evidence. Here we look at the judicial assessment of the witness evidence. In particular […]