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Trial And Judgments Notes

BPTC Law Notes > BPTC Civil Ligitation Notes

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A more recent version of these Trial And Judgments notes – written by City Law School students – is available here.

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TRIAL LISTING NON-SPECIALIST QBD / ChD CASES IN THE RCJ

? after directions in relation to trial period / date given, C must make appointment for a listing hearing AND inform all other parties of that appointment

? At the listing hearing, the listing officer will set a fixed date or a trial window. COURT'S GENERAL POWER TO ADJOURN HEARINGS

? Adjournment when there is an impossibility which is out of parties' control"exceptional circumstances" are required before the court will vacate a trial date on account of a failure to comply with directions e.g. fail to prepare for trial

TRIAL DOCUMENTATION Trial Bundles

o identical paginated bundles made forjudge,all parties, andone for witnesses when giving evidence

o When?C should file no more than 7 days and no less than 3 days before start date of trial (r39.5(2)).

o Whose responsibility?the legal representatives of parties (PD39A para 3.4)

o What?PD 39A para 3 - Unless court orders otherwise should include:

(a) Claim form and all statements of case (b) Case summary (+ chronology if appropriate) (c) Any requests for further info and responses (d) All witness statements (e) Any witness summaries (f) Any notice of intention to rely on hearsay evidence under r33.2 (g) Any medical reports and any responses to them (h) Any experts' reports and any responses to them (i) Any notice of intention to rely on other evidence (eg maps, plans, photographs) under r.33.6 which is NOT

i. hearsay evidence under 33.2; ii. Being given orally at trial iii. Contained/an exhibit to a witness statement, affidavit or expert report; or

(j) Any order given affecting the conduct of the trial (k) Any other necessary documents

?

Contents should be agreed if possible.If NOT, summary of points in dispute should be included.

o How?Ring-binders or lever arch filesPaginated continuously throughoutIndexed with description of each doc and page numberIf document at page x is illegible, it should have a typed copy numbered page xA.If over 100pages should have numbered dividersIf number of files needed, should be numbered or distinguishable by colourIf a lot, a core bundle should be provided containing most essential documents, and cross-referenced with supplementary docs in other bundles

Reading Lists

? QBD and ChD - when lodge trial bundles, claimant or applicant must supply: o reading list for judge o estimated time for reading o estimated length of hearing
? Signed by all advocates with name, business address and telephone number
? If disagree, defendant or respondent advocate can supply a separate list and estimate
? Judge has discretion to read other material by way of preparation (even inadmissible evidence) Case Summaries

? short, non-contentious, summary of o the issues, and o relevant procedural matters
? should be agreed by all parties if poss.
? Often useful to provide short chronology of the events Skeleton Arguments and Authorities

? Skeleton Arguments o compulsory for High Court o sometimes required by directions in CC o summarising submissions and citing authorities o filed 2 days before trial (QBD) or with the trial bundles (ChD)
? Authorities o In QBD, lists of authorities to the court by 9am on day of hearing, so reports can be brought to court in advance of hearing

o Professional etiquette is to provide to other side with list in good time before hearing

LOCATION OF TRIAL

? Usually in court where case has been proceeding
? Can be transferred for convenience of parties / availability of court resources PUBLIC OR PRIVATE HEARING?

? General rule - should be in public (don't need to make special arrangements for public to attend)

? Private if: (a) Publicity would defeat the point of the hearing e.g. defamation (b) Involves matters of national security, including CMPs in terrorism cases (c) Confidential information involved and publicity would damage that confidentiality

(d) To protect interests of a child or patient (e) If uncontentious matters re: administration of an estate or administration of trusts.

(f) If it is without notice and to hold in public would be unfair on the respondent (g) If court considers it to be necessary, in the interests of justice.
? Can also order anonymity of party's name - ONLY if strictly necessary (will balance art 8 and art 10) CONDUCT OF THE TRIAL

? Before hearing, for each advocate court should be provided with: o Name; o Business address; o Qualification; and o Party he/she acts for
? Can restrict time for XIC, XX, etc. Order of trial

(1) Opening speech by C - outline claim and issues
? May be dispensed with when judge has read papersUsually C beginsD will begin only if D has admitted all issues on which C had the burden of proof, so only live issues that remain are for D to prove

(2) Claimant's case (a) Call evidence:usual evidence adduced:

o Real evidenceExhibits - Handed to court to be proved during trial. Kept in custody of the court until end of the

trial, unless court orders otherwise (PD39A para 7)

o Witness evidenceusually a WS and in the box, but can be by deposition, by affidavit or in hearsay statementscall in any order, subject to trial directions

o Views of the siteJudge can inspect a piece of real evidence in quo (as opposed to via a view) if proportionate to cost, in presence of both parties

o Contemporaneous documentary evidence (b) XICWS stands as XIC (r.32.5(2))IF court considers there is good reason can amplify the WS or give evidence about something which has arisen since the WS was served on other partiesAny disclosed WS NOT used at trial can be used by another party and put in as hearsay (but NOT to simply prove it is untrue
- cannot adduce evidence own W not to be believed on oath)If more than one D, go in order on the court record.Can be leading questions.If fail to XX, can't ask tribunal of fact to disbelieve EIC (tacit acceptance)

(c) XX

(d) ReXIssues arising in XX.CANNOT lead.

(3) Submission of No Case To Answer
? Rarely entertained by one judge aloneEither:D put to an election whether to call evidence (usual)

o IF decide NOT to call evidence, can make SNCTA o SNCTA decided based on whether C's case established on balance of probabilities
------OR-------D NOT put to an election (exceptional)

o Decide based on whether C's case has no real prospect of success.

o If decide has, will simply allow D to call evidence and proceed as normal

(4) Defence case
? Can make an opening speech (unusual)

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