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17. Active Case Management and the Use of Sanctions  

This chapter discusses active case management and the use of sanctions. The Woolf reforms and more recently the Jackson reforms have supported the concept of active case management, the focus of which is to ensure that cases are dealt with ‘justly’ and ‘at proportionate cost’. The objectives of case management are set out in Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) Part 1 and the courts case management powers are in CPR Part 3. The powers of the court in relation to case management are wide and directions given after the issue of proceedings should provide a framework and timetable for dealing with a case right up to trial. The final section of the chapter deals with the sanctions that might be imposed where there is a failure to comply with case management requirements.

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33. Hearsay  

This chapter considers the admissibility of and procedural matters relating to hearsay evidence in civil cases. Hearsay evidence is where a witness gives evidence of facts they have not personally experienced for the purpose of proving the truth of those facts. Hearsay may be written or oral, and may be first-hand, second-hand, etc. Evidence is no longer excluded in civil cases solely on the ground that it is hearsay. However, in practice, trial judges give limited weight to hearsay evidence.

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28. Fast Track  

The fast track provides a ‘no-frills’ procedure for medium-sized cases that do not justify the detailed and meticulous preparation appropriate for complex and important cases. Instead, cases allocated to this track will be progressed to trial within a short timescale after the filing of a defence. The fast track covers the majority of defended claims within the £10,000–£25,000 monetary band. It also deals with non-monetary claims such as injunctions, declarations, and claims for specific performance which are unsuitable for the small claims track and do not require the more complex treatment of the multi-track. This chapter covers directions for cases allocated to the fast track; standard fast track timetable; agreed directions; varying the directions timetable; listing for trial; fast track trial; and costs in fast track cases.

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3. Witnesses: competence, compellability, and various privileges  

Titles in the Core Text series take the reader straight to the heart of the subject, providing focused, concise, and reliable guides for students at all levels. This chapter discusses the following: the competence of witnesses in civil and criminal cases; the compellability of witnesses, and of the accused and the spouse or civil partner in criminal cases in particular; sworn and unsworn evidence; privileges enjoyed by certain categories of witness, focusing upon the privilege against self-incrimination, and legal professional privilege (in the form of both legal advice privilege and litigation privilege); and public interest immunity.

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29. Multi-Track  

The multi-track deals with a vast range of cases, from simple contractual disputes involving little more than £25,000, to complex commercial cases involving difficult issues of fact and law with values of several million pounds, to cases where perhaps no money is at stake but which raise points of real public importance. Cases on the multi-track will generally be dealt with either in the Royal Courts of Justice or other civil trial centre. This chapter discusses agreed directions; case management conferences; fixing the date for trial; pre-trial checklists; listing hearings; pre-trial review; directions given at other hearings; and variation of case management timetable.

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37. Sanctions  

A court can impose sanctions to ensure that its case management directions and orders are complied with, and to retain control over the conduct of litigation. These range from adverse interim costs orders through to striking out the whole or part of the defaulting party’s statement of case. This chapter discusses sanctions for non-compliance with pre-action protocols, with the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 (CPR), and with directions; application for sanctions; non-compliance with an unless order; striking out; less serious immediate sanctions; extending time and correcting errors; and relief from sanctions and setting aside.

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24. Presenting a Case in Court  

This chapter discusses the process of presenting a case in court. It begins with an overview of the trial process, covering the timetable, the claimant's case, the defendant's case, closing speeches, and judgment. It then explains the importance of good presentation and advocacy in winning a case. This involves focusing on the issues on which the judge needs to reach a decision; presenting the case clearly, coherently, and concisely; developing and presenting an overall theory for the case — a single story can be more convincing than a lot of separate arguments; and developing persuasive arguments that pull elements of the case together and deal with any gaps. The remainder of the chapter covers the judgment of the case; the drawing up of orders; and the form of orders.

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16. Costs Management  

Costs management refers to the procedures used by the courts to manage the steps to be taken in civil proceedings while also managing the costs to be incurred by the parties in taking those steps to ensure that litigation is conducted at proportionate cost. This chapter discusses the elements of costs management; cases governed by costs management; costs management orders; costs budgets and case management; judicial control of costs budgets; and impact on costs orders.

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30. Striking Out, Discontinuance, and Stays  

This chapter discusses striking-out orders, discontinuance, and stays in civil proceedings. Rule 3.4(2) of the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 (CPR) allows the court to strike out a statement of case if it appears to the court: that the statement of case discloses no reasonable grounds for bringing or defending the claim; that the statement of case is an abuse of the court’s process or is otherwise likely to obstruct the just disposal of the proceedings; or that there has been a failure to comply with a rule, practice direction, or court order. A party who realizes their case is doomed is often best advised to discontinue to prevent the accumulation of further costs, but often has to pay the costs of the other parties to date. Stays are temporary halts in proceedings, and can be granted for a range of reasons. A stay is normally lifted once the reason no longer applies.

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36. Offers to Settle  

Part 36 of the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 (CPR) provides a means for a party to make a formal offer in settlement of the claim which will be treated as without prejudice for the purposes of liability and remedies, but which can be disclosed to the court on the question of costs. This chapter discusses offers to settle before the commencement of proceedings; making a Part 36 offer; acceptance of a Part 36 offer; rejections, counter-offers, and subsequent offers; withdrawal and amendment of Part 36 offers; failing to obtain judgment more advantageous than a Part 36 offer; advising on Part 36 offers; non-disclosure to judge; and Part 36 offers in appeals.

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14. Statements of Case  

Statements of case are formal documents used in litigation to define what each party says about the case. This chapter discusses forms of statements of case; particulars of claim defence; counterclaims and set-offs; reply and defence to counterclaim; subsequent statements of case; dispensing with statements of case; Scott schedules; interrelation with case management; and use of statements of case at trial.

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18. Requests for Further Information  

A party may sometimes take the view that the statement of case provided by the other side is not as clear as it should be, or fails to set out the other side’s case with the precision that would be expected. In such cases a request may be made for further information about the facts on which the other side’s case is based. This chapter discusses the rules on requests for further information; the response; objecting to requests; orders for responses; requests in freezing injunctions; and collateral use.

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Cover Murphy on Evidence

11. The rule against hearsay II  

Common law and statutory exceptions

This chapter discusses the statutory exceptions to the inadmissibility of hearsay evidence in criminal cases that were created by the Criminal Justice Act 2003. The impact of the Human Rights Act 1998 on the admissibility of hearsay evidence is discussed, including the important cases of Horncastle and Al-Khawaja and Tahery v United Kingdom, where the Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights came into conflict over whether an accused may be convicted where the ‘sole and decisive’ evidence against him is hearsay. The common law exceptions preserved by the Criminal Justice Act 2003 are then considered—res gestae. The chapter ends with discussion of the abolition of hearsay in civil proceedings by the Civil Evidence Act 1995.

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2. An Overview of the Litigation Process  

This chapter provides an overview of the main stages of the litigation process. It first describes the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 and the accompanying Practice Directions, which provide a basis for civil litigation, as well as the adversarial approach and the right to a fair trial. It then explains the various stages of the litigation process, beginning with the pre-action stage, which involves gathering appropriate information, evaluating the case, taking key decisions about framing the case, and building a working relationship with the other side. This is followed by discussions on starting an action; statements of case (i.e. defining the parties, the issues between the parties, and remedies sought); interim stages and case management; options for interrupting or ending litigation; preparations for trial; trial and judgment; and cases with an international element.

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15. Track Allocation and Case Management  

Judicial case management of civil litigation is one of the central planks of the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 (CPR). In exercising their powers to manage cases, the courts will be seeking to secure the overriding objective of the CPR of ensuring that cases are dealt with justly and at proportionate cost. This chapter discusses procedural judges; docketing; provisional track allocation; filing directions questionnaires; track allocation rules; notice of allocation; allocation directions; ADR and stays to allow for settlement; transfer to appropriate court; trial in the Royal Courts of Justice; changing tracks; and subsequent case management.

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3. Dispute Management, Project Management, and Risk Management  

This chapter first considers the project management approach to resolving civil disputes. Such an approach involves following a single overall plan from the first consideration of the legal dispute up to trial. However, the fact that most cases will not in fact reach trial, and that reasonable use of alternative dispute resolution must now be made at all stages, means that any plan must be sufficiently flexible to include review, and that review needs to include options as to process. The chapter then turns to the process of case evaluation, where lawyers value what a case is worth, assess the chances of winning a case, and conduct a cost-benefit analysis. Also discussed are the importance of proportionality in the conduct of litigation and managing and reducing the risk of losing a case.

Chapter

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14. Character evidence I  

Character evidence generally; in civil cases; evidence of good character

This chapter is divided into three sections. The first section discusses the uses and development of character evidence from the common law through to the codification provided by the Criminal Justice Act 2003. The second section deals with evidence of character in civil cases, covering defamation cases; evidence of good character; and evidence of bad character. The third section focuses on evidence of good character in criminal cases, including the important case of Hunter [2015] 1 WLR 5367, and covers admissibility and methods of proof; kinds of evidence permitted; rebuttal of evidence of good character; and evidential value of evidence of good character.

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4. The burden and standard of proof  

This first part of the chapter discusses the concept of burden of proof, covering the legal or persuasive burden of proof; the evidential burden; the effect of presumptions on the burden of proof; the legal burden of proof in civil cases; the evidential burden in civil cases; the burden of proof in criminal cases; defence burdens of proof before Lambert; defence burdens of proof after Lambert; and the burden of proof of secondary facts. The second part of the chapter discusses the standard of proof, covering standard of proof required of prosecution in criminal cases; standard of proof required of defence; standard of proof of secondary facts; the standard of proof in civil cases; and the standard of proof in matrimonial and family cases.

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12. Expert Evidence  

Chapter 12 deals with expert evidence. It discusses the principles governing the admissibility of expert opinion evidence; use of the work of others and the rule against hearsay; expert witnesses; ‘battles of experts’ and the presentation of expert evidence; and disclosure and evaluation of expert evidence.

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23. Preparing a Case for Trial and Drafting Skeleton Arguments  

This chapter first discusses the importance of the trial date. A period within which the trial should take place (a three-week window) is usually set on allocation even if the precise date is not fixed, so that a focus for litigation is set quite soon after issue. Although the court may show flexibility in reviewing preparations for trial, a trial date will rarely be moved and only for very good reason. The second section outlines the pre-trial review process, covering pre-trial checklists, statements of case, attendance of witnesses, expert evidence, trial date and directions, and preparing trial bundles. The third section deals with preparations for the trial, including the development of trial strategy and preparing to deal with witnesses. The final section discusses skeleton arguments.