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Chapter

Cover Legal Ethics

10. Litigation  

This chapter explores the ethical issues that arise around litigation. It discusses theories of litigation, including disputes over whether litigation is ‘good’. The attitude that anything that helps a client to win in litigation is justified is rarely accepted these days, and there is a need for lawyers to weigh up their duties to the court and to their clients. The chapter covers the adversarial system of litigation in England and Wales, and inquisitorial adjudication. This can create tensions for lawyers between their duties to their clients and their duties the justice system and to the general public. The chapter also covers both criminal and civil litigation proceedings. In addition, the chapter considers advocacy services and the duties that litigators owe to the court.

Chapter

Cover Legal Ethics

9. Litigation  

This chapter explores the ethical issues that arise around litigation. It discusses theories of litigation, including disputes over whether litigation is ‘good’. The chapter covers the adversarial system of litigation in England and Wales, and inquisitorial adjudication. It also covers both criminal and civil litigation proceedings. In addition, the chapter considers advocacy services and the duties that litigators owe to the court.

Chapter

Cover A Practical Approach to Effective Litigation

21. The Potential Roles of Experts  

In conducting civil litigation, expert evidence may be required to assist the lawyer in understanding the circumstances of the case, identifying a potential cause of action, evaluating the case and the potential remedies, understanding expert evidence provided for another party, and identifying weaknesses in their case. This chapter first considers the roles of experts in civil litigation. Experts can be involved in capacities such as conducting early neutral evaluation, decision-making, negotiation or mediation, as a witness in court, or as an assessor. When searching for an appropriate expert, lawyers can turn to relevant professional associations for guidance; and some professions also provide support to members who work as professional experts. The remainder of the chapter discusses the procedure for admitting expert evidence in litigation; the requirements for an expert report; and the contents and review of expert reports.

Chapter

Cover A Practical Approach to Effective Litigation

1. The Growing Focus on ‘Effective’ Litigation  

This chapter briefly sets out the purpose of the present text, namely to outline how a civil dispute may be dealt with in the most effective way, using litigation in a modern context. The text offers a sound guide to all the rules and principles that are most important at each stage of the litigation process, and what skills and practical considerations are relevant. The chapter then considers changes relating to the litigation process brought about by Sir Rupert Jackson' Review of Civil Litigation Costs: Final Report published in January 2010. This is followed by discussions of the meaning of ‘effective’ litigation, the overriding objective of litigation, the changing legal environment, and the time and financial aspects of litigation.

Chapter

Cover A Practical Approach to Effective Litigation

6. Financing Litigation  

This chapter focuses on funding options for litigation. Expense is one of the biggest issues relating to litigation. The high cost of litigation has perhaps been tolerated to some extent out of respect for the expertise of lawyers and because of problems in finding a consensus on how litigation is best funded. The detailed work of the Jackson Review of Civil Litigation Costs has provided a strong basis for development, and there have been numerous expressions of judicial concern with regard to the high level of costs. The chapter begins by considering the sources of legal expense, the parties that bear the expense, and the problems that arise with regard to the expense of litigations. It then discusses funding options for litigation, including self-funding, insurance, conditional fee agreements, damage-based agreements, third party funding, and public funding. It also presents options for funding alternative dispute resolution (ADR).

Chapter

Cover A Practical Approach to Effective Litigation

19. Evidence and Disclosure  

Collecting and analysing evidence is often one of the most expensive elements of litigation. The approach to dealing with disclosure of evidence has been modified as part of the reforms introduced following the review carried out by Lord Justice Sir Rupert Jackson. The norm of standard disclosure has been replaced by options for the level of disclosure designed to ensure that disclosure is proportionate, which presents opportunities for saving costs and opens up some tactical considerations as regards the level of disclosure to seek and to offer. This chapter focuses on general principles and approaches that are most likely to be effective in preparing a case. It discusses the key rules of admissibility; questions of weight and reliability on the evidence presented; identifying what needs to be proved in a case; types of evidence; collecting evidence; disclosure of evidence; electronic disclosure of evidence; and reviewing and advising on evidence.

Chapter

Cover A Practical Approach to Effective Litigation

11. Making Strategic Use of the Pre-Action Stage  

This chapter focuses on the pre-action stage of the litigation process. Most civil disputes are settled prior to the issue of any proceedings. Save where a pre-issue application is appropriate, no court will be involved. Nonetheless the approach taken to resolving the dispute will be shaped to a significant extent by the view a court might take if proceedings were to be issued. The chapter discusses the Practice Direction Pre-Action Conduct, which seeks to enable parties to settle disputes without the need to start proceedings, and to support the efficient management by the; pre-action protocols, which set out the steps that the parties should follow before issuing proceedings; steps in preparing a case; forming the relationship with the other side; deciding when to issue proceedings; and portal claims.

Chapter

Cover A Practical Approach to Effective Litigation

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.

Chapter

Cover Evidence

9. Legal Professional Privilege  

Chapter 9 focuses on the doctrine of legal professional privilege. Technically, this encompasses two separate privileges: legal advice privilege, which protects communications between client and legal adviser; and litigation privilege, which protects communications between client or legal adviser and a third party, so long as preparation for litigation is the dominant purpose of the communication. Legal advice privilege, unlike litigation privilege, is regarded as ‘absolute’ and incapable of being overridden. The chapter also briefly looks at ‘without prejudice privilege’, aspects of which the House of Lords and Supreme Court have considered in relatively recent years.

Chapter

Cover The Modern Law of Evidence

5. Documentary and real evidence  

This chapter discusses the law on documentary evidence and real evidence. It addresses the following key issues: Where a party to litigation wishes to adduce in evidence a statement contained in a document, (a) should it be open to proof by production of a copy of the document and, if so, (b) in what circumstances and subject to what safeguards? Where a party to litigation wishes to admit a document in evidence, (a) should he be required to establish that it was written, signed, or attested by the person by whom it purports to be written, signed, or attested and, if so, (b) how should these matters be established? When should material objects and other types of real evidence be admissible in evidence and why do they need to be accompanied by oral testimony? When, and subject to what safeguards, should a court inspect a place or object out of court?

Chapter

Cover The English Legal System

18. Remedies and Appeals  

Alisdair A. Gillespie and Siobhan Weare

This chapter discusses the remedies that can be sought from the civil courts and how an appeal is made against a decision. It covers interim and final remedies; route of appeals; leave; the hearing; appeals to the Supreme Court; and examples of appeals. There are many different types of remedies that a court can award to a successful litigant. The most common form of remedy is that which is known as ‘damages’. Appeals in the civil courts follow a slightly more complicated structure than in criminal cases. In order to appeal in the civil cases it is usually necessary to seek permission before proceeding with a civil appeal. Save where it is a final decision in a multi-track case, the usual rule is that the appeal will be heard by the next most senior judge.

Chapter

Cover A Practical Approach to Effective Litigation

12. Drafting Statements of Case  

A statement of case is a summary of allegations of fact which sets out all the elements required by law to show a cause of action, and entitlement to all remedies claimed. Clear, concise, and complete statements of case are central to effective litigation. A good statement of case encapsulates what the case is about, demonstrating good factual analysis, based on a proper understanding of the relevant law. This chapter deals with the rules and skill related to statements of case, and how statements of case can be refined. The discussions cover the process for drafting a statement of case; rules for drafting; principles for focusing on issues; headings for statements of case; framework for particulars of a claim; specifying remedies and relief; refining a statement of case; and challenging a statement of case.

Chapter

Cover A Practical Approach to Effective Litigation

14. Pursuing Appropriate Remedies  

The main purpose of most litigation is to secure a remedy or relief. That is the reason why the claimant starts the action, and it should be the focus of many decisions relating to the case. From the first contact with the client, lawyers must be clear about what the client really wants to achieve, and decisions about causes of action, evidence, and interim applications should focus on the remedies and relief being pursued. This chapter discusses the remedies a court can and cannot order; claims for damages; quantification of damages; and claims for interest on top of claims for the payment of a sum of money or damages. The final section covers the importance of taking a proactive approach to claiming and quantifying damages.

Chapter

Cover A Practical Approach to Effective Litigation

16. Defending an Action  

This chapter focuses on the role of the defendant. The litigation system in England is adversarial, thus on the face of it the role of the defendant is potentially defensive, confrontational, and non cooperative. While the objective of the defendant will usually be to make the claim go away, the perhaps natural desire to take an approach that involves denial, delay, and obfuscation wherever possible must be resisted, or at least carefully considered. The chapter discusses the main types of defence to an action; dealing with the early stages of an action when a claim form is received; rules for drafting a defence; making a counterclaim; claiming a set-off; a general framework for a defence and counterclaim; and strategies and tactics in defending a case.

Chapter

Cover A Practical Approach to Effective Litigation

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.

Chapter

Cover A Practical Approach to Effective Litigation

22. Procedural Rules as Practical Tools  

For litigation lawyers, interim applications will be much more numerous than full trials. There may be several interim hearings for each case before trial, and many cases will have some interim hearings to deal with specific issues and then proceed to settle without trial. A key strand of effective litigation is to make strategic and cost-effective use of interim applications. It is important to be familiar with what orders can be sought, what is needed to make a successful application, and what tests the courts will apply. This chapter discusses the general procedure for applications; making applications before a case starts; ways of cutting short an action; tactical considerations when involving people as parties and witnesses; gaining access to information held by the opposing side and non-parties; and money strategies.

Chapter

Cover A Practical Approach to Effective Litigation

25. Costs Orders and Assessment  

This chapter focuses on the management of legal costs. In principle, when assessing costs on a standard basis the court considers the receiving party's last approved or agreed budget, not departing from it unless there is good reason. In several cases the courts have indicated that an approved budget should normally be followed. However, an amount spent will not necessarily be reasonable and proportionate just because it was included in an approved budget. The chapter then discusses orders for costs, covering the principles for costs orders, powers relating to costs, and costs at the interim stage. The final section deals with quantifying costs, including fixed costs and agreed costs, as well as the court's summary assessment of costs and detailed assessments.

Chapter

Cover A Practical Approach to Effective Litigation

26. Challenging a Judgment  

Obtaining a judgment is not always the end of the process. A wholly or partly unsuccessful party in a trial will almost certainly wish to consider appealing. The procedure for appeal will vary depending on the type and level of decision appealed against. This chapter looks in particular at the procedure for appealing from the High Court to the Court of Appeal. The discussions cover the need for the client to decide whether to appeal against all or part of the judgment based on their lawyer's advice; jurisdiction for appeals; appeals from interim decisions; grounds for appeal; procedure for appealing; the position of the respondent to an appeal; presenting an appeal; powers on appeal; the appeal decision; and costs on appeal.

Chapter

Cover A Practical Approach to Effective Litigation

27. Enforcing a Judgment  

The enforcement of a judgment is an issue that must be considered and managed as part of the litigation project from the start. Keeping enforcement in mind at each stage of the litigation process ensures that any possible problems with enforcement are taken into account in any cost-benefit analysis or risk assessment. This chapter first outlines the steps to assist enforcement, which includes deciding who to sue, gathering information, interim orders, settling the case, and drafting orders. It then discusses the methods of enforcing a judgment, including third party debt orders, changing orders, attachment of earnings, winding up and bankruptcy, execution against goods, orders for delivery/possession, receivership, and the use of contempt of court proceedings. The final section deals with the international enforcement of judgements, specifically enforcing a foreign judgment in the UK and enforcing an English judgment in another country.

Chapter

Cover A Practical Approach to Effective Litigation

8. Establishing and Analysing Facts  

This chapter deals with the issue of facts in a legal case. Effective litigation requires close attention to establishing and analysing the facts relevant to a case, and an ability to understand and address the problems that dealing with facts can present. It is a vital function of the lawyer to be proactive in gathering, sifting, proving, and presenting the facts. The chapter discusses the challenges of establishing truth and ways to address problems with facts; establishing facts; the stages at which factual information is likely to become available (e.g. the first meeting between the lawyer and the client or following pre-action exchange of information); managing and analyzing facts; identifying and dealing with those gaps in facts; and the interaction of facts and law. The final section explains how to build a factual framework for a case.