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Cover A Practical Approach to Effective Litigation
A Practical Approach to Effective Litigation analyses the key skills needed to handle a case effectively. At a time of rapid and wide-ranging change in the delivery of legal services, the current edition reworks the text to take into account the implications of the implementation of the Jackson Review, and to see effective litigation clearly in the context of concerns about funding, case management by the court, costs, and the growing use of alternative dispute resolution. The volume has a strong focus on the needs of the legal practitioner, the decisions to be taken at each stage of a case, and the criteria to apply in making those decisions. This is all securely based in references to relevant Civil Procedure Rules and decided cases, with checklists and commentary to assist in the project management of a case. The work also focuses on the skills a lawyer needs to work effectively. This includes skills in dealing with a client, drafting legal documents, and presenting a case in court. Throughout the work the emphasis is on demonstrating how to use law effectively, how to develop a case, and how to present persuasive arguments. Lawyers operate in an increasingly complex environment, faced with challenges in funding a case, in managing a case to avoid sanctions, and in using complex rules to best effect. The work addresses the use of legal knowledge and skills within this rapidly changing context, bearing in mind not least that the pace of change is likely to continue with the developing use of IT, and the widening use of alternative business structures.

Chapter

Cover A Practical Approach to Effective Litigation

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.

Chapter

Cover A Practical Approach to Alternative Dispute Resolution

12. Preparing for Negotiation  

This chapter details the process of preparing for negotiation. The purpose of a negotiation is to get the best possible outcome for the client, so planning should be based on a careful identification and prioritization of the client's objectives. Context is very important and relatest o the implications of the stage the case has reached. The lawyer should identify the issues that need to be negotiated, and analyse the facts, evidence, and law to put together persuasive arguments on each issue. They should evaluate their case carefully to plan potential concessions, demands, and offers, so that they are clear what they want to get on each issue, and what the possible fallback positions are. The chapter also considers the importance of planning a best alternative to a negotiated agreement (BATNA) and worst alternative to a negotiated agreement (WATNA) to provide a context for assessing offers and the possible overall outcome of the negotiation.