PLEADINGS, THE STATEMENT OF TRUTH & CONTEMPT OF COURT: USEFUL GUIDANCE FROM RPC SOLICITORS
Hot on the heels of the discussion of witness statements and the statement of truth yesterday is an article by RPC solicitors about the importance of the statement of truth and pleadings. In particular there is a useful summary of the duties of solicitors to inform clients about the importance of the statement of truth.
The article, which can be found at, http://www.rpc.co.uk/components/com_flexicontent/uploads/ilo-markessi.pdf reviews the Court of Appeal decision in Makdessi -v- Cavendish Square Holdings where the Court of Appeal upheld a decision of a High Court Judge giving permission to apply to commit Mr Makdessi to prison for contempt of court. That contempt arising from his signing a Defence and Counterclaim making assertions which were later, by way of amended pleadings, admitted to be untrue.
The article is succinct and clear and I do not want to repeat it here since it should be considered compulsory reading for all litigators. I draw attention to the last two paragraphs:
- The need to remind people signing statements of truth of the significance of those statements.
- The scope for negligence actions against lawyers who do not appreciate the need to amend pleadings at some stage.
THE MAKDESSI CASE
- The transcript of the Court of Appeal decision can be found at http://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/markup.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2013/1540.html&query=makdessi&method=boolean
- The judgment at first instance giving permission can be found at http://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/markup.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/EWHC/Comm/2012/4305.html&query=makdessi&method=boolean