DECISION NOT TO ADMIT LATE WITNESS EVIDENCE UPHELD BY THE COURT OF APPEAL
There is a brief report on Lawtel of the decision in Judges Sykes Frixous -v- Bhabra (CA 14/010/2016).* This provides another example of a party (unsuccessfully) trying to serve witness evidence late in the day. There are numerous posts on this blog (set out below) which set out the real difficulties and dangers involved when the rules for service of witness evidence are not complied with.
- The claimant sought payment under guarantees for payment of legal fees.
- The original trial date was adjourned due to late submission of witness statements and an order was made for exchange.
- The defendant sought to admit a further statement the day before trial.
- At the opening of the trial the defendant sought to admit a further statement which had been filed in support of an application to set judgment aside.
- The judge refused the applications.
THE APPEAL TO THE COURT OF APPEAL
The appeal was refused:
- Court orders for witness statements were intended to be adhered to.
- There was a serious breach of a court order with no good reason.
- The applications were made extremely late.
- The admission of the statements would have lead to another adjournment.
* This post is based on the Lawtel summary.
The issues relating to late service of witness evidence has been a constant theme of this blog
- Relief from sanctions and the late service of witness statements (again).
- Serving witness statements late: an extremely dangerous practice.
- Another case struck out because witness statements served late
- The consequences of Chartwell: just don’t ever serve witness statements late
- Relief from sanctions granted after late service of witness statements
- Relief from sanctions after late service of witness statements: one out of three may not be enough
- Another case where relief from sanctions refused when witness statement served late.
- Witness statements cannot be relied upon at trial if served late and relief from sanctions not granted.
- Relief from sanctions and very late service of witness statements and documents
- One year late in serving witness statements – relief from sanctions granted – on terms.
- Late witness evidence and witness credibility in the Intellectual Property & Enterprise Court.
- Late witness statements in judicial review proceedings.