“A SOLICITOR, NO MATTER HOW EXPERIENCED OR INEXPERIENCED, MUST BE TAKEN TO KNOW THE CIVIL PROCEDURE RULES”
That quotation, taken from the judgment of HHJ Bird in Holterman v Electrium (2020) EWHC 3915 ( TCC) was chosen by Professor Dominic Regan as his “thought of the year” in a recent tweet. Since there are 3208 pages in Volume 1 of the current white book this may be a tall order. The key point for litigators is to know the important areas and, in particular, where things can (and often do) go wrong.
THE HOLTERMAN DECISION
The comment was given in the course of a case where the claimant had made a “classic” error and failed to serve the particulars of claim within the four month period for service of the claim form. The claimant’s solicitor believed he had a further 14 days after service of the claim form to serve the particulars. The judge observed:-
” Mr Mak’s genuine belief that in acting as he did he was complying with the CPR in my judgment falls far short of a good reason for the default. Mr Moody QC accepted that the authorities supported that view. Mr Mak’s view of the rules was wrong, and in my judgment plainly so. The view he held was also clearly unreasonable. A solicitor, no matter how experienced or inexperienced, must be taken to know the Civil Procedure Rules.”
LOOKING BACKWARDS AND LOOKING FORWARDS
A major theme on this blog has always been avoiding problems in civil litigation and, if things do go wrong, the best means of putting them right. There will be the traditional annual review of this issue later in the month.
WEBINARS EARLY NEXT YEAR
Next year starts with three webinars on the issue of avoiding problems, and putting them right.
AVOIDING PROBLEMS WITH LIMITATION AND MAKING A SECTION 33 APPLICATION
13th January 2022, booking details available here.
- Recent cases on limitation
- The major problem areas of limitation
- Avoiding problems with limitation
- Section 33 (if you have to use it)
- Making an effective Section 33 application
AVOIDING PROCEDURAL PITFALLS IN PERSONAL INJURY LITIGATION
20th January 2022 – booking details available here.
- The problem areas for personal injury litigation – where things go wrong and why
- Key time periods
- What can you do if things go wrong?
- Making an effective application for relief from sanctions
STATEMENTS OF CASE, DRAFTING, DANGERS AND PITFALLS 2022
18th February 2022 – booking details available here.
- What should be on the claim form?
- What must the particulars of claim contain?
- Problem areas in drafting the particulars
- What must the claimant plead?
- What should the defence contain?
- When do you need to file a reply or a defence to counterclaim?
- Part 18 requests – what can, and what can’t, they contain?
- Amending statements of case
- Statements of case at trial
- Avoiding the pitfalls of pleading