SERVING A SKELETON LATE DOES NOT A HAPPY JUDGE MAKE: IT IS A VICE TO SUPPLY MATERIALS LATE IN THE DAY
In Karimi, R (On the Application Of) v Sheffield City Council  EWHC 93 (Admin) Fordham J sent out a reminder to practitioners (and particularly those who draft skeleton arguments) of the need to file skeleton arguments in accordance with the rules or directions.
“It is a common misconception that Judges pre-read cases the day before the hearing, or perhaps the evening before the hearing. The true position is that we frequently have to pre-read cases ahead of that. We also have to decide which cases to pre-read, when and in what order. We want to be able to prepare a case by pre-reading, in one sitting, with confidence that we have everything we need, including any skeleton arguments or other materials that are designed to assist us. It is therefore a vice to supply materials late in the day. It is a vice to do so unheralded, with no prior warning. “
The judge was considering an application for permission to appeal in relation to a local authority age assessment of the claimant. Having granted permission to appeal he made an observation in relation to the filing of the defendant’s skeleton.