Starter tips for litigants in person

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It is not a comprehensive review, but it does what it says on the tin and contains links to a lot of useful documentation.

Views on litigants in person

D. Rosen at London-based Darlington Solicitors just published a post titled Perceptions and Expectations of Litigants in Person (‘LIPS’): A commercial Litigator’s perspective on the firm’s blog.

frustrated person making a phone call

Stressed litigant in person making a phone call

“During my career I have met many wonderful and varied LIPS.”, he or she writes.

“I am frustrated at seeing too many good people waste their lives pursuing their perception of truth and justice, because a Court has not agreed with them.”

I agree. That is not the mindset with which you should go to court as a litigant in person.

You go to court because you are convinced that a civil wrong was committed against you that something should be done about. You go to court because you think you have a good case, can argue it and feel that you owe it to yourself to give it a go.

But you have to know when to pursue a matter and when to let go. A good way to decide can be to ask yourself whether other people – society – might benefit from you pursuing the matter.

Go read this post – here – because this solicitor makes very good points.

Revenge evictions coming to an end?

This morning, I had an e-mail from Citizens Advice of which the first line said that the House of Lords voted to put a stop to retaliatory evictions yesterday.

homeI was very busy with something else yesterday and this morning’s media had nothing on the topic so I did a web search. On Letting Agent Today, I found that indeed, apparently, the House of Lords essentially wants to make it impossible for landlords to evict a tenant for no reason within six months after a tenant’s improvement or hazard awareness notice.

It concerns amendments to the Deregulation Bill.

On the civil legal aid reforms

Last year, the National Audit Office published a report titled ‘Implementing Reforms to Civil Legal Aid’, a report by the Comptroller and Auditor of the General Ministry of Justice and Legal Aid Agency.

Last week, the Bar Council responded to it. Chairman of the Bar Alistair MacDonald QC said:

Overall, the report reflects the Bar Council’s concerns that the scale of the cuts made to legal aid, and the way they were introduced, abandoned the most vulnerable, created disorder in our courts, and damaged our legal advice services.’

You can read the rest of the response: here.

Cultural hiccups

When Britons start repeating “don’t worry about it” (which means “fuck off, leave me alone”) to strangers from other countries, they have no idea that those people hear something entirely different.

smileThe reverse is likely equally true. When someone from another country says “don’t worry about it”, they mean just that.

Sarcasm is quintessentially British and usually completely lost on foreigners.

There are similar differences between language and customs used in court and language and customs used in daily life in Britain.

Court of Appeal: LIPs must pay attention to Civil Procedure Rules

Last month, the Court of Appeal dealt with the case between Nata Lee Ltd and Abid & Another. Nata Lee appealed against an Order made in the Central London County Court in 2013.

court houseNata Lee had appeared in the County Court without legal representation and had failed to apply for permission to include an expert witness in a timely manner (three days late). The County Court judge subsequently refused to admit this witness.

Although other factors played a greater role in this case, in its judgement ([2014] EWCA Civ 1652), the Court of Appeal made clear that, in its view, the fact that a party is acting without legal representation is no reason to allow disregard for rules, orders and directions.

Litigants in person should not be surprised by the consequences of failing to comply with the CPR or by having applications for relief from sanctions turned down when these sanctions were the result of failure to comply with the CPR on the part of the litigant in person.

Lord Justice Briggs continued:

“There may be cases in which the fact that a party is a litigant in person has some consequence in the determination of applications for relief from sanctions, but this is likely to operate at the margins.”