piBlawg

the personal injury and clinical negligence blog

A collaboration between Rebmark Legal Solutions and 1 Chancery Lane

Rescued from an error of procedure

Rule 3.10 rescues parties where “there has been an error of procedure such as a failure to comply with a rule or practice direction”. Where it applies “the error does not invalidate any step taken in the proceedings unless the court so orders”. The question therefore is when an error is merely an error of procedure and when it is such an error that it is irremediable. In ... [More]

Jackson on Jackson

“It was no part of my recommendations that parties should refrain from agreeing reasonable extensions of time, which neither imperil hearing dates nor otherwise disrupt the proceedings” said Jackson L.J. in Hallam Estates Limited v Teresa Baker [2014] EWCA Civ 661. In Hallam the claimants (paying parties) asked for an extension of time for filing their points of dispute in proceeding... [More]

The “Single”County Court

The County Courts Act 1984 has been amended to create a single county court. Hitherto s.1 of the CCA divided England and Wales up into districts and established a court of record, with a seal, for each district. Under s.A1 there is now to be a single court called ‘the County Court’ which is to have a seal and be a court of record. Geographical boundaries between the 170 existing courts... [More]

Rule 3.10: looking beyond 3.9 for relief

The dreaded realisation that you have not complied with a rule or practice direction. Your life flashes past you and a cold sweat breaks out. Out comes rule 3.9 and the new criteria, Mitchell, a call to the insurers… Or perhaps r. 3.10 applies? “Where there has been an error of procedure such as a failure to comply with a rule or practice direction- (a) The error does not invalidate a... [More]

Scuppered by the Athens Convention

The Athens Convention has long been a trap for the unwary claimant who either doesn’t appreciate that accidents at sea are governed by the Convention or that there is currently a 2 year limitation period. Most of the reported cases on the Convention deal with the consequences of one or both of these mistakes. However the judgment in the case of Feest v South West Strategic Health Authority [... [More]

'Plebgate', budgets, relief from sanctions and a new kind of justice

The Court of Appeal have now finally had their say on the Jackson Reforms: "...we hope that our decision will send out a clear message". The message is that a "new more robust approach..." has arrived. Failure to file a costs budget in time will result in parties being "treated as having filed a budget comprising only the applicable court fees" and relief from sanctions will only be gran... [More]

Accidents at sea: the limitation traps for claimants and defendants

The Athens Convention is notorious for catching out PI practitioners with its current two year limitation period* for accidents at sea. Indeed the few reported cases on it are mainly concerned with whether it is possible to extend time (Higham v Stena) or whether a cause of action exists outside the Convention (Norfolk v My Travel) – both resulted from a failure to issue in time. Judgment is... [More]

Personal Injury practices safe 'at this stage'

“Will they or won’t they?” has been the question for many personal injury lawyers wondering whether their practices were about to disappear into oblivion with the raising of the small claims limit. The question has now been answered: “not at this stage”. The government clearly thinks that it would be good to raise it. However it does not intend to do so ‘at this... [More]

Playing with fire

Do the Fire Services as employers owe duties under health and safety regulations or at common law, or does a  ‘fireground immunity’ exist? These questions were dealt with by Irwin J in the tragic case of the Wembridge Claimants and others v East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service and others [2013] EWHC 2331. Two fire-fighters were killed and a number of people were injured when a cont... [More]

The Same Deep Water As Me

Personal Injury, one party on a CFA, a staged accident, the Luton County Court - not obvious material for a play in the West End. Nick Payne has been given a Four Star review by the Guardian's Michael Billington for his play 'The Same Deep Water As Me' which is running at the Donmar Warehouse in London. He describes it as 'a sharply observant social comedy about the exponential growth of a compens... [More]