Sunday, 10 March 2019

New Civil Procedural Rules: MORE!

I've provided you with the first dose of the new civil procedural rules coming into force next month. Please digest with a glass of cold water but not on an empty stomach. Here's some more to be taken with your evening meal.

Summary assessment of costs This is only likely to interest you if you are a lawyer,  professional litigant. or slightly eccentric. On 01 April 2019 a pilot scheme for the summary assessment of costs is introduced. It doesn't matter when the claim was started. If the assessment is to take place on or after that date then the party who will be asking for costs can use a new form instead of the current N260 and can utilise an electronic spreadsheet. For an interim application, use new form N260A: for an assessment which is going up to and including trial, use new form N260B. You''ll find the new forms with CPR update 104. With that update, you will also find a new budget discussion report form for multi-track cases which must be used as from 25 April 2019.

What did the judge say? The court hearing will have been recorded and you can request a transcript of what was said. If the judge raised their eyebrows during the hearing or your jaw dropped a few feet when you heard the judge's decision then that, of course, will not show up on the transcript! The cost of the transcript has to be borne by whoever asked for it. It can be high. The longer the hearing, the longer the transcript and the costlier it will be. If you want the transcript for an appeal then the likelihood is that only the judgment - the judge's announcement of their decision and why they have reached it - will be needed. However, judgments can be lengthy and, for a variety of reasons, there can be delays in the transcript being produced for you. This can hold up the appeal. A new provision in the procedural rules which will come into force on 01 April 2019 encourages the judge to assist a party, and particularly a litigant in person, to give directions for the compilation and sharing of any note or other informal record of the hearing which has been made by another party or their lawyer or, indeed, by the judge. This is to be welcomed and should accelerate the determination of any appeal.