Promoting and enhancing best practice and technical expertise

Giving Evidence in a Judicial Environment: Session 1

Do you Think Giving Evidence is Easy?

You may be a frequent flyer or a novice, but never ever be ill prepared before entering a judicial environment. It only takes one flippant remark, a comment without suitable foundations, or one biased statement and at best you will be digging yourself and your evidence out of the quick sand. At worst you could leave the witness box with your reputation and expert witness career in tatters. The same is true of written evidence. This event is hugely relevant to anyone who appears in any judicial environment. The speakers have been invited because of their skills and experience across Landlord & Tenant, rating and CPO practice. 

Module Duration: 2 hours 5 minutes

Recorded: 02/11/21

Areas covered

Being an Effective Expert Witness

Welcome & Introduction from the Conference Chair

The Valuer and the Role of the Expert Witness

  • Picking the right expert
  • How much can the team guide the witness without stepping into coaching territory?
  • Assisting and managing an inexperienced witness 

A Lamb brought for Slaughter? The View of the Expert

  • When to prepare for your case? 
  • Key things to do when your work gets bogged down and you think it may end up before the court
  • Instruct early and take advice
  • Handing on the file to the expert

Making Sure your Case is Robust - An Advocate's Viewpoint 

  • Expert -v- Advocacy: know which hat you are wearing
  • Fee structures - don't be trapped and compromised by fee structures - Gardiner and Theobald -v- Jackson (VO) UKUT 253 (LC)
  • Making the most of expert discussions
  • The impact on Liverpool Victoria Insurance Co Ltd v Zafar [2019] EWCA Civ 392 and making deliberate or reckless false statements
  • Getting your expert report right
  • Make every effort to assist the court and never be less than transparent 
  • The Electronic filing regime - dealing with sensitive and confidential material that will be presented to the court. How to avoid it falling into the public domain. How easy is it to refer to such documents?
  • What is going on in the advocate’s mind? What is their strategy? What tools do they employ in cross examination?

Knowing When to Stop Digging 

  • There may come a time when you realise it would be better to settle rather than to let the case run
  • Whose decision?
  • How do you go about stepping back?
  • Can this be a ploy all along, to get the best deal?
  • Are there consequences of doing so?
  • Is there a hybrid option where both sides subsequently agree on certain points and can not agree on others?
  • How would the court react?

Creating the Right Impression (and when not to) 

  • Can you really sell yourself before you step into the court?
  • Dealing with pre court hearings
  • Saying the right things in your statement of case and agreed facts
  • Clear, sufficiently detailed documents in the work file
  • How to present yourself in Court and how to hold it together when being cross examination

Panel Discussion