Support to Litigants in Person

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We reduce the cost of litigation substantially by working with you as a team, sharing the legwork. In this way we get complex and difficult cases to Court in a very cost-effective way.

Rodney Hylton-Potts can be your “McKenzie friend”.

We offer an ‘Unbundling’ service, where we provide separate items of legal assistance where required, leaving you the client to handle the more routine matters and keep costs well under control. We can offer highly competitive fixed prices for each stage of the case.

The case remains client- led and elements can include advice on law and procedure, drafting documents, consent orders and arranging advocacy with barristers via direct access. You handle the routine correspondence. This is extremely cost-effective.

We help you if you are a Claimant or Defendant, Petitioner or Respondent, whether you are involved in collection of a debt, litigation, employment, a family, relationship or criminal matter.

We are particularly good at appeals, and possession actions  and offer highly competitive fixed fees.

Rodney did not get his nickname “Rottweiler” by being touchy-feely.

We are not doctors, but know that the impact of our legal work can be as important and life changing as that of a surgeon.

We are informal and approachable, but deadly serious about helping you, just like a top surgeon.

More Information

Better, cheaper and faster than solicitors. For more information or a free legal opinion telephone 020-7381-8111 or email law@hylton-potts.com.

We offer a fast and efficient service and are committed to a high level of client satisfaction. We are based in London, but operate throughout the country as well as internationally. Rodney Hylton-Potts is a member of the International, US and New York Bar Associations.

We can advise on Judicial Reviews. If you are dissatisfied with the decisions of Utility Regulators, or Ombudsman, including the Parliamentary and Healthcare Ombudsman, and Health Services Commission we can help – Consult the experts – For more information or a free legal opinion telephone 020-7381-8111 or email law@hylton-potts.com.

Support to Litigants in Person

Civil Litigants in Person for Dummies

By specialist legal consultant and McKenzie friend Rodney Hylton-Potts.

Being a litigant in person is nothing to be afraid of.  These should be useful tips.

1.         Just as solicitors you have to comply with the Court rules.  One is to prepare trial bundles for yourself, the other side and the Judge.

Buy four lever arch files on Amazon or W.H. Smith set up a bundle cover as follows.

Case Number: 

IN THE ?? COUNTY COURT

BETWEEN

Claimant

 

-and-

Defendant

 

___________________________________

Trial Bundle

___________________________________

 

Printed on A4 paper and also half an A4 (justify right) to go on the spine of the lever arch files.

 

Then an index which should have three sections as follows.

 

IN THE ?? COUNTY COURT

BETWEEN

Claimant

 

-and-

Defendant

__________________________________

Index to Trial Bundle

__________________________________

 

PAGE

DATE

ITEMS/DOCUMENTS

 

 

 

SECTION 1 STATEMENT   OF CASE AND COURT ORDERS

SECTION 2 WITNESS   STATEMENTS

 

 

SECTION 3 DOCUMENTS

 

The contents of the file has to have page numbers in the bottom right-hand corner in a felt tip pen. The sections are not separately numbered, and the numbering is continuous throughout the bundle.

3         Preparation

Where a court is involved litigants all go to pieces a bit, but it is vital to be organised with good “housekeeping”.  If you were going for a job interview, or a meeting at a bank, you would be organised with a laptop, pen, clean shoes etc.  Even if emotions run high it is vital to keep to those basic standards.  You can be sure the other side will be organised.

4.        Your conduct.

You are ‘in a play’, “on a stage”.  Everything you do say write or text is evidence.  No late night emails or texts, after a few drinks.  We have all done it.  Do not.  Think before you click.

Assuming your calls are recorded.  They are quite likely to be, and Yes they can be used in evidence.

5.         The Night Before

Early night, half a sleeping pill.  Get there in good time.  Take some Smints and an apple. No. This is not a joke. I am deadly serious.

6.        In Court

This is your big day and your life.  Do not blow it.  Be confident.  If you do not understand something, say so.  If you want to make notes before responding to something, do so.

If you have a lawyer or McKenzie friend helping you but not in Court, and things are not going to plan, say to the Judge “I am here myself, somebody has been helping me.  Please would you give me just ten minutes to telephone him on my mobile”.

Judges usually say Yes we help many clients like this.  It is very cost effective.

7.         Conduct at the case in Court.

If you are applying for a court order, it is your application so you start.  Write up what you are going to say and read it if you find that easier.

It might go like this.

My name is John Smith, the Claimant, and this is my application for directions leading to trial

            I am a litigant in person.  The mother is represented by Bloggs & Co Solicitors.  The directions I ask for today are:

            (a)        Each side has a list of documents

            (b)        Each side to Witness statements. 

            (c)        the fixing of a trial date.

 

5.         Cross Examination of your opponent

Do not ask anything for the sake of it.  It is often better to ask nothing unless you know why you are asking it.  You might get the wrong answer.

Example:

“Do you admit to having taken cocaine?

Reply from mother:

“Yes.  Once.  You took so much I thought there must be something in it”.

Never ask a question unless you know what answer you are going to get and only if that answer is going to help you.

Cross examination is not for making speeches.

6.        When you are being cross-examined.

Answer the question, I repeat answer the question. Sounds easy doesn’t it. It is not easy. You have to concentrate and answer the question and no more.

Example

Do you admit being arrested in December after an altercation with your neighbour?

If you were arrested the answer is ‘Yes’. What you did not do is say ‘Yes, but he hit me first and exaggerated and said he would make my life Hell, and he lied to the police and he should have been the one who was arrested.’

Instead make a note of the point in a notebook in the witness box. And then when your turn comes to respond after cross-examination, you say calmly and clearly

          ‘You will remember that I was arrested in December. The defendant hit me first exaggerated to the police and said he would make my life Hell. He lied to the police. The were no bruises, and this should not be taken as a good example of my behaviour.’

By specialist legal consultant and McKenzie friend Rodney Hylton-Potts.

A Useful Guide for Litigants in Person

If you are faced with having to represent yourself in person, it can be a daunting prospect especially for those who have never been in those sorts of surroundings before. The Bar Council have produced a free PDF ‘Guide to Representing Yourself in Court‘ which you may well find very useful if you plan to represent yourself.

You may be able to obtain advice at www.adviceuk.org but if they cannot help, do come back to us to learn more about highly competitive fixed fees.