What are litigants in person?
Posted on 5th December 2019
In July 2019 came one of the most stark examples yet, that whilst individuals are perfectly entitled to handle their own cases, when it comes to disputed, important, delicate or high value matters, it is wise to always use a solicitor. MG Legal, your local solicitor in Garstang, are well versed in a variety of matters including Conveyancing, Family Law, Personal Injury, Wills and Probate and we have accepted cases on behalf of many clients who have been short on time before the expiry of one of the many and differing protocol periods prescribed in Law.
In the case of Woodward & Another v Phoenix Healthcare, a complex dispute, a claim form was served within the legally prescribed deadline, but on the wrong company, thus breaching Section 6 of the Civil Procedure Rules. This error led to a protracted battle on this single point, let alone the hotly contested dispute between two parties which it arose from.
Ultimately, by the time the Court of Appeal had ruled, countless thousands of pounds of costs had been incurred and it was decided that the claim was not permitted to continue due to the document being incorrectly served. One side had lost before the case had truly begun, simply because they misinterpreted a simple point of Law over service of documents.
A counter argument was that the opponent, who was represented by a solicitor, was obliged to inform their opponent that they had made an error in serving the document incorrectly. The Court of Appeal ruled this was not the case and that the party who had made the error had been at fault, so they must abide by the result of their fault – their Appeal case was dismissed and the case as a whole statute barred. For want of proper legal advice, a case failed entirely due to the wrong address being written on a single Court Form. This is why MG Legal, your local solicitor in Garstang, recommends you always use a solicitor for any legal matter.
The legal system, whilst being based on “reasonableness” and “fairness” does still have its own twists and turns and what appears to be obvious can often need presenting in a certain way or, in the above example, the paperwork can be correct but if the address it is sent to is incorrect because the law did not recognise the address as a correct one for formal service, you can allow your opponent an easy escape because of a breached protocol. We cannot stress enough, MG Legal, your local solicitor in Garstang, recommends that you always use a solicitor to avoid these legal traps and to ensure your case is not over before it starts.
MG Legal, take these matters seriously and we know that it is sometimes the seemingly insignificant details of protocol that matter as a much as the bigger ones, such as the true cause of your need for a solicitor in the first place. Please telephone or call into our office today to discuss your legal matter to find our how MG Legal, your local solicitor in Garstang, Lancaster and Longridge can help you with your legal matter.
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Tagged as: Accident Injury Solicitors, Conveyancing Solicitors, Family Law, Garstang Solicitors, Lancaster Law, Longridge Solicitors, LPAs, Wills and Probate, Your Local Solicitors
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