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Author Topic: Legal Advice on a civil claim (as the defendant)  (Read 2462 times)

Steven Denton

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Legal Advice on a civil claim (as the defendant)
« on: 06 April, 2016, 01:03:40 pm »
Does anyone know anything about hove civil court claims work? The limit of my understanding is Jude Judy.

ZenArcade

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Re: Legal Advice on a civil claim (as the defendant)
« Reply #1 on: 06 April, 2016, 01:34:57 pm »
Just in NI, jurisdiction is a wee bit different in England. Z
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Steven Denton

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Re: Legal Advice on a civil claim (as the defendant)
« Reply #2 on: 06 April, 2016, 04:22:32 pm »
At the moment I’m just wondering if you have to answer literally any case someone brings against you or if there is some kind of test of veracity as a first step.

Dunk!

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Re: Legal Advice on a civil claim (as the defendant)
« Reply #3 on: 06 April, 2016, 04:27:22 pm »
Citizens Advice should be your first call.
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ZenArcade

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Re: Legal Advice on a civil claim (as the defendant)
« Reply #4 on: 06 April, 2016, 04:53:51 pm »
Yen with dunk go to the CAB (good people).  When the Small Claim is issued and you have a period of time to dispute the matter. The matter would then be listed for a small claim hearing. However it would be anticipated that both parties would contact each other either some time before the hearing or in court directly before the hearing in order to hammer the matter out. Generally the issues are resolved at this stage. If there is no agreement or acrimony,  the case will be decided after hearing by the District judge. If you don't reply to the initial claim, the case will be found against you by Default Judgement, you will then be liable for the full amount and legal fees. Mind you it is some time since I was involved in Small Claim business and in a different legal jurisdiction. Z
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NapalmKev

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Re: Legal Advice on a civil claim (as the defendant)
« Reply #5 on: 06 April, 2016, 04:57:09 pm »
Citizens Advice should be your first call.

Sage advice. I've found them to be a great help in the past.


At the moment I’m just wondering if you have to answer literally any case someone brings against you or if there is some kind of test of veracity as a first step.

As a layman in such matters I would say this - Surely to have any kind of case they would have to provide some evidence, other than their own (possibly biased) statement. The burden of proof falls to the complainant.

Visit Citizens Advice, as Dunk wisely suggested.

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Modern Panther

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Re: Legal Advice on a civil claim (as the defendant)
« Reply #6 on: 06 April, 2016, 05:42:11 pm »
The other side could be completely biased, but if the action isn't defended then their account will be the only side the court hears. 



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Re: Legal Advice on a civil claim (as the defendant)
« Reply #7 on: 06 April, 2016, 05:58:33 pm »
The other side could be completely biased, but if the action isn't defended then their account will be the only side the court hears.

True, but they should have to come up with some evidence (written contract, reliable witness to the agreement etc.)- a simple "He owes me £200" shouldn't suffice.

Dandontdare

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Re: Legal Advice on a civil claim (as the defendant)
« Reply #8 on: 06 April, 2016, 06:08:32 pm »
I believe (and this is purely conjecture, I'm not qualified in any way!) that anyone can bring a civil case, but if it's a hopeless case that cannot be backed up it will simply be thrown out at the first hurdle and costs awarded against the party that brought it - including your legal fees if you've hired someone to represent you. Many solicitors will offer a free initial consultation

Steven Denton

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Re: Legal Advice on a civil claim (as the defendant)
« Reply #9 on: 06 April, 2016, 06:22:45 pm »
That's all quite interesting.  :) Thank you

Jim_Campbell

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Re: Legal Advice on a civil claim (as the defendant)
« Reply #10 on: 06 April, 2016, 07:19:08 pm »
it's a hopeless case that cannot be backed up it will simply be thrown out at the first hurdle and costs awarded against the party that brought it - including your legal fees if you've hired someone to represent you. Many solicitors will offer a free initial consultation

That first hurdle (from my recollection of having civil/small claims cases brought against the company I worked for)* requires you to turn up. If you fail to appear at the hearing, the other party will more or less always be found in favour of.

(This was quite a lucrative line for a handful of professional leeches that I became acquainted with in previous employment. Bring a small claims case for, say, £250 in 'compensation' for some imagined wrong against a company of any significant size, and the simple cost of taking personnel out of the business and instructing legal professionals exceeds £250, so the company just ignores it, loses the case, and pays the money.)

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*Usual qualifiers of 'I am not a lawyer' apply, as well as agreeing with the 'See Citizens' Advice' recommendations.
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Dandontdare

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Re: Legal Advice on a civil claim (as the defendant)
« Reply #11 on: 06 April, 2016, 07:53:18 pm »
(This was quite a lucrative line for a handful of professional leeches that I became acquainted with in previous employment. Bring a small claims case for, say, £250 in 'compensation' for some imagined wrong against a company of any significant size, and the simple cost of taking personnel out of the business and instructing legal professionals exceeds £250, so the company just ignores it, loses the case, and pays the money.)

But wouldn't those costs be awarded against the losing party?

Jim_Campbell

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Re: Legal Advice on a civil claim (as the defendant)
« Reply #12 on: 06 April, 2016, 08:24:38 pm »
But wouldn't those costs be awarded against the losing party?

As a private individual, you can bring a case with little or no legal representation -- the internet will tell you all you need to know about initiating proceedings. As a company, however, you might be looking at taking a director or two out of the business for a day or more… add in an expert witness or two, plus your legal team. Trust me, no matter how badly you might want to crush the little scrote in court, it's vastly cheaper not to contest and pay out.

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Re: Legal Advice on a civil claim (as the defendant)
« Reply #13 on: 06 April, 2016, 09:35:35 pm »
Just to follow up, because I didn't explain that very well:

If you go to court, there is always a chance you will lose. I was directly involved with a case where the complainant's argument made no sense. Don't get me wrong, our side had unquestionably made an error, but the complainant's allegation was of harm done and the clinical/scientific evidence simply didn't support that allegation. We fought, and the judge explicitly stated that, in order to "teach [our company] a lesson", he was setting aside (transl: ignoring) the expert witnesses and technical testimony and finding for the complainant.

Cost if we'd settled straight out of the gate? Probably £5,000. Cost of fighting and losing? I'd be amazed if it came in under £50,000. I suspect it may have been a lot more.

It's all about playing the odds. As the person who had to explain to the managers in question why were then letting the case go… Could we have appealed? Yes. Would we have won? Possibly. Alternatively, we would have been throwing more money down a hole.

And there are people out there who will exploit that. Three years in customer service for a national company with health care responsibilities teaches you that there are people who will take advantage of anything if they think there's a payout at the end of it.

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ThryllSeekyr

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Re: Legal Advice on a civil claim (as the defendant)
« Reply #14 on: 07 April, 2016, 04:50:53 am »
I have a older brother who's lawyer, but we're not talking right now, because he hasn't given back my Axe,Celtic Gladius, Gandalf Sword.