Litigation - "The Level Playing Field" : LUSENET : Repossession : One Thread

This latest snippet of information was received from a "friendly" legal source:

An indication as to how the 'level playing field' requirements are likely to be applied in relation to unequal legal representation in litigation cases is contained within the decision of Mr. Justice Neuberger in Maltez v Lewis The Times, 4th May 1999.

If the claimant can afford to instruct experienced and expensive solicitors with very considerable resources whilst the other defendant can only afford to instruct a smaller and less experienced firm, the court could give effect to the level playing field by instigating certain measures. As a consequence of the Maltez decision solicitors should be keen to ensure that their clients are not in any way disadvantaged by any disparity in resources which may exist by comparison with the solicitors for the party on the other side. Careful thought will therefore need to be given to appropriate case management directions.

Anyone got any thoughts on what the "certain measures" may be?

-- Tony Hayter (, November 28, 2000


I don't know exactly, but I do believe that the defendant can ask not to have to pay the other side's costs if they lose.

-- Eleanor Scott (, December 17, 2000.

The litigation handbook says the following about someone who is defending themselves without a solicitor (presumably it may still apply if one has hired a solicitor who is less experienced than the claimants big gun?).

"Most judges will go out of their way at a trial to help a litigant in person. They will usually ask questions of any witness that the feel the ligitant in person should have asked. If there are points of law which might help that party's case, they may look them up or require the lawyer representing the other side to do so even if it is against his own client's interests. Many Lawyers therefore feel that the ligitant in person actually has an advantage because of the assistance received from the judge."

page 12 'The Litigation Handbook' Second Edition (2001) Anthony Reeves and Alan Matthews.


-- (, November 23, 2001.

I do wish I might have found such an accommodating judge. The old git at my divorce hearing agreed that that my ex getting away with everything by going bankrupt (including the shortfall they only ever chase me for) was inevitable, but that I should "take it on the chin". The only legal point I should have looked up would have been the repercussions of planting one on his smarmy mush. Bitter? Me?

-- Too scared to say (, November 23, 2001.

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