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February 2012 Summary


Industry News
Summary of Recent Cases - Substantive Law
Summary of Recent Cases - Costs
Summary of Recent Cases - Civil Procedure
PI Practitioner


Editorial: New Edition of Kevan and Ellis on Credit Hire - Aidan Ellis, Temple Garden Chambers
This month I have finally started work on a revised and updated edition of Kevan and Ellis on Credit Hire. The fourth edition will be published online through this law journal. The plan is to release a new chapter each month. I hope that this will be the start of a library of material available to subscribers through the pibulj website.

Personal Injury Articles

Tripping Through a Straitened 2011 - Richard Tutt, Pump Court Chambers
Read on if you seek an overview of the law as it relates to tripping on public highways, seen through two appeals to the higher courts in 2011.

Contributory Negligence: Extending the “Car as a Weapon” Principle? - Tom Gibson, Pupil Barrister, Outer Temple Chambers
Contributory negligence in road traffic accident cases: Stoddart v Perucca (Court of Appeal, unreported, [2011] EWCA Civ 290) is important in that it (1) may extend the principle of the ‘car as a weapon’ and (2) illustrates the difference between ‘blameworthiness’ and ‘causative potency’ as the two constituent halves of contributory negligence.

Cause for a Circus? - Helen Tinkler, BPP & Central Law Training
If there is one subject bound to divide opinion and aerate not just the legal profession but the public and media it is whiplash claims. Indeed, it has almost become like a West End farce with all interested parties entering stage left and right to heap vilification upon or defend the behemoth which the RTA claims industry has allegedly become. Historically, such a being was a mythical creature but the Transport Select Committee has now reported (13 December 2011) and its conclusions suggest that the creature is alive, well and kicking vigorously.

A Missed Opportunity - Laurence Besemer, Chief Executive, FOIL
The Government’s response to its consultation “Solving Disputes in the County Court” has been much anticipated. Expected since last October and finally published on 9 February, there has been much speculation over the past months on the reforms that the Government might choose to introduce: an extension of the RTA Portal to £25k?; a Portal scheme for EL and PL claims to £10k, or possibly £25k?; greater use of fixed costs?; more focus on mediation for higher value claims?; or mandatory pre-action directions for claims up to £100k in the county court, to make litigation a course of last resort?

Comment on The Transport Committee Report - Susan Brown, Prolegal
The Transport Committee in its follow-up report published on 12th January shows that it has considered the issues, asked sensible questions, listened to the answers and thought about the issues again in the light of them.

Credit Hire Articles

Copley Revisited Again - Jason Prosser, Credit Hire Advocacy Services
In the March edition of PIBULJ I reported on a decision of His Honour Judge Harris QC, Sayce v TNT, Cambridge County Court 25 January 2011, which appeared to cast doubt upon the earlier decision of the court of Appeal in Copley v Lawn and Madden v Haller [2010] 1 All ER (Comm) 890. In Copley the Court of Appeal found...

PI Travel Law, Edited by Katherine Deal, 3 Hare Court

Can a claimant recover diminution in value / loss of enjoyment against a tour operator for a problem with a flight? - Tom Poole, 3 Hare Court
Ever since the decision in Jarvis v Swan Tours [1972] EWCA Civ 8, the courts have routinely awarded damages for loss of enjoyment in holiday cases as well as damages for the diminution in value of the holiday purchased. More recently, the Court of Appeal offered guidance in Milner v Carnival Plc (t/a Cunard) [2010] EWCA Civ 389 on the appropriate measure of damages for the diminution, distress and disappointment caused to a couple whose enjoyment of an around the world cruise costing almost £60,000 had been spoiled.

Cruise Claims: What’s Been Happening and Where are we Going? - Sarah Prager, 1 Chancery Lane
In the last year the courts have heard a number of interesting claims arising out of cruise holidays. In the years to come, practitioners will no doubt have cause to consider the issues arising out of the recent wreck of the Costa Concordia. In this article Sarah Prager gives an overview of two cases from last year and considers what is likely to come.

Medico-Legal Articles, Edited by Dr Hugh Koch

This Person Lacks Capacity… For What? Assessment of Capacity in Medico Legal Situations - Dr Karen Addy, Clinical Psychologist
The Mental Capacity Act 2005 sets out clear standards for the assessment of capacity for individuals engaging in medical treatment, financial affairs and court proceedings. The fundamental principles of the Act are as follows...

Mediation & ADR Articles, Edited by Tim Wallis, Trust Mediation Ltd

How Does the Ministry of Justice Consultation on County Court Reform Affect Mediation in Personal Injury Claims? - Tim Wallis, Trust Mediation Ltd
The MoJ issued its consultation paper, about creating a simpler, quicker and more proportionate system for the county courts, in March 2011. In February 2012 it issued its response on the consultation. It is clear from this that a number of reforms are contemplated and these will probably be implemented at the same time as those relating to the Jackson reforms and the ban on referral fees.

Marketing for Solicitors

Marketing your Practice - Social Media: Social or anti-social? Minefields or Goldmines? - Jenny Cotton, Mortons Marketing
Social media offer not only paid for advertising opportunities but open participation in your messages. These social media contributions by others makes the communication exchange more like traditional targeted PR than controlled content advertising. Social media have proved to be essential for reaching key audiences rapidly. Effectiveness and costs can be and have been proved to be difficult to judge in advance. What should the practice and brand responses be to this potential for great good and yet great concern?


Charon QC: Law Review February 2012

Babybarista: Bringing the profession into disrepute

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