Expert e-wire
  Sign me up!  
  Have your say!  

Not logged in
  Log in now  

Join up!
Benefits for experts
Application form
Apply online

Benefits for lawyers

Did we help?
  Feedback   
  Tell a friend   
  Contact us...   

Professional Indemnity Insurance for Expert Witnesses
Top quality
PI Insurance cover
at market-beating prices

Little Books
The Little Books
We have learnt the lessons from the mistakes of others, now you can learn them too!

Expert Witness
Year Book
The Expert Witness Year Book
Slip one in your bag, and you can be the expert with the facts at your fingertips!
  Claims against experts by litigants in person

With the anticipated growth in the number of litigants in person, how can the expert who takes instructions from a litigant in person reduce the risk of subsequently being sued by that person?

With the anticipated growth in the number of litigants in person, how can the expert who takes instructions from a litigant in person reduce the risk of subsequently being sued by that person?

Unfortunately an increase in the number of litigants in person is almost certain to result in more claims against experts. Indeed, litigants in person will be more prone to make claims against the lawyers, the judge and anyone else who does not agree with them! A great number of these claims are likely to be spurious or vexatious, or will arise from a lack of legal and procedural knowledge. Nevertheless, with the removal of expert immunity following Jones -v- Kaney, the risk of suit by litigants in person will, no doubt, become something of an occupational hazard.

Such claims are likely to be given short shrift by the courts, though, provided the expert has complied with the overriding duty, as defined by the Civil Procedure Rules, and has not acted recklessly or in flagrant disregard of such duties. (Note that expert witnesses are, of course, still immune from claims brought against them by an opposing party, as opposed to the party that instructs them.)

Although the experienced expert witness might be expected to assist a litigant in person in understanding procedural matters in relation to the expert evidence and the contents and preparation of the report, the expert should strictly avoid anything that might be seen as straying into the territory of a legal advisor. In particular, no expert should give advice on the legal merits of a claim or do anything that could be ascribed to the role of a solicitor.

The reasons for this are two-fold. First, the costs of work that falls within the definition of ‘conduct of litigation’ are unlikely to be recoverable. Second, such experts will be left open to a claim if any advice given, or work done, falls outside the scope of their expertise yet the litigant in person relied upon it.

Valued this article? or

 

 

 
Issue 78
June 2013

Expert Witness Survey 2013
Claims against experts by litigants in person
Telling the MoJ what you think


Current issue
September 2017

New rules when suing individuals for fees
To whose benefit?
Promoting the hot tub
Conference news
Not logged in -  Log in now