Using the power to seek directions from the court to bring lawyers into line!
We had an expert call our Helpline to ask about the procedure to follow when seeking directions from the court. He was faced with a lawyer trying to force him to modify his report. He wondered whether he could disclose to the court the offending instruction. The procedure contained in CPR 35.14 probably makes that a moot point.
The CJC’s Guidance on seeking directions is:
28) Experts may request directions from the court to assist them in carrying out their functions (CPR 35.14), for example, if experts consider that they have not been provided with information they require. Experts should normally discuss this with those who instruct them before making a request. Unless the court otherwise orders, any proposed request for directions should be sent to the party instructing the expert at least seven days before filing any request with the court, and to all other parties at least four days before filing it.
29) Requests to the court for directions should be made by letter clearly marked ‘expert’s request for directions’ containing:
- the title of the claim;
- the claim number;
- the name of the expert;
- why directions are sought; and
- copies of any relevant documentation.
So, in telling the solicitor that you intend to ask the court for directions under CPR 35.14, you may very well find that he backs off!