We know from our former clients that people are unsure of what information needs to be sent to the Court
We offer a different service to litigants in person. We understand and appreciate that some people cannot afford solicitors and/or their case is in the Small Claims Court where generally each party bears their own cost.
We know from our former clients that people are unsure of what information needs to be sent to the Court, whether you would have enough evidence and any other possible evidence you may need to assist your case, whether you have completed all the Court forms and then when there is a hearing, what to expect from the other party to the case.
We believe that we offer a unique experience. Instead of sitting behind a desk obtaining instructions from you and assessing the merits of your case in the traditional way where you pay for the time you meet with us, we offer a one and a half hour experience or a two and a half hour experience, both with a brief report on the points in your case. The time is split with a one or two hour ‘hearing’ slot with a half an hour brief assessment at the end.
You will prepare your case up to the point you are currently at within the Court procedure and whilst you will argue your case, a solicitor or other member of staff at M2M Community Solicitors LLP will try and argue against your case, which will highlight potential problems with your case and at the end a solicitor will state any matters you should consider to improve your case, evidentially or procedurally to assist you.
For you to prepare before the meeting
Your bundle/case – This should include in order:
· A one page summary of your case
· Pleadings for example the Claim Form, Defence, Reply to the Defence
· Court Orders
· Any evidence you intend to use to rely on
· Any Witness Statements
· Directions Questionnaire
· Disclosure Form and List
You will need to bring three copies of the above with you.
We must make it clear that this is a ‘mock hearing’ to attempt to prepare you in part for your actual hearing
When the assessment is complete it will not reference to any legal case law and is not a demonstration of the outcome of your case. A full assessment of a case cannot be concluded in such a short amount of time and without full knowledge of your opponent’s case. This is a preparatory and evidential assessment and experience.
An example assessment report, which will be provided to you at the end of the ‘hearing’ is below:
Smith v Jones
Claim No: M2M1234
Date of Report: 25 April 2018
You should ensure that you have an index to your bundle and that all papers are page numbered. There should be several parts to your bundle and all paperwork should be in date order such as the Claim form before the Defence.
The tea stain on the front of your witness statement will not go well with a Judge.
You mentioned about a money exchange whilst you were representing yourself and produced a receipt proving payment. It is noted that you do not have a bank statement showing the transaction was made by you.
It is further noted that you did not fully demonstrate some of your argument with evidence. You have stated that there was an email exchange discussing the terms of the contract beforehand but you have failed to provide these. The Court has Ordered that disclosure takes place on 5 May 2018 and you therefore need to complete Court form N260 with a list of every item you intend to use, you have in your possession which is for and against your case. Every email needs to be listed and if requested, you will need to provide a copy. You will need to think of any other evidence you may have to prove your case.
During the physical meeting when you were discussing the terms of the contract, was anyone else present? If so, will they provide a witness statement?
You mentioned taking photographs of the item before you signed the contract. You will need to provide the photographs as it will show the condition of the item when it was in possession. If on the device the photographs were taken there is a date and time mark for each photograph, it should be brought to trial. Any old photographs of the item you have found to the last photograph, will be of use to demonstrate how it has appeared over time. For every point you make, there should be sufficient evidence.
You keep trying to talk over your application and the assessor, it will not be appreciated during a hearing in Court. You should remain quiet until it is your turn to speak.
You arrived in jeans and trainers. You should be aware that this was your hearing and that would be inappropriate clothing. Smart clothes with shoes will be required.
You did not appear to know your case that well and you did not know what page held your evidence in order to refer to it. Learn your bundle so that you in turn build confidence.
You did not appear to have a case with merit based on the papers I have seen today but you have a lot of work to do before you are ready for trial. You need to gather further evidence as discussed and identified, disclose documents by 5 May 2018 and draft your witness statement by 9 June 2018. As the Claimant you should be preparing this bundle and so should concentrate on its presentation as well.
One and a half hours £200 + VAT (£250 inclusive of VAT)
Two and a half hours £300 + VAT (£350 inclusive of VAT)