Please fill in the form to report an unsuitable comment. Please state which comment is of concern and why. It will be sent to our moderator for review.
@Aonon 21:29 "Have proper low level intelligence on less effective pompous (D) DJ's.":
We've all seen Brett Kavanagh avatars at the lowest level of the Court system - but it is submitted MF problems largely are a consequence of poor internal Court case management, which can be redressed as below.
Anecdotally, as someone who periodically dips his toe in ghastly pro bono MF work (having developed a visceral horror of the even more ghastly pro bono professional work) I don't see a problem in McKenzie friends per se. I personally have always been handled "robustly", effectively, and correctly in law (I take it on trust this is not merely due to awareness of my alternative professional "hat"). Further, I've never been in a situation where I've been permitted to speak as I would if exercising right of audience, and this must be right.
That said, I sense a disparity in MF treatment depending on how far up the chain you go. Thus I do perceive a possible problem in the *lower* levels of the judiciary not always being trained adequately or at all:
(a) in MF case law - this especially is important to counter the occasionally ridiculous, sometimes even professionally troubling, submissions of opposing Counsel or (more usually) solicitors, which theoretically might land the judge in hot water while the root cause, the troubling opponent, gets off scot free;
(b) to deal with MFs robustly (including as harshly/savagely as may be objectively necessary) and effectively *in accordance* with that case law; and, critically
(c) to deal with the more insane MFs in a way that doesn't make the litigant feel that justice has been denied.
With apologies in advance for my presumption / grandmothers / eggs etc, I tentatively suggest the MO / rule of thumb (as I've seen effortlessly deployed by circuit judges and above) is for the judge to address the litigant directly at all times, with the option gradually to permit or signal the MF to participate directly and actively but only insofar as it becomes clear to the Court that the MF genuinely can assist the *Court* as well as the the LIP. Politely explaining all this to the LIP in the beginning. In short, start with a very tight leash and relax it only as seems useful *for the Court*.
It is submitted such an approach is optimal, or nearly so, in preserving comity and respect for the rule of law (which, of course, is a conduct issue for the Court as well) while progressing the case and avoiding arguments with MFs as pointless as they are unedifying.
So don't let the MF anywhere near a position of control over the LIP or the LIP's case... but don't throw them out of court until you've laid the foundation. Don't let your outrage overcome your judgEment.!
Copyright © 2019 The Law Society
Site powered by Webvision Cloud