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By the way | Shakespearean outcomes

Dealing with fellow lawyers can be frustrating and some of them can be downright negligent, but it doesn’t mean we should kill all the lawyers, says Catherine Burtinshaw

28 September 2012

The law is not a precise science. Advising clients at the beginning of a new case as to its potential value/cost to them can be tricky. Playing on the defendants’ team as I do can often mean that I am presented with a document describing itself as a ‘Letter of Claim’ which makes a number of vague statements and then boldly claims £x on no fathomable basis.

Some claimant firms will make a real effort to set out the basis on which the defendant is said to be at fault. They may also explain the number-crunching formula which has led to the amount demanded. What they often skirt around, however, is the complex area of causation, the third element which must be present in all negligence claims.

Another significant unknown quantity is of course the human beings involved in the cases. Witnesses can be pesky, asserting at the outset that they are certain of their story but becoming reti...

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