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RICHARD BARRY BRISSET v ANN BRISSET

t was not unusual for circuit judges and district judges working in close proximity to discuss cases of mutual interest but in relation to pending appeals, the circuit judge had to build a Chinese wall between himself and the district judge. The judge below had no right to be heard on an appeal, and if the judgment or the court documents did not themselves keep the record straight, it was down to the advocates to ensure that a superior court was not misled.

21 July 2009

The appellant husband (H) appealed against the dismissal of his appeal against an order for ancillary relief in favour of his former wife (W). The marriage had broken down in 2004 when both parties were in their sixties and retired. They had agreed that capital and income should be divided in equal shares on a clean break basis. Division of the matrimonial home and pension had been agreed, and H had also acknowledged that equity required him to pay W a balancing lump sum. The amount of the lump sum had remained in dispute and a district judge had assessed it at just over £35,000. H had appealed against that figure, complaining that there had been an element of double-counting. The circuit judge hearing the appeal rejected H's contentions. He told the parties that he had directed the district judge to provide his written comments on H's contentions and he read those detailed comments in court. He also told the parties that after receipt of the written comments, he had spoken to the ...

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