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The no win, no sue system witnessed stateside

'The United States and Great Britain are two countries separated by a common language', wrote George Bernard Shaw. Likewise, our two countries' legal systems are also separated by a difference in law.

26 April 2016

I have just returned from
New York having spoken to lawyers in the Big Apple about the differences in preparing witnesses in the US and the UK, and I can say one such example is the fine line between coaching witnesses.
One side of the pond conducts
a mock cross-examination, complete before a jury of
actors, and the other oversees straightforward witness familiarisation taking place.

However, problems can arise when US citizens are prepared
in the American way for hearings in the UK. What standards are acceptable here? Do the professional standards of the American Bar Association and state regulators apply, or the standards of our Law Society, Bar Council, and court rules? Lawyers and judges I have spoken with here in Blighty say 'improved' evidence would carry less weight and may even be inadmissible. Though there are no international agreements on the point, the recent L...

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