COVID-19 isolation measures, implemented by the Government two weeks ago, have resulted in the adjournment of many civil trials which historically would have only been dealt with in person.
It is anticipated that the current COVID-19 measures will continue for the foreseeable future and accordingly there will be listing difficulties for such cases coming to trial.
It is therefore in the interests of litigants, the court service and the legal profession that where trials can fairly be conducted remotely, and the parties are in agreement that this should be the case, this is the preferred course of action.
This is recognised in the most recent court updates, such as that from HHJ Bird, DCJ for Greater Manchester, on 31st March, and HHJ Wood QC, DCJ for Cheshire and Merseyside, on 2nd April.
Members of the 9 St John Street Personal Injury Group have produced a short film demonstrating the use of remote technology to undertake a mock fast track road traffic liability trial.
The film has been produced using Zoom but the same exercise was also conducted using Microsoft Teams, which was considered to be just as effective. Both facilitate the screen sharing of documents, such as the trial bundle, and enable the parties to assist the Court with online tools such as Google Earth. 9 St John Street’s barristers all have access to both platforms and are able to participate in trials using either.
This mock trial is short as it is intended to be illustrative only, but the participants consider that longer hearings could be conducted in the same way.
Chambers thanks members of the 9SJS PI Team, Jamie Hill, Elizabeth Murray, Kirsty McKinlay, Michael O’Neil and Christopher Taft for producing the film.
Chambers is happy to share what it has learnt from this exercise with solicitors or insurers who may be interested in having their cases dealt with remotely. All enquiries should be made to Joe Gibson on 0161 955 5161 or Joe.Gibson@9sjs.com.