The High Court judge responsible for implementing the Jackson civil litigation reforms has made two speeches seeking to allay lawyers’ fears about the reforms’ impact. Speaking to the Commercial Litigation Association annual conference, Mr Justice Ramsey urged more ‘hot-tubbing’ of expert witnesses to improve the costs management of civil cases and speed up the trial process. Hot-tubbing requires the expert witnesses for both parties to give evidence at the same time. This ensures their contrasting opinions are quickly made clear to the judge and the case can then move on without unnecessary delay. Ramsey also urged litigators to keep written evidence and disclosures to a minimum, saying normally ‘not more than three facts are required to decide any case’, and that so few ‘smoking guns’ were revealed by disclosure that each one costs around £60m to turn up. He said that rigorously following costs management procedures would encourage the parties to focus on the key issues in dispute early on and encourage settlement at an early stage. Ramsey told the Association of Costs Lawyers annual conference that the future of third-party litigation funding was one of the ‘great questions’ of the post-Jackson era. Ramsey said there should be more certainty in the market in the next three years, which will give investors confidence to take on funding more cases than at present. ‘Funders should be able to make a decent profit and in effect transfer legal aid from the public sector to the private sector,’ he said. Ramsey said the future was not necessarily bleak for costs lawyers, despite costs budgeting meaning there may be fewer standard costs assessments. ‘Instead the expertise of costs lawyers will apply to the beginning of litigation,’ he said. Ramsey also suggested that the decision to exempt commercial cases worth more than £2m from new costs management rules could eventually be overturned as judges look at them on a case-by-case basis.
The stats are bleak for the Hunters as they head to Wynnum this weekend for round 2 with the Manly Wynnum Seagulls.In last year’s season at the BMD Kougari Oval, Manly West, the Hunters lost to Seagulls 36-18, but that’s in the past.The Seagulls, on the other hand, are hoping that history will repeat itself. Otherwise, two losses at home, at the start of 2016, will put a dent in their finals hope.The Hunters, with changes to the team, will see; 1. Stargroth Amean 2. Oti Tony (Bland Abavu) 3. Justin Olam 4. Thompson Teteh 5. Adex Wera 6. Ase Boas 7. Atte Bina 8. Henry Noki 9. Wartovo Puara Jnr 10. Esau Siune 11. Nickson Borana 12. Warren Glare 13. Ishmael Baikawa 14. Watson Boas 15. Noel Zeming (c) 16. Benjamin Hetra 17. Edward Goma and 18. Philimon Kimisive.Whilst it is true that the team have had some changes, they are still hot after the opening round win.This sets them up to make this game count as the Boas brothers, for the first time, will make history for PNG by playing upfront in key positions.Hunters are also running second on the 2016 Intrust Cup ladder.