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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33323
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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ClareIt's a while now since the final hearing but I

Customer Question

Hi ClareIt's a while now since the final hearing but I have been thinking about something the judge said. When my parents obtained an expert witness's report without permission of the court which concluded that the sexual abuse of my daughter happened, but the judge would not accept it, she said in court that I "may wish to take up with the barristers involved at a later stage" that they had advised me not to request an expert witness as part of the fact finding. Given I spent £75,000 on the fact finding and no finding was made I would like to know how to approach a complaint to the two barristers who advised me not to get an expert witness. I have read I should approach them directly. One is a QC. What would be the best outcome I could expect from such action?
Thanks
Janie
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 8 months ago.
Hi JanieThe only result might be some form of compensation IF it was decided that it would have made a differenceClare
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Dear ClareWould this process involve a court case? And would I need a lawyer and therefore have to pay?
Expert:  Clare replied 7 months ago.
It would in fact be a very complex court case as you would have to show that their negligence was the direct cause of the failure of your case.A formal complaint might be a better option - even if there is not likely to be any financial recompense.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
HI,
I am up for the challenge as I need some sort of recognition of the failures of Lily's case. The Judge had discretion to deny the submission of the expert witness's report so it wasn't an absolute error in law.I have since been advised she DID make an error in law. So, I am also wondering about an appeal on those grounds. The error was that her Judgment states that she doesn't think F would do such a thing when under the close scrutiny of mother. What a pile of rotten horse sh*t that is. As if F thought it all through rationally. In any case, I have been told this is an error in law as she should not base a Judgment on her trying to understand the mind of the perpetrator.
However, I do want financial compensation - how could I predict how much it would be if I won? Is there a way of estimating this?
Can you suggest a way forward? Either appeal if it costs me NO money and I can do it myself. Or complaints to the two barristers about the advice not to consult an expert witness.And can I even appeal at this stage? 2 years later without new evidence?A lot to think about but seriously Clare, I want JUSTICE x
Expert:  Clare replied 7 months ago.
That was not an error in law necessarily - unless it was in fact the only basis of her decision - which as I recall it was not. However the more I reflect on it the more I too am confused as to why - BEFORE your parents's action - no report was commissioned.For clarity their report was done AFTER you were advised not to seek one - is that correct?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I was advised not to seek one by Charles Geekie QC way before the fact finding hearing.
As you know the FF then didn't make the finding but The J did summarise her decision as "finely balanced".
My parents were so confused and appalled at the jugement that they went and met a child psychologist who works in the area of child testimony. They said nothing about the details of the case. They just gave him the home recorded video of L's disclosure and asked for his opinion . They didn't know they needed permission from the court and nor did I.
My barrister said in court that the J should allow the new evidence because it was produced by a professional working for the protection of a child. It was at her discretion whether to allow it or not. If she had there would have had to be another fact finding hearing. F's barrisyer argued my parents were in contempt of court because they showed the evidence to a third party when there had been a verbal warning not to do so. But the verbal warning was to ME not them and they were not in court when it was made. The J refused it. But, then, at the hearing she said to me that I may want to take the matter of not asking for an expert witness up with the barrister at a later stage.
Very confusing because if the J had thought it was important, why didn't she just accept the new evidence.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Hello Clare,I have not heard back from you.Best wishes,Janie
Expert:  Clare replied 7 months ago.
My apologies - I had not noticed your reply!Did the Judge actually read the report?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
No
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
But my barrister summarised it in my position statement
Expert:  Clare replied 7 months ago.
She could not accept the evidence because of the way it was obtained.What reason did the barrister give for not having a report?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I'm afriad I don't recall. But I think the main reason he gave was financial! He suggested it was a waste of money. I remember him saying the police ABE was the worst he'd ever seen in that they had to asking leading questions to get L to repeat what she had said to me and say it was true but that is unrelated to your question.
Expert:  Clare replied 7 months ago.
It is related as it makes it even more odd that he did not think a further report would assist You cannot appeal the Order now.You can write a formal letter of complaint to the Barrister and point out that if an independent report had been commissioned the outcome would have been different and ask for his proposals for compensation

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