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Ask Buachaill Your Own Question
Buachaill
Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Satisfied Customers: 10528
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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If someone is taking a case against a public body and myself

Customer Question

If someone is taking a case against a public body and myself and others feel it is a very valid and good thing, can we become "interested parties" and how is this done. We can't afford solicitors. Will there be any liability to us as in legal costs, if the case is lost?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Expert:  Buachaill replied 4 years ago.

Buachaill :

1. Firstly, there is no such thing in Ireland as adding a person to a legal action as an "interested party". There is provision to be added as a Notice Party in the High Court & Circuit court, but this opens up the possibility of being liable for costs. A Notice Party can be heard in the legal action. However, once any party, including a Notice party, is added to a legal action they potentially become liable for costs in the legal action. So if you cannot afford a solicitor, I would think clearly before you become involved in any legal action where you could have a costs order made against you.

Buachaill :

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Customer :

Ok, thank you for your prompt reply, How is it possible to show support or solidarity in a case without accepting liability if the case fails. Surely if the plaintiff was to succeed and the plaintiff gets a refund of monies he has paid, would we then not be entitled to our refund as we were not parties in the case? Is there a straight forward way to achieve something like this?

Buachaill :

2. In Ireland there is no way of "showing support or solidarity" to a litigant in a legal action. Either you are a party to a case or you are not. Ireland has not yet adopted the notion of "class actions" although the Law Reform Commission recommended their adoption in certain cases. In Ireland you essentially take a "test case" and if that succeeds all other similarly situated cases get treated the same. However, the legal process is very different to the political process. The legal system is designed to have as few people having a row as possible so the law does not encourage people to sue. The law does this by making it onerous in terms of legal costs to have a dispute. So once you get into the legal ring, you have to be willing to take a punch! - to use a boxing metaphor!

Buachaill :

Please RATE the Answer positively so that I may get paid

Customer :

Thank you, "Please RATE the Answer positively so that I may get paid" Do I have to rate after every question, and start a new question, to facilitate you getting paid? or may i continue as I am and rate at the end? Whatever is best for you.

Customer :

Are you saying that there has Never been anything like what I have suggested, done in the Courts here in Ireland? (circuit/High Court) What options are open to us, say as a group, if we are intent on attaching ourselves in the best and most cost effective way possible? Form a society? or anything similar. ["where there's a will, There's a way" (or a relative) as my grandmother says.]

Buachaill :

3. Essentially each of your group will have to commence their own set of legal proceedings. However, you merely progress one as a "test case". You can agree to fund the "test case" amongst the lot of you. However, you can create an association such as the medical negligence group "Patient Focus" where you contribute money which is then used to campaign on your behalf in the political system and which keeps members informed of how the legal action is progressing. Additionally, you seem to miss the point. Law is about money and justice. It has nothing got to do with campaigning or solidarity or showing support. Litigation is a blood sport, not some focus for a support group. So you need to realise that you are talking about politics here, not law. So don't confuse the two.

Buachaill :

Please RATE the answer positively now and i will answer any further queries you may have

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