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Dr Bashir Qureshi. Expert Witness in Cultural, Religious & Ethnic issues in Litigation and also in GP Clinical Negligence, London.

Expert Witness Blog

Legal sector carries on as 'new normal' during coronavirus pandemic

Legal sector carries on as 'new normal' during coronavirus pandemic

Since the last issue of Your Expert Witness, when we were in limbo as to where the coronavirus outbreak was going, the COVID-19 crisis has infiltrated all aspects of life – including in the legal sector. It did not take long for the Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) to suspend all but the most urgent of hearings, before devising ways of carrying out more routine hearings.

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Expert Witness News

Family court expert report draws two cheers

Family court expert report draws two cheers

Criticism from lawyers, judges and the press may be deterring health professionals from being expert witnesses in family cases. Sir Andrew McFarlane, President of the Family Division, warned back in 2018 that the supply of expertise was ‘drying up’.

In autumn 2018 Sir Andrew established a working group to identify the scale of the problem, to look at the causes and to identify possible solutions. Mr Justice Williams was appointed to chair the group with representation from the judiciary, legal profession, royal medical colleges and other interested bodies.

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Expert Witness Legal News

How can the Paralegal Sector help law firms get back on their feet, post Covid-19? By Amanda Hamilton, NALP

How can the Paralegal Sector help law firms get back on their feet, post Covid-19? By Amanda Hamilton, NALP

As we all know, Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown has affected our lives in many ways and forced many law firms into hardship.

Some practices are in a catch 22, wondering whether or not to invest in remote working facilities when their financial situation is so vulnerable. I’m aware of one commercial business owner that has 300 employees and a massive weekly payroll. She has to make just that decision: should she financially invest in supplying internet, computers and phones for them to work at home when there is little/no income coming in? Furthermore, there is the knowledge that this situation will not last indefinitely.

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Expert Witness : Building and Property

Construction trial Zooms to a conclusion

Construction trial Zooms to a conclusion

The first ever trial in the Technology and Construction Court to be held entirely remotely reached its conclusion in May, having been conducted across video-conferencing platform Zoom. The case made English legal history and could help transform how future court cases are conducted, even after the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic has receded.

The settlement resulted in liability for Barnet Council of over £3m, following the repeated flooding of a family home. The case was brought by construction law specialist Barton Legal, alongside Peters & Peters and two members of 39 Essex Chambers. The Honourable Mrs Justice Jefford DBE rejected the defendant's application to adjourn the case, in favo...

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Expert Witness : Criminal

More psychologists are in court – and that’s a good thing!

More psychologists are in court – and that’s a good thing!

Vulnerable offenders with mental health, alcohol and substance abuse problems are increasingly being diverted from short-term custodial sentences and towards treatment that aims to tackle the causes of their offending.

In the pilot areas – Birmingham, Plymouth, Sefton, Milton Keynes and Northampton – psychologists are working collaboratively with the existing panels of justice and health officials. Together, the professionals ensure that magistrates and judges have the information they need to determine whether an offender should be required to receive treatment for their mental health, alcohol or drug issues.

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Expert Witness : Medico Legal

Latest MoJ report short on detail, expert complains

Latest MoJ report short on detail, expert complains

In September the Ministry of Justice published the results of a consultation on medical reporting within the package of whiplash and small claims track reforms – due to be implemented in April next year for road traffic cases. The consultation ran for a month in April-May, and the resultant document sets out the government’s policy choices.

It is, however – as seems par for the course in this area – very light on detail. That is the conclusion of Alistair Kinley, director of policy and government affairs at law firm BLM.

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Expert Witness : Technology

Government to plug mobile phone loophole

Government to plug mobile phone loophole

The government has confirmed it will close a legal loophole which has allowed drivers to escape prosecution for hand-held mobile phone use while behind the wheel.

At present, the law prevents drivers from using a hand-held mobile phone to call or text.

However, people caught filming or taking photos while driving have escaped punishment as lawyers have successfully argued that the activity does not fit into the ‘interactive communication’ currently outlawed by the legislation.

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Expert Witness : Environment

The fundamental right to be protected from the dangers of air pollution

The fundamental right to be protected from the dangers of air pollution

The British Safety Council welcomed the news of the High Court quashing the verdict of the 2014 inquest into the death of nine-year old Ella Kissi-Debrah, who suffered a fatal asthma attack. Her mother Rosamund has since campaigned for a fresh inquest, believing Ella’s death was caused by high levels of air pollution near her home in southeast London. It means that Ella could become the first person in the UK to have air pollution mentioned as a contributory factor on her death certificate.

Lawrence Waterman, Chairman of the British Safety Council, commented: “The ruling of the High Court is proof that since 2014 we have become much better informed about the dangers of air pollution. Air poll...

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Expert Witness : Animal & Farming

Dr WHO? by Dr Debbie Marsden

Dr WHO? by Dr Debbie Marsden

Dr Debbie Marsden, a leading equestrian expert with over 20 years professional experience of expert witness work, offers some advice on selecting the right expert in cases involving animals

In animal related cases, a veterinary surgeon is often the best expert, being generally regarded as an authority on animals and easily recognised by the word ‘veterinary’ – a protected title – and the letters MRCVS (Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons) after various degrees.

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Parliament, Legislation And Public Sector

Home Office GDPR exemption risks new Windrush, says Law Society

Home Office GDPR exemption risks new Windrush, says Law Society

The Law Society of England and Wales has criticised the decision to exempt the Home Office from data access rules in the new Data Protection Act, which implements the widely-publicised GDPR. The move will inevitably lead to miscarriages of justice, the society has warned.

Law Society president Joe Egan said the immigration exemption in the legislation stripped accountability from Home Office decision making.

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Expert Witness: Events

Expert witness conference is hailed a success

Expert witness conference is hailed a success

On 8 November Bond Solon held the 25th Bond Solon Expert Witness Conference at Church House in Westminster. Demand for the conference had been particularly high, leading to a fully-booked event. Nearly 500 expert witnesses were in attendance and there were over 50 expert witnesses on the waiting list.

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 Your Expert Witness Issue 53


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Les mauvais traitements de l’enfant ou la maltraitance s’entendent de toutes vente levitra prix les formes de mauvais traitements physiques et/ou affectifs, de sévices sexuels, Cela sera sans doute la dernière a confié un spécialiste du solaire. Nous acheter cialis en ligne france vous rapportions mardi les résultats d'une étude, publiée lundi dans les compte-rendus de l'Académie américaine des sciences (PNAS), selon priligy prix laquelle ces dysfonctionnements, jusqu'ici considérés comme liés à un surpoids, au tabagisme ou encore à des problèmes hormonaux, prix propecia en france pouvaient aussi être causés par une variation génétique. Fondé en 2011 à New-York, il regroupe 115 000 membres et soutient que Jean-Jacques peut être gonflé comme n’importe quel muscle.

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Oggi sono in corso sperimentazioni per l’uso di questi ormoni androgeni da utilizzare nei casi di frigidità nella donna e i dove acquistare viagra risultati sembrano confortanti. Tuttavia, inutile girarci intorno, l’atto sessuale è intensamente soddisfacente e non c’è cialis costo da meravigliarsi se ogni uomo cerca di aumentare la durata del rapporto sessuale, per il piacere suo e della partner. Ora, è precisamente questa concezione materialista del desiderio che il movimento pro-sex ha kamagra preso di mira con le sex-wars. Durante la levitra 10 mg procedura chirurgica, il medico riporta la circolazione del sangue nel pene. Il piacere del desiderio è sottile, è una aspettativa.

Conference unites health and legal sectors to improve quality of life for the seriously injured

More than 200 health and legal professionals gathered in Nottingham to celebrate the extraordinary achievements of people who have overcome significant injury and to learn about cutting edge research and developments in the rehabilitation sector.

The ‘Back in the Game’ conference, hosted by the UK’s largest provider of expert witness, assessment and case management services Bush & Company, was held at the Nottingham Belfry Hotel on 6 July, showcasing speakers from the world of sport, prosthetics and law.

Helen Jackson, Managing Director at Bush & Company, explained: “This was a unique opportunity to improve services through knowledge sharing and networking, with so many health and legal professionals all under one roof.

“Though each speaker considered a different element of rehabilitation, the day was built around a theme of understanding and empathy, reminding us that there is a person at the heart of the legal process during claims and settlements, whose relationships and self-esteem will be significantly impacted by a serious injury.

 

“We were all inspired, whether working for the claimant, defendant or under joint instruction to ensure that the process is as supportive as possible during such a distressing time for the individual and their family.”

The delegates heard from a range of professionals who established some key learnings from the day including the environmental, social and psychological impact of rehabilitation.

Consultant Psychologist, Jonathan Katz, spoke about regaining a sense of self through para-sport, whilst balancing this with the need to ensure a ‘one size fits all’ approach is not assumed. He said: “Though para-sport can provide a focus and purpose, not all people with a disability are looking to become elite athletes and can feel inadequate if these opportunities are pushed, especially if prematurely, as part of their rehabilitation. Some people just want to be able to undertake activities of normal life, such as taking their children to school – that is what helps them to rebuild their self-esteem.”

Offering a parent’s perspective, Claire Wood spoke about embarking on a legal process, following her son’s diagnosis of Athetoid Cerebral Palsy after a traumatic birth. Claire said: "The outcome is life-changing but the process can be traumatic for families. We are grateful we had a good team around us and I cannot stress enough that attitude of the solicitors, experts and case managers towards the family supporting the child is very important, as well as acknowledging the impact of 'deficit model' language used in report writing, on the family and the whole network around the child.”

The delegates also heard from Physio Function’s Neurological Physiotherapist Taher Dhuliawala, about advancements in exoskeletons used for rehabilitation, as well as Scott Richardson, Business Development Manager at Pace Rehabilitation. Scott, a leg amputee himself, demonstrated some of the latest developments in prosthetic technology, including microprocessor controlled components and osseointegration, and the impact they have on amputees and their day to day living.

Scott, said: “It may sound a strange thing to say, but it’s actually a good time to be an amputee. Prosthetic technology is continually advancing, offering the potential for increased function.” He continued, “It would be fair to say that when the bar gets raised technologically it does so financially too, so I appreciate the pressure on case managers to secure appropriate prosthetic provision that will give their client a better quality of life.”

Taher Dhuliawala, added: “Exoskeletons are currently very expensive devices but can help avoid many of the complications of wheelchair life and can help with relief for neuropathic pain. However, with advancements in manufacturing process such as 3D printing and actuator (motor) technology, we will hopefully see a time when this type of equipment starts to replace other wheelchairs as a primary means of mobility for people with physical impairments.”

Dr Mike England, Director of the Injured Players Foundation and Medical Director of Community Rugby for the Rugby Football Union gave a review of the key elements from the recently published 5th Concussion in Sport International Consensus Statement. He also spoke about current research into concussion, the RFU RugbySafe player welfare scheme and the challenges of educating the public about this complex condition in a landscape of limited evidence. He said: “While there is agreement on the principle messages, the science of concussion is still pretty incomplete. However, there is emerging evidence to support a move away from complete rest, and early intervention for key persistent symptoms to prevent post-concussion syndrome, plus there is strong evidence to support a multi-disciplinary team approach to rehabilitation in this complex bio-psychosocial condition.”

A highlight of the day was hearing from Matt ‘Hambo’ Hampson, a former English rugby union prop who became a C4/5 tetraplegic after a scrummaging practice accident in 2005. He shared his inspirational, rehabilitation journey and talked about the Matt Hampson Foundation. Matt said: “I stopped thinking ‘why me’ and instead, ‘why not me’. The Foundation encourages people who have been seriously injured through sport to focus on what they can do and not what they can’t.”

The day concluded with a medico-legal debate on the impact of technological advances on a claim. The discussion between solicitor Katherine Lennon from Brethertons, David Johnson partner at Weightmans law firm and Tracey Pike, claims manager at Zurich Insurance Company demonstrated how these developments in technology might influence their approach to the claim.

Bush & Company provides specialist medico-legal and rehabilitation expertise to insurance companies and solicitors, working with people who have sustained serious or catastrophic injuries, Bush & Company acts on referral from the injured person or by instruction from a Claimant or Defendant representative.

For more information about Bush & Company, visit www.bushco.co.uk