Criminal Litigation by Frances Burton

By Frances Burton

This publication units out the legal litigation procedure in a transparent and logical order,explaining the techniques in a fashion that may be understood through scholars without past wisdom. all of the major facets of felony litigation are coated, together with: an summary of the courts and their jurisdictions; felony relief and the obligation solicitor scheme; velocity and police station technique; bail; mode of trial and committal complaints; precis trial; trial on indictment; sentencing and appeals; and juveniles.

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4 20 Criminal Litigation Note You should not feel embarrassed if you in fact have no such view and you have undertaken no such researches – this is what counsel is paid for and the mark of a good set of Instructions is not whether you have already done counsel’s work, but whether the Instructions are sufficiently comprehensive to enable counsel to do counsel’s work! It is, however, a common misapprehension that counsel will be offended if you express any opinion at all. While a dogmatic approach is naturally unsuitable, the key element of good Instructions is not the solicitor’s view of the matter but the substructure on which counsel’s must be based, and if this substructure includes such researches as led you to decide to instruct counsel in the first place, that will only be helpful in indicating both the train of thought and the historical progress in the case to date.

In the future, when through reform of criminal as well as civil litigation, oral submissions may be significantly restricted, such written advocacy skills will come to be valued even more than they are at present in the preparation of skeleton arguments and grounds of appeal. However, counsel also brings an independent mind to the facts, evidence and law, the first two of which the solicitor will usually have been heavily involved in collating. The work of solicitor and counsel is therefore not duplicated, as the lay client sometimes thinks, but complementary.

Basically, a solicitor-advocate should not appear before any of these in the region where an appointment is held except the Area Legal Aid Committee, where you may act or continue to act for an applicant provided you declare an interest in that case when it comes up for adjudication and you withdraw from that adjudication. However, where adjudication has already taken place, clearly you cannot then accept instructions from that applicant, though a partner or other member of your firm can. 12 Principle: A solicitor should not accept instructions to act as an advocate for a client if it is clear that he or she or a member of his or her firm will be called as a witness on behalf of the client, unless his or her evidence is purely formal.

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