It is estimated that there are over three million people that are injured in an accident each year. This can be at home, in their own car, at work or even outdoors. Most of the time, these accident are someone else’s fault. This leaves the accident victims with the right to claim for compensation. But how should you do you this? What is the process of a personal injury claim? Read on to find out.
Barristers call off walkout after legal aid cuts suspended
Criminal barristers are said to have called off their industrial strike regarding the legal aid payments proposed by the Government. A deal has been reached with the Ministry of Justice, one that agrees for the suspension of pay cuts until the next general election is complete.
The Ministry of Justice reported that it had agreed to defer a number of proposed savings until next summer when they will go under review. The MoJ also said that they are still intending to save £215m from the annual legal aid budget by 2018-19, but for now there won’t be any cuts until after the general election.
Regardless of the deal met between barristers and the MoJ, a planned two day walkout from solicitors and probation officers was still scheduled to take place as they found no difference with the MoJ. The two day walkout took place from the 31st March to 1st April.
Meetings were held between Grayling, the Bar Council, who represents barristers in England and Wales respectively, along with the Criminal Bar Association (CBA) and the Law Society, whom represent solicitors in England and Wales also.
The scheduled review in 2015 is set to take into account reports from Sir Bill Jeffrey on advocacy, Sir Brian Leveson on streamlining the practices in court and a retired judge, Geoffrey Rivilin.
Barristers had previously started to boycott VHCCs as part of the industrial action. The Ministry of Justice and the criminal bar have now both agreed to continue negotiating over such complex fraud cases.
Criminal barristers joined alongside solicitors in two mass walkouts previously, one taking place in January and another earlier last month, something that disrupted cases in magistrates and crown courts across England and Wales.
The basic difference between barristers and solicitors is that a barrister mainly defends people in court and a solicitor mainly performs legal work outside court. There are, however, exceptions.
When people talk about going to see their lawyer, it is usually a solicitor that they will contact. Solicitors can work for a big range of organizations, including commercial or non-commercial law firms, the government and so on. They have specialist knowledge of different areas of the law such as family, immigration and asylum law, civil litigation law and personal injury law.
Most of the time solicitors advise clients, undertake negotiations and draft legal documents. It is primarily a desk job, but does involve travelling to see clients and representing them in court.
Barristers can be distinguished from a solicitor because they wear a wig and gown in court. They work at higher levels of court than solicitors and their main role is to act as advocates in legal hearings, which means they stand in court and plead the case on behalf of their clients in front of a judge. They also have specialist knowledge of the law and so are often called on to give legal advice.
Barristers do not come into contact with the public as much as solicitors. They are given details of a case by a solicitor and then have a certain amount of time to review the evidence and to prepare what they are going to say in court.
Most barristers are self-employed and work in Chambers with other barristers so they can share costs of accommodation and administrators.
And finally – why the wig?
Barristers wear white wigs to provide anonymity, not in the sense of giving a disguise, but disaffection from personal involvement with the case. The white wigs also confer dignity on proceedings of the court.
This is the same thinking as behind many uniforms – for example police, army, nurses – all say “while I am on duty, I put my own feelings aside and represent the law/state/medical system“.