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Experts, earthquakes lawyers and independence. It's just not cricket.

Lawyers, Experts and winning

Most people think that litigation is some sort of gentile form of cricket, elegant and sporting, but usually it's nasty and brutal. The only things that stop most cases from descending into open warfare are the rules of court.

Not knowing the rules or the way the game is played puts you at a real disadvantage. Your chances of winning a case double when you get a good lawyer to champion your cause. If the amount of money at stake is substantial and you aren’t legally represented you need to ask why - it’s almost a certainty that the other side is.

Once you're lawyered up, the next thing you need is evidence, expert evidence. The court will only accept opinion from an expert. You are not an expert so your opinion is worth exactly nothing under the rules of evidence. Clients often believe that the other side's expert is biased, ignorant and corrupt, so their evidence should be thrown out. On a couple of memorable occasions in my experience, this has turned out to be true. However, attacking an expert's independence usually won't work because the Court starts with the view that all experts are independent, unless proven otherwise. Even if you can prove that an expert is biased, it is unlikely that the Court will completely reject their opinion. This means that rather than simply attacking the other side's evidence, providing your own views, and hoping for the best, you need credible, truly independent, expert evidence to support your case.

Finding the right expert, asking them the right questions, and then using that evidence to further your case is where your lawyer earns their keep. Going into a legal fight without the right evidence or without a lawyer is like turning up to a fire fight with a cricket bat. Chances are you will lose and it will be messy. Litigation isn’t cricket.