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A Reminder from the Family Division to Feedback the Outcome of Cases to Experts
Ref: 450

Date: Mon 23 Aug 2021 11:14

As part of the implementation of the recommendations made by President’s working group on experts (it was recorded and will be available on the FCJ website in due course). It was aimed at experts who are thinking about taking on legal work, but was also attended be a number of established expert witnesses. One thing that emerged quite strongly was that expert witnesses want to know what was decided in the case; and how their evidence influenced the outcome, as valuable feedback, and to help them learn and improve. However, they reported that they only rarely hear from the solicitor who instructed them (or anyone else) regarding how the case ended.

As we know, the FPR 2010 r25.19 says we must tell experts the outcome of a case:

(1) Within 10 business days after the final hearing, the party who instructed the expert or, in the case of a single joint expert, the party who was responsible for instructing the expert, must inform the expert in writing about the court’s determination and the use made by the court of the expert’s evidence.

(2) Unless the court directs otherwise, the party who instructed the expert or, in the case of the single joint expert, the party who was responsible for instructing the expert, must send to the expert a copy of the court’s final order, any transcript or written record of the court’s decision, and its reasons for reaching its decision, within 10 business days from the date when the party received the order and any such transcript or record.

A suggestion is that we start to put a direction in the final orders to ensure it happens which in turn will hopefully entice and keep more expert witnesses undertaking work in the family courts.

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