Civil Litigation - What is the Multi Track?
Written by Riyaz Jariwalla on 25 June 2008« Return to Reading Room
Multi-track claims involve court claims and claimants that wish to seek awards that value more than £15,000.00 or court cases that will result in a lengthy trial with considerable amounts of evidence. Multi track cases are typically before the High Court, London. Unlike the standard small claims track cases and fast track cases previous discussed, claimants will find multi track cases far more complex. Significant documents will need to be filed and the expected trial will result in more than one day of examination.
After the directions have been established, if the defendant and the claimant have not settled their dispute, they may be called a preliminary hearing if the judge deems it necessary. Typically, a preliminary hearing will consist of both parties receiving special directions from the judge or a judge may feel that the case is not strong enough to be presented in court and they will then strike the case. If the case is not stricken, the case will then proceed to a full hearing.
Multi-track claims can be handled a number of ways and the judge may decide that the case will be heard on the basis of documents alone (paper adjudication); whether the testimony of expert witnesses may be required or allowed, and the judge may determine how much time each solicitor has to argue their case. If a judge does not rule otherwise, the claimant's case will be public, meaning that it is open to the public and members of the public can witness the proceedings as they transpire.
Multi-track cases are resolved as quickly as possible and if the claimant receives a judgment in their favour they are often entitled to court fees, compensation for lost earnings, travelling expenses (within reason), and the cost of expert testimony. Of course, the defendant or claimant can appeal a decision made by the High court, that is if they can prove that something out of the ordinary has occurred. In other words, an appeal will not be considered simply because the claimant or defendant is unhappy with the end result of the case.
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