Thursday, October 20, 2005

Digging

As I was in my office in the afternoon today I decided to make some enquiries on a case. My Client had been disqualified from driving in his absence from one Court and had appeared in another for driving whilst disqualified.

My instructions were that my Client knew nothing about the disqualification as he had not received the Court summons for the prosecution that resulted in him being disqualified from driving. In order to find evidence to support his instructions I had suggested that I make enquiries with the Court that disqualified him about the proceedings. My Client thought that this was a good idea, and so did I until I made the phone call.

I spoke with the Court:

Me: Was he disqualified in his absence?
Them: Yes
Me: Was there any correspondence between the Court and my Client?
Them: We sent him notices about the case being adjourned, and then when he was disqualified in his absence we sent him a letter informing him of the disqualification.
Me: So did he ever appear in Court or write to you?
Them: No
Me: So there was no response from my Client?
Them: No, but a friend of his phoned up saying he couldn't attend on one date.
Me: Oh.

At this point I realised that I had uncovered something that possibly went contrary to my Client's instructions. If my Client claimed not to know about the case why did his friend phone the Court? Perhaps I dug too deep? I have now arranged an appointment to see my Client so that he can clarify his instructions.

2 comments:

Lennie Briscoe said...

doh.

Bystander said...

Disqualifying in absence is dear to the hearts of some administrators, being quick and cheap, but it will always be wrong. It has to be unjust to put a citizen at risk of an offence that he is unaware of committing. In addition, disqualification will invalidate insurance. What happens when a driver who does not know that he has been banned has an accident that maims someone? The insurers will walk away if they can. Not just, not fair.