Glad I didn’t call it “A bit of LiP”…

Yes, I’m glad I didn’t go with the proposed “A Bit of LiP” as title for what eventually became “Family Courts Without a Lawyer – A Handbook for Litigants in Person“. But notwithstanding that sidestepping of a truly tragic title, sadly the Second Edition will still require a slight adjustment to its’ name since LiPs have now become SRLs. Hey ho. “Family Courts Without a Lawyer – A Handbook for Self-Represented Litigants” here we come….Slowly…

So, the purpose of this short post is to let you know I’m going into editing mode (Danger Will Robinson). This may make me tedious, crotchety, and slack on the blogging front. Unless I’m avoiding editing and using blogging as a neat work avoidance strategy (as I am at this VERY moment).

If you have a copy of the first edition and haven’t already sent me a long list of “fings wot are wrong wiv it” now is the time so to do (those of you who have already troubled to do so need not reapply). Any suggestions, corrections or additions would be gratefully received. No need to point out that I’m going to have to incorporate shared parenting, child arrangements orders and abolish Magistrates describe Magistrates as Judges throughout.





Ad nauseum…

8 thoughts on “Glad I didn’t call it “A bit of LiP”…

  1. Rather more about mediation perhaps? (And how it will still attract public funding…)

    But also more about when mediation isn’t actually suitable, however keen the parties…

  2. Can anyone enlighten me on the rationale behind the change from LiP to SRLs? I’ve never been sure….

  3. Two things: at least with SRLs we won’t have to worry about things like the cab rank rule, although…. What happens if the judge tells you lawyer to help the SRL? Can’t really refuse can you? What if you don’t go all out to help SRL and said SRL thinks you’ve done a half-hearted job, could SRL complain to LeO and/or BSB?

    Second, family lawyers are going to have to up their pro bono game. Will this put them in difficult position vis a vis their own clients and SRLs?

    Good luck with second edition…

    • John I think there is a limit on what the judge can require solicitor / barrister to do in assistance of the other party without an advocate / representative becoming compromised in terms of duty to own client (especially where privately funded). But yes judges can and frequently do request or expect advocates to assist SRLs, and in most cases it makes sense to do so, because ultimately it is to your own clients benefit.
      SRLs can and do complain to anyone and everyone – Judicial Ombudsman, BSB, chambers, LeO, MPs etc.
      Not sure I really understand the pro bono point. There will be a greater need for pro bono work but I’m not sure that there is much more slack in the system – we all already do pro bono work and these cases are draining and time consuming. Every pro bono day is a days less income with which to pay the mortgage. There is a lot more family work being undertaken by the Bar Pro Bono Unit these days, and I’m sure this will rise.
      I’m not sure I understand why doing pro bono work should put us in a difficult position vis a vis paying clients. It’s a matter for each individual if they want to do pro bono work and in which cases. If you are suggesting clients might expect you to do work for them for free too, because its some kind of precedent – then two things : Firstly, we already do pro bono work and it doesn’t seem to cause any kind of expectation gap – we are used to those endless “can I pick your brains for five minutes” 30 minute phonecalls that solicitors make and which you never bill for. Pro bono is part and parcel of the job. Whether that is spending hours doing work that is unrecoverable on a legal aid case or volunteering to continue with a long running case for a client who has run out of funds. Secondly, clients generally understand you have to earn a crust, even if the cost to them is uncomfortable, and requests for you to do something for free except through the proper referral channels (Bar Pro Bono) are few and far between.

      Am I being obtuse??

  4. You may have been made aware of this, but just in case…..
    ALL CAFCASS family court advisors are qualified social workers. We are all registered with the HCPC. Although CAFCASS did employ newly qualified social workers as part of a special scheme to fast-track them into the system, all other F.C.As need to have at least three post-qualifying experience.

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