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Make it easy

This is a generalisation of quite a lot of posts on this site: if you want someone to do something, make it as easy for them as you can. So, for example:

  • If you are negotiating, make the other side lose face as little as possible.
  • If you want information, make your question as clear as you can; and if you have several questions, give them numbers.
  • If you want the tribunal to do something, tell them under what rule they have power to do it, and explain as clearly as you can why they should.
  • If you want the other side and the tribunal to adopt your draft list of issues, provide them with copies at the case management discussion.
  • If you want the other side to agree your chronology, make it neutral – don’t put in events that they say never happened as if it’s agreed that they did.
  • If you want the tribunal to read something, send them a copy of it. (Even if they’ve had it before: if you’re asking for an order, and telling them a story that goes ‘we said this, but the respondent didn’t bother to answer, then we said something else, then the respondent said something else again,’ it’s much easier for the person reading your letter if you have put in copies of all the previous correspondence you say is relevant. That way they don’t have to go rummaging through their file to check if what you’re saying is true.)
  • If you want the tribunal to read a report of a previously decided case, give them a copy with the bits you say are relevant marked.
  • If you want the tribunal to look at a document at the hearing that hasn’t made it into the bundle, come to the hearing with 6 copies of the document, already hole-punched and marked with a proposed page number. (There’s a convention about this: if it’s chronological place in the bundle is between pages 243 and 244 and it is 3 pages long, mark the pages 243a, 243b and 243c.)
  • Those are just examples. It’s essentially the same point as the advice about only fighting the battles you need to fight: on everything else, do whatever will produce the least friction.

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