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Court Supporter

A consultation document has been published, making some suggestions about McKenzie Friends. One of the proposals is that their name be changed to something more meaningful

(I think I have told the story before about how the term McKenzie Friend just arrived out of chance because that was the name of the case where it was first asked for – in fact, as the person who was asking to assist was a Australian pupil barrister called Mr Hangar, it could just as easily have been “Hangar Friend”  – though if you say that aloud, it takes on the murderous imperative sense.     Digression 2 – for similar reasons, it is never advisable to attend Court singing the Smiths song “Panic” where the chorus goes “Hang the DJ, Hang the DJ, Hang the DJ, Hang the DJ”  as Security will probably take you into a dark room and shine lights in your eyes)

The suggestion is “Court supporter”

Whilst that makes sense in terms of “It is a person who supports you in Court”,  it carries the other connotation – as in “West Ham supporter”  being a person who supports and admires and endorses West Ham. There are a few McKenzie Friends who wouldn’t really describe themselves as being a supporter, admirer or endorser of the family Courts.

Anyway, I know some McKenzie Friends read the blog and may be able to share this with others.  [I’m not sure how the authors of the consultation intended to let practicing McKenzie Friends know about it]

 

Here are the details for responses

 

1.6 Consultation responses may be submitted by

email to mckenzie.friends@judiciary.gsi.gov.uk or by post to: McKenzie Friends Consultation, Master of the Rolls’ Private Office, Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London WC2A 2LL.

1.7 The consultation opens on 25th February and closes on 19th May 2016

 

The document itself is here

http://www.familylaw.co.uk/system/froala_assets/documents/447/consultation-paper-mckenzie_friends_feb2016.pdf

 

Sorry if you can’t do PDFs, I’d suggest emailing the address above and asking for a copy in a different format.

Here are the ten questions they pose

Question 1: Do you agree that the term ‘McKenzie Friend’ should be replaced by a term that is more readily understandable and properly reflects the role in question? Please give your reasons for your answer.

Question 2: Do you agree that the term ‘court supporter’ should replace McKenzie Friend? If not, what other term would you suggest? Please give your reasons for your answer.

Question 3: Do you agree that the present Practice Guidance should be replaced with rules of court? Please give your reasons for your answer. Please also give any specific comments on the draft rules in Annex A.

Question 4: Should different approaches to the grant of a right of audience apply in family proceedings and civil proceedings? Please give your reasons for your answer and outline the test that you believe should be applicable. Please also give any specific comments on the draft rules.

Question 5: Do you agree that a standard form notice, signed and verified by both the LiP and McKenzie Friend, should be used to ensure that sufficient information is given to the court regarding a McKenzie Friend? Please give your reasons for your answer.

Question 6: Do you agree that such a notice should contain a Code of Conduct for McKenzie Friends, which the McKenzie Friend should verify that they understand and agree to abide by? Please give your reasons for your answer.

Question 7: Irrespective of whether the Practice Guidance (2010) is to be revised or replaced by rules of court, do you agree that a Plain Language Guide for LIPs and McKenzie Friends be produced? Please give your reasons for your answer.

Question 8: If a Plain Language Guide is produced, do you agree that a non-judicial body with expertise in drafting such Guides should produce it? Please you’re your reasons for your answer.

Question 9: Do you agree that codified rules should contain a prohibition on fee-recovery, either by way of disbursement or other form of remuneration? Please give your reasons for your answer.

Question 10: Are there any other points arising from this consultation on that you would like to put forward for consideration? Please give your reasons for your answer.

 

I thought this bit of suggested legislation was interesting.  (I am really looking forward to seeing how one defines ‘quietly’)

Except where a rule or other enactment provides otherwise, where a hearing is in public a court supporter may assist a litigant. Assistance may, as the litigant requires, take the form of any of the following:

(a) providing moral support;

(b) helping to manage the court documents and other papers;

(c) taking notes of the proceedings;

(d) advising the litigant quietly on—

(i) points of law and procedure;

(ii) issues which the litigant might wish to raise with the court;

(iii) questions which the litigant might wish to ask a witness.

 

If the proceedings are in ‘private’ (i.e a family case), the person needs permission from the Court.

McKenzie Friends may wish to know that although the proposed legislation allows a Court to allow a “Court supporter” to conduct litigation or have rights of audience (the ability to address the Court or put questions to witnesses) the proposal is that this MUST NOT be given where the “Court supporter” is charging for it in any way.

Permission granted under rule 3.23(3) will be withdrawn by the court at any time where the court supporter is receiving, either directly or indirectly, remuneration from the litigant in respect of exercising the right of audience or carrying out the conduct of litigation

 

This bit imposes the same duties on a Court supporter as a on a solicitor

 

Where an individual is authorised to act as a court supporter, that individual in respect of those proceedings is deemed to be an officer of the court and thereby owes such duties to the court as if they were a solicitor.

http://www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/handbook/code/part2/rule5/content.page

O(5.1)

you do not attempt to deceive or knowingly or recklessly mislead the court;

O(5.2)

you are not complicit in another person deceiving or misleading the court;

O(5.3)

you comply with court orders which place obligations on you;

O(5.4)

you do not place yourself in contempt of court;

O(5.5)

where relevant, clients are informed of the circumstances in which your duties to the court outweigh your obligations to your client;

O(5.6)

you comply with your duties to the court;

O(5.7)

you ensure that evidence relating to sensitive issues is not misused;

O(5.8)

you do not make or offer to make payments to witnesses dependent upon their evidence or the outcome of the case.

 

 

The proposed Rules also give the Court the discretion to refuse a particular individual to act as a “Court supporter”

 

(6) Assistance from a court supporter may be prohibited, refused, or withdrawn under rule 3.22(5) where:

(a) such assistance would be or is contrary to the efficient administration of justice; or

(b) the court supporter is an unsuitable person to act in that capacity (whether generally or in the proceedings concerned).

 

The proposed Rules also say that a person subject to Civil Restraint Order (i.e someone who isn’t able to make their own Court applications as a result of having made a number of frivolous or vexatious ones) can’t be a Court Supporter AND that a Court may consider making a Civil Restraint Order against a “Court supporter”

 

1. This Practice direction applies where the court is considering whether to make –

(a) a limited civil restraint order;

(b) an extended civil restraint order; or

(c) a general civil restraint order;

 

against:

(a) a party who has issued claims or made applications which are totally without merit;

or

(b) against a court supporter who has acted in any proceeding or proceedings

(i) in a manner which is contrary to the proper administration of justice;

(ii) for remuneration contrary to any rule or order of the court; or

(iii) sought or exercised a right of audience or a right to conduct litigation on a regular basis.

 

I suspect lots of people will have views on these changes, one way or another*, so if you want to express your view, participate in the consultation.

 

(* for example, some people may consider that the changes are long overdue and level an unequal playing field, whereas some people may consider that the changes are a grudging acceptance that McKenzie Friends are necessary and required as a result of savage cuts but an attempt to starve/scare them out of taking on the role. Your mileage, as the saying goes, may vary. )

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About suesspiciousminds

Law geek, local authority care hack, fascinated by words and quirky information; deeply committed to cheesecake and beer.

40 responses

  1. In Scotland the terms are Lay Assistant for the original McKenzie concept of moral support, helping with papers, taking notes etc.

    There can also be Lay Representatives who can speak on behalf of a party litigant (Scots for LiP)

    Both roles are relatively recently developed so far less prominent than McKenzies in E&W though they are likely to become more numerous.

    • Oh thank you, that’s well worth knowing. I still think it was pretty daft that when we conducted in England and Wales a Family Justice Review, we looked at how things were done in Australia but didn’t look at Scotland at all. In fact, the Scottish system, if it ever crops up in discussions is merely as a bogeyman “Oh, you’d better hit the 26 weeks, or we’ll introduce the SCOTTISH system” – which is appallingly stupid and ill-educated. I suspect that the Scottish system has quite a few things to teach us, if we weren’t so sneery and ignorant about it.

      • Actually the Norgrovites did visit Scotland a couple of times but I guess weren’t impressed. It would be great to accept praise for the Scottish system but it isn’t transcendently superior. The Justice Committee of the Scottish Parliament has begun a ‘post legislative scrutiny’ of the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006. My hunch is that they may recommend a broad review of family law to its successor after the May election.

      • Working in the post Norgrove system, it is quite hard to imagine anything else being inferior to it… [Though to be fair, Norgrove didn’t recommend cutting services and funding and taking huge chunks of legal representation out of the system, so I don’t blame him for it]

  2. ashamedtobebritish

    All in all it seems like a good idea, with the questions seemingly identifying the main of the real problems faced.

    The cynical side of me feels it’s an excuse to deny a basic art 6 due to no legal aid when one has an alternative of a MKF – there’s simple not enough to go round, they don’t have an automatic right to speak on behalf of very nervous parents, and of course, the courts have to remember, we are NOT trained lawyers.

    On an end note, it doesn’t matter what you call a MKF, they are what they are

    • I think the plain English guide is a really good idea. Especially if they get someone who is NOT a Judge or a lawyer to help with the construction, so that it genuinely is plain English and not just a lawyer’s idea of it…

      • ashamedtobebritish

        Agreed, as long as the ‘guide’ does not become the ‘rule’, like I say, we’re not trained lawyers

  3. A McKENZIE friend should surely have the same rights of audience as a solicitor (especially if acting free of charge!)and the same rules of conduct.Before the Children Act 1989 any person could apply for a care order to be discharged and could call parents and children of suitable age to be witnesses.I did this many times in the sixties and never lost a case because at that time the magistrates seemed if anything biased in favour of distressed parents ! How times have changed with hostile and prejudiced judges and parents unable to nominate a better educated friend to speak on their behalf !

    • Ian, I think you absolutely should respond to the consultation. This is a chance to be heard, and you should take it.

      • Trouble is Andrew I believe that any declared litigant in person should also have the right to nominate a third person/friend to represent them and present their case providing that these services are provided free of charge( but with reasonable expenses reimbursed.)
        All 10 questions then become irrelevant so is it worth replying to them in these terms?

      • Those are your views, and a consultation that hears a range of views might be better able to reach a balanced conclusion.

  4. Proof walls have ears.

    This has been topic for debate just this week and one which we will be discussing further at our ACE! CP Conference in June.

    For those of the oldie type MKF’s like me will remember when former Family President Sir Mark Potter was the first to issue such guidance for MKF’s in 2008 [can still be found on google] it was just what was needed at the time, a lot of courts were becoming self aware of the Litigant In Person appearing more in Family Proceedings than they had seen during Civil Proceedings.

    The Guidance by Sir Mark Potter was specifically produced to assist the courts to this “Phenomena” it was the sort of guidance where it did just what it said on the tin.

    Prior to that in 2006 I was in Sheffield County Court and court staff and a Judge had not heard of MKF’s or what the craic was all about, it was something of an educating experience I can tell you, spent the entire day trawling the court library and frantic phone calls to the Judiciary trying to make A plus B equal C, eventually it was resolved, it was my first real alarm of the potential issues that could be borne by lack of an understanding for the do’s and don’ts for MKF’s generally.

    Given there were no specific rules or guidance for MKF’s it was somewhat a lot easier to deal with back then, there wasn’t a plethora of documents which is now required i.e application CV and so forth, while I welcome those sorts of minuscule issues to deal with I feel that if we are going to have another set of rules and procedures, even a potential new name [about time] we have to make sure we understand the wider picture and not just throw out guidance following consultation in a ad hoc manor.

    There has been many potential problems facing LiPs and MKF’s that seem to take the focus away for the actual issues the LIP is facing with their court processes, there has and always be the concern of rogue MKF’s simply being renegade and having their own agenda’s that can be potentially damaging for the LIP, how does a LIP know the MKF is a renegade? It is not fair on the LIP to find the issues about the MKF midway through proceedings which can have real damming effect on their proceedings.

    This link is to the round table consultation report into Fee Charging MKF’s in 2014, if I remember rightly Mr Sues has blogged about it at the time.

    http://www.legalservicesconsumerpanel.org.uk/publications/research_and_reports/documents/2014%2004%2017%20MKF_Final.pdf

    In 2010 Sir Nicolas Wall produced the standard guidance we use now which although I have always been a little uneasy with the contents (contractual issues between Lip and MKF) it seemed then that the new guidance was the catalyst that spawned many small MKF enterprises to spring up, many former Lawyers and Barristers found that why not go down the MKF route and save on a lot of the humdrum they had to face being a Solicitor or Barrister, between 2010 and now it has quite literally become a free for all.

    Given that we now see a lot of these MKF companies set up it seems the role of the MKF has changed for the worse rather than its original intentions, soon as money changes hands with people whom may not be qualified to do so will inevitably cause issues.

    As we see even today the pitfalls for some MKF’s acting outside what the guidance permits can be a costly affair, I will not go into too much detail on that particular issue suffice to say JR’s take no prisoners no matter the hat you wear.

    Even in 2016 I still feel there is a long way to go yet with MKF’s I don’t generally face any issues like most MKF’s do, however, there can be the odd occasion that being an MKF has inherent restrictions that if common sense was used it would make for a smother journey.

    For example many Judges allow me to email all parties generally however there is the odd one Judge whom may not like the idea, the person wants to be LIP through choice they have to deal with every aspect themselves, I feel in that sense it is counter productive especially if the LiP uses language of the colourful persuasion, there could be a simpler solution which could take a couple of lines on an email however more often than not when a LiP is in an email exchange it can be relentless and misses the point entirely the initial email should have addressed.

    A few MKF’s will know that the Lip and MKF issues is not just a problem for our shores, its something in fact is quite global, it has been an issue since god was a toddler.

    For those who like to see how foreign shores deal with these issues, and, if you want to read another consultation process that took place in 2013 in the US with the Bar Council of New York then have a read, [Mr Sues ones looking at you]

    http://www2.nycbar.org/pdf/report/uploads/20072450-RolesforNonlawyerPractitioners.pdf

    The England and Wales way made an appearance at page 21, I do like the New York Bar’s take on our process, I am also more keen to follow the LLLT approach the Wahsington Supreme Court has taken with this whole juggernaut, LLLT simply stands for Limited Licensed Legal Technicians, although something I would be an advocate for over on our own shores, LLLT maybe somewhat confusing.

    ” B. “Limited License Legal Technicians”
    In July 2012, the Supreme Court of Washington adopted a “Limited Practice Rule for
    Limited License Legal Technicians.”97
    The Rule establishes a regime under which legal
    technicians will be licensed to provide services in specific practice areas, to be defined by further
    regulation. If a client‟s legal problem does not fall within an authorized practice area, the legal
    technician must decline the engagement and advise the client to seek the assistance of a lawyer.
    The Rule does not allow legal technicians to represent clients in court proceedings or out-of court negotiations. In authorized practice areas, legal technicians will be allowed to undertake the following tasks:

    obtain relevant information and explain its relevance to the client;
    inform the client of applicable procedures, including deadlines, documents
    that must be filed, and the anticipated course of legal proceedings;
    inform the client of applicable procedures for proper service of process
    and the filing of legal documents;
    provide the client with certain approved materials that contain relevant
    information about legal requirements, case law relevant to the client‟s
    claim, and venue and jurisdictional requirements;
    review documents or exhibits that the client has received from the
    opposing side, and explain them to the client;
    select and complete forms that have been approved by certain specified
    authorities, and advise the client of their significance;
    perform legal research and draft “legal letters” and other documents
    (beyond the forms noted immediately above), if the work is reviewed and
    approved by a Washington lawyer;
    advise the client as to other documents that may be necessary to the case
    (such as exhibits, witness declarations, or party declarations) and explain
    how they may affect the case;
    assist the client in obtaining necessary documents such as birth, marriage,
    or death certificates.98
    The Rule holds legal technicians to the standard of care of a Washington lawyer, and
    extends to legal technicians the attorney-client privilege and the fiduciary duties of a lawyer.
    The Rule also specifies essential terms of the legal technician‟s contract with a client. Before
    any services are performed for a fee, both parties must sign a written contract that includes these
    provisions:

    In my previous life and when I was a good boy some readers may know I used to run pubs for a living, in order to sell alcohol one had to be licensed, and yes, we even had Interim periods for that too, Interim licenses were issued by the Mags when a landlord just took over a pub, in order to obtain an IL one had to be checked by the police first, now that wasn’t a computer search or phone call check it was also physical face to face meeting, one I welcomed, then we took our £10 and went to see the Mags for our license, in the Dock, cross X and all I tell you, if in the interim period there were no issues and you kept your head above the parapet you would then be granted the full license,

    Sadly that way soon changed and the responsibility lay at the doors of the Local Authorities, with an extortionate increase in fees I should add too, however, the way it works is you now have a personal licence and one for the actual premises, the personal licence lasts ten years and remains with you no matter the Local Authority who issued it, you still have the police checks, and a good look in your closet but the principles of the previous way are lost when a Mags issued the licences, I dunno maybe I am too much of a stickler for tradition.

    This could be way in which we can address the rogue MKF’s however, that should only be the way for professional MKF’s and those who have set up these enterprises whom make a living from them.

    I’d hate to work out how many Career Development Points [CPD’s] I would have accumulated in 10yrs 6 months of being an MKF if we were entitled to claim them, rough guess it would be in the tens of thousands, again, maybe it is something to look at while developing the “New” guidance or rules the JEB are consulting on.

    I will be pursuing those sort of ideas within this current JEB consultation, hey its probably my 5th or 6th such adventure regarding MKF’s in as many years, lets hope this one tackles the real issues and not just resort to the usual rhetoric like we have seen with the court closure consultation where 86 out of 91 courts have been sent out to pasture!

    I do not want to see the whole ethos lost that changes the reasons and MKF process is there to achieve, we do need guidance for the professionals and we do need to find a way to be check-able for Lips for their protection overall.

    I still feel that the MKF process should be as it was laid out in 1970’s and that Lips still have the right to bring in family members if they need the support, guidance or rules could restrict this very nature, we tend to forget about that bit, it has become too professional of late, which is welcomed by me personally but having that has made it lose its original intention.

    • I was pondering about a scheme which allowed a McK F to charge for services in a specialised area of law by taking an exam on that particular subject (and probably another on general legal principles – case law and precedent, standard of proof, burden of proof) and the New York City thing seems quite similar. I do chat fairly often with McK F’s through this site and social media who have very clear and strong grasp of legal principles and are very up to speed on law. I would not want to lose the good quality ones (though something needs to be done about the really dangerous one or two)

      • When I was in the pub trade I had to pass a Bar Exam metaphorically speaking [it was more than just pulling pints, the law, practice, policies and so forth had to be known by licensees], I think there is a positive emphasis of idea like that rather than giving undertakings at each hearing, signing declarations or similar,

        I know that in some courts they have their own local guidance on MKF’s some simply leave you to deal with the Judge, others make you fill out forms on each hearing,[even if you were just there yesterday] given that the approval of the judge from the outset of the proceedings is not enough for some courts, once permitted to be an MKF as the current guidance stipulates the matter should not be revisited save for serious issues.

        On the point of the rogues, I commented on another blog in another place that while legal representatives for the other parties are quite restricted in their objections for an MKF to assist, there is nothing stopping an objection being raised to the Judge from any party if the MKF is seen to be doing more harm than good, obviously not referring to the advice they may be giving out the behaviors of the MKF can and should be stopped at any point during the proceedings, Judges can give warnings, they often do when I am up against another MKF.

        Given that in some Family Law matters, specifically private matters where you could have a different judge at ever hearing, would we see applications cv’s and so forth being submitted at each individual stage, surely that would defeat the bundle 350’s!

      • This is an excellent idea Suespicious minds. However, i’d like to see court exams or some sort of system applied to EVERYONE that charges for legal services. At the moment it’s possible for a solicitor or barrister to have a right of audience when there’s no guarantee that they have ever covered a particular aspect of law in their legal education. Consumers are badly protected in this respect. At the moment it is possible for a solicitor or barrister to roll up in the family court without ever having been in an adult relationship let alone having studied a module in family law for an LLB, legal practice course or a bar exam.

    • I do worry about McKenzie Friends such as Jerry Lonsdale who ‘still’ do not understand the guidance/Legal Services Act 2007 and what is expected of McKenzie Friends.

      At least most professional McKenzie Friends usually understand these requirements and do not try to circumvent, just because they feel it should be something different:

      1.
      Emailing all parties on behalf of your client, it’s a basic, don’t do it.

      2.
      Just because you were in the same Court yesterday with a case, does not waive the requirement to obtain permission in other proceedings to assist as a McKenzie Friend.

      3.
      McKenzie Friends do not give Undertakings.

      4.
      If a different Judge at a hearing, then it makes sense to provide your relevant CV as a McKenzie Friend, it makes it easy for the Judge and your client.

      Seriously some people who ramble on using 50 words when 5 will do, should remain in the pub.

      Here’s some help:

      http://thecustodyminefield.com/mckenzie-friend-quiz/

      http://www.jaynewilletts.co.uk/documents/july_august_2010.pdf

      • I see your point and there is no need to be flippant, I only raise these issues as I see them, it is not necessary to circumvent any rules or procedures, I simply show from my own experience.

        1.The courts permit me to email which most often includes the Judge, and, forms part of the early discussions when MKF’s matters are dealt with, I don’t unless agreed by the courts!

        2. At every hearing with the same LIP is what I am getting at with that issue, its more about housekeeping, it serves no purpose to deal with an MKF matter at each hearing, surely you can see the point in that I raise.

        3.I have been in many cases [mainly private] where MKF’s have been made to give and sign undertakings, the most recent actually was in regards to your No. 1 the MKF was constantly emailing other parties when there was no need and despite being asked by the Judge to refrain the MKF disregarded that, I add that it is the Judges court room and they can do anything under their own motion if they feel it necessary and within the efficient administration of justice which could include undertakings, I was specifically raising it as a point of concern and not suggesting it to be normal practice.

        4. There should be in the court bundle the first application by LIP and CV of MKF for the permission for an MKF to assist, surely there is no real need to issue further, given costs, time and bundle capacity, generally if judges change, especially at the drop of a hat then a short discussion can be had between LIP new Judge and MKF. given that the CV and Application would already be in the bundle, which is often how I deal with it if and when it happens, also I would add that previously it was noted that once an MKF had been permitted to assist the LIP it was not necessary for other Judges to deal with the same matter again,

        “A favorable decision by the court, allowing the assistance of a MF, should be regarded as final and not as something which another party can ask the court to revisit later, save on the ground of misconduct by the MF or on the ground that the MF’s continuing presence will impede the efficient administration of justice”

        My position of MKF does not specifically deal with the Courts, if I am for example in public proceedings I am there for the whole duration of the proceedings and attend matters outside of the court arena as well, like L.A.C, CP meetings et al, the same applies if I am in Civil or Tribunal matters, I am also more often than not asked by the Judges to convene meetings between the parties when the relationship between them is rocky, you should understand that MKF’s are also permitted to attend Advocates meetings and telephone case conferences, just because I am an MKF and follow guidance within the courts it is not the same outside the court arena, unless the matter is specific to a court issue, it is not more about making the process for LIP’s and others is as smooth as possible without hurdles that don’t necessarily need to be there.

        I agree, I do waffle on, but hey we all have our faults and no one is perfect, blah blah blah!

    • More waffle from you, plus your English and grammar are diabolical!

      No wonder you are not able to ask for fees, with the lack of ability you display.

      1.
      “The courts permit me to email which most often includes the Judge”

      Seriously poor, it is ‘ONLY’ the Judge who can give you permission.

      Courts (judges) don’t agree with you, they make directions and orders.

      McKenzie Friend matters for the experienced should be a tiny part of a hearing, not an opportunity for you to blow your trumpet and massage your ego.

      There is no need for you to email other parties on behalf of your client. Your client can email after taking your advice if necessary. If they don’t have email, then communication can be by letter. You are putting your client at risk (and yourself), by emailing on their behalf, even with the Courts permission.

      It simply is not necessary.

      2.
      Because you are unable to be clear about what you are trying to say in your posts, you have to compensate by waffling on.

      Look back at what you said initially and how now you are trying to clarify what were stupid comments to start with.

      3.
      This is more gobbledegook!

      No. 1?

      If a McKenzie Friend was emailing other parties on behalf of their client without permission of the Court, then they are breaking the law.

      McKenzie Friends do ‘not’ make Undertakings to the Court.

      They are ‘not’ parties to proceedings, they are assisting only.

      Do you actually understand what an Undertaking is?

      The rest is more waffle!

      4.
      The gobbledegook is getting worse!

      You do not need to ‘issue’ anything, you simply supply a CV to the Usher before the hearing when a different Judge is taking the hearing. Hardly difficult, and it saves your client, you and the Judge time, importantly keeping the Judge happy.

      It seems to me that you enjoy waffling on in Court about yourself as a McKenzie Friend as much as you do on here and elsewhere, not great for your client.

      5.
      “My position of MKF does not specifically deal with the Courts……”

      What! What on earth are you doing then if you are not in Court as a McKenzie Friend?

      As for meetings outside of the Courts, well you are ‘not’ acting as a McKenzie Friend then are you? Clue, look at the definition of a McKenzie Friend.

      The rest of your Paragraph is more of your trademark waffle.

      Seriously, no wonder you are unable to charge Fees. Looking at your posts, your contributions are confused and unhelpful to say the least.

      No wonder the Judiciary are looking at getting some basic standards in place for McKenzie Friends, as it is clear some are struggling to reach even these basics.

      • Oh do behave, seems you have a personal beef with me, I don’t know you and like wise you don’t know me, waffle, waffle, waffle

      • ashamedtobebritish

        YOU are incredibly rude, Jerry is an incredible MKF, dedicated, selfless, to the point he makes himself ill.
        On top of that he is an extremely good friend and a generally nice person, always a true gentleman, he could charge the earth, but chooses not to.

      • ashamedtobebritish –

        Jerry’s knowledge and abilities are limited as his posts demonstrate. Clearly he could not draft a persuasive Position Statement or Skeleton Argument to save his life, with his limited understanding of the courts and the English language.

        He might be a lovely guy, but so is my Pub Landlord but I would not rely on him when it came to my children and the family courts.

      • ashamedtobebritish

        You are wrong, I work very closely with him, he’s very good at what he does.
        I do not want to enter into anymore conversation with you

      • “Oh No, they Killed Kenny – B******S!”

        “Jerry’s knowledge and abilities are limited as his posts demonstrate. Clearly he could not draft a persuasive Position Statement or Skeleton Argument to save his life, with his limited understanding of the courts and the English language.

        He might be a lovely guy, but so is my Pub Landlord but I would not rely on him when it came to my children and the family courts”.

        Now that is getting personal Kenny!, yes I gave up writing SKA’s and PS’s on the back of fag packets years ago, they were a bugger to try and squeeze into a bundle.

        How on earth can you possibly know what my SKA’s and Position Statements are like without personally knowing me!

        *Sigh* there’s always one!

      • Wistilia – When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.

    • If I don’t know you, then it could hardly be a personal beef.

      I’m simply pointing out that you do ‘not’ have the required knowledge and ability, to provide any useful insight into professional McKenzie Friends.

      Best to stick with the waffling my friend.

    • Jerry,

      Your posts here and elsewhere, demonstrate your lack of understanding of the Courts and the English language. Enough said!

      I will leave you to continue your ‘bulls*** baffles brains’ tripe; that the desperate, gullible & naive fall for.

      The best of British luck to your clients, they will need it.

      • Erm, Thanks I think, this has been riveting

      • Not a shed prisoner.

        ‘Mostunable’ do you actually read what you write? Better off sitting in your shed puddling your brain with ‘smoke’ as you clearly have no idea.

      • mostable . i dont like your tone of trying to rubbish a good person such as jerry lonsdale. meny mac friends wouldnt even try the things he has done to help the masses. in all areas of law . oh and i for one have seen docs hes produced alone, meny times. ive also seen him in courts . hes better than the other macs and sols ive seen. ive also witnessed him ask for court forms that the court said didnt exist. only to be proved right. hes more help to the masses in meny areas of goverment procedure than meny charitys. hes one of the free helpers rather than in it for the money.

      • If Jerry L’s numerous comments on here and on other family law sites are anything to go by, he does struggle with the specifics of family law and the courts, to say the least.

        I suppose if he is a good blatherer which he seems to be, plenty of users of the family courts will be fooled by his babble unfortunately.

        If you can’t get the specifics right, then blathering away might make you and your client feel good, but will have little or no effect (and sometimes a counter-productive effect) on the outcome for your client.

  5. The Scots are far behind England & Wales regarding ‘Court Supporters’….

    They were very late to the party, also they are far more susceptible to pressure from the vested interests who do not want any real change.

    Why on earth anyone is looking at the backward Scottish system is beyond me.

    • ashamedtobebritish

      Couldn’t agree more, the Scottish system as a whole is awful and impossible to break through

  6. Adobe sell a relatively cheap programme to convert PDFs to Word & googling will reveal some free programmes.

  7. iv never allowed myself to be branded a MKF i always have done and still go by mitigation advisor because basically thats all we do mitigate the bs that is being posed in court.

    i dont think it addresses the main issues we face though dependant on which LA’s we are facing depends on what access we get to important meetings information presented etc etc

    we should be treated to have the same access to all information like a paid legal team would have failure to do so still isnt recognised as a ECHR 6 breach which is ridiculous in my opinion we seem to be the end of the line for parents we go above and beyond what normal legal teams do providing more emotional support and legal advice than they do yet are not recognised for doing so despite we do it for free 99% of the time

    i dont see why legal aid cant have a recognised list of MKF’s that acceptably enters into a contract of expected behaviours n expectations and we get paid directly from that at a reduced rate ending much difficulties on all sides

    stella x

  8. This is a bit frustrating !!

    —–Original Message—–
    From: Mail Delivery Subsystem [mailto:MAILER-DAEMON@smtp1.gf-net.com]
    Sent: vendredi 26 février 2016 20:13
    To: ian@monaco.mc
    Subject: Warning: could not send message for past 4 hours

    **********************************************
    ** THIS IS A WARNING MESSAGE ONLY **
    ** YOU DO NOT NEED TO RESEND YOUR MESSAGE **
    **********************************************

    The original message was received at Fri, 26 Feb 2016 15:47:21 +0100 from ANice-152-1-37-172.w86-193.abo.wanadoo.fr [86.193.28.172]

    —– Transcript of session follows —– … Deferred: Connection timed out with judiciary.gsi.uk.
    Warning: message still undelivered after 4 hours Will keep trying until message is 5 days old

  9. Sorry for late response.

    Justice for Families will provide a robust response to the draft as part of the consultation. some of which we have no problem with, some of which we are thinking about and some of which we do have a problem with.

    As to the term “McKenzie Friend”, it has always been a clumsy term, and I have been known only as Mrs Haines for some time now.

  10. So much for my contribution !!

    The original message was received at Fri, 26 Feb 2016 15:47:21 +0100 from ANice-152-1-37-172.w86-193.abo.wanadoo.fr [86.193.28.172]

    —– The following addresses had permanent fatal errors —–

    —– Transcript of session follows —– … Deferred: Connection timed out with judiciary.gsi.uk.
    Message could not be delivered for 5 days Message will be deleted from queue

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