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What happens at Final Hearing?

Posted by greenmonster 
What happens at Final Hearing?
May 17, 2021 04:37PM
I've a Final Hearing in a few weeks, and wondering how it all works.
S25 statements and open offers have been completed and exchanged.

How does the hearing play out?
Might the judge say that one of us is being daft right from the start? - and thus encourage bringing everything to a quick closure?
Can the other party change their Open Offer at the last minute (or even during the hearing)? Or is it just Without Prejudice offers at this stage now?
Who gives evidence and in what order? And how many rounds of evidence?
Do they always take as long as they are scheduled for? - or is the scheduled duration more of a back-stop, and it might all be done and dusted in half the time?
How forensic are judges, or do they tend to be more high-level?
To what extent are the Open Offers generally taken into account for a judge deciding a settlement, or do judges tend to make up their own view?
If things have got this far, how likely is it that the other party will want to settle at the last minute?

Re: What happens at Final Hearing?
May 17, 2021 06:14PM
>>How does the hearing play out?

How can anyone answer that except with generalities. The Applicant opens the case and is then called to give evidence, After that the Respondent can cross examine the Applicant on that evidence. Then the Respondent gives evidence and the Applicant can cross examine. The Respondent makes a closing statement and then the Applicant. After that the judge gives a decision which may be immediate or may be after a greater or lesser interval to give time to think about it.

If Applicant is proposing X during the case and the Respondent is proposing Y then the judge is not going to come up with A but the outcome will very likely be somewhere on the spectrum between X and Y. Of course, one side may have been totally unrealistic. In that case a judge will probably order what the other side proposed during the argument.

Judges prefer cases to settle if at all possible so cases can and do settle at the doors of the court. Having said that, a court will not mess around on the day of the final hearing by giving endless time to negotiate. To settle by agreement on the day of the hearing needs decisive action by both parties.
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