Plain Guide to Litigation: Preparation for hearings

5. Fair notice

As we have said in discussing the pleadings, it is important to give fair notice to your opponent of all the matters you intend to rely on. If there is a doubt about whether adequate notice has been given, the court may hear the evidence and grant an adjournment to allow the other side time to consider it. Even a fairly short adjournment can lead to lead to waste of expense. Short delays may mean that a case which might otherwise have been heard in one day is forced into a second day.

The aim of all courts is to try to prevent any party using the procedural rules to gain a supposed tactical advantage over the other. We seek to provide a fair opportunity for each side to present their case fully. If parties co-operate, much time and expense can be saved.

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