Retired judge fears changes to personal injury cases will benefit those with ‘deep pockets’


A senior judge retiring after a decade managing the personal injury list said he was concerned that recent and proposed changes in practice would alter the system designed to quickly bring a case to court with a ” scenario-type war of attrition.

And Judge Kevin Cross has warned that the only winners in such a scenario are “battalions with deep pockets.” discovery and written observations can be very helpful in cases where everyone has deep pockets, but he said they can have serious negative effects in ordinary cases.

Judge Cross, who has presided over the Ruth Morrissey and other cervical cancer cases, referred to a case involving a woman whose action included aspects of law, liability, causation and quantum in the weeks following a lawyer’s first visit to court. He said that she had succeeded in moving her case forward thanks to her courage and determination and that of her legal team and also thanks to the cooperation of the defending legal teams in a system of trust.

The scales of justice, he said, must be continually rebalanced and adapted in order to ensure that it regains its balance, for left to its own devices, the scales of justice “will invariably tilt in favor of the interests. acquired and large battalions “.

The judge, who was first called to the bar in 1975, in his retirement speech, paid tribute to his clerk Margaret Mulligan and his advisor Martin McCarthy who had helped keep the injury list rolling. personal during the pandemic.

The tributes to Judge Cross were, due to Covid restrictions, heard by selected representatives of various legal bodies, judges and the judge’s family and were also broadcast via Zoom.

Attorney General Paul Gallagher has said Justice Cross will be remembered for a long time for his judgment in the Ruth Morrissey cervical cancer case and the Russell case which deals with the real rate of return. He said the judge had always been kind, humane and fair and treated everyone who came before him with compassion.

He said the retired judge intended to do a doctorate on Irish lawyer and statesman John Philpot Curran. Tributes were also paid to the Court one of the Four Courts by the Bar Council and the Law Society.


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