If you’ve submitted an Employment Tribunal claim form then (if your claim is accepted) the Employment Tribunal may schedule a Case Management Discussion. This is rare in cases which simply involve unfair dismissal or constructive dismissal claims but is still a common occurrence in discrimination claims. If you haven’t dealt with an Employment Tribunal claim before then this can be a little daunting – it’ll generally be the first hearing that you’ll have had to deal with. This post is written with the intention on giving employees and employers some “tips” on how to deal with Case Management Discussions. These tips are:
- Diarise the date and time of the Case Management Discussion (“CMD”)
- Do your research beforehand
- Determine what the issues in your case are
- Try and agree a list of issues with the other side at least a week before the CMD
- Try and agree dates for the directions that the Employment Judge will give with the other side at least a week before the CMD
- Complete the Case Management Agenda
- Write down a list of dates that you’re not available
- “Attend” the Case Management Discussion on time
Diarise the date and time of the Case Management Discussion (“CMD”)
We’ll start off with an obvious (but oddly sometimes overlooked) one – make sure that the date and time of the CMD is in your diary. There’s nothing worse than missing the hearing because you’ve forgotten to put the (correct) date down and a minor error like this can affect the whole of the rest of your case if you intended to ask the Judge (for example) to make an Order for specific disclosure or for particular dates to be agreed for the Hearing.
Do your research beforehand
This can’t be stressed enough. Make sure that you’re up to speed on the points of law that your case is founded upon – whether this is unfair dismissal, constructive dismissal or discrimination. The Judge won’t expect you to be an expert if you’re conducting your own case but he or she will expect a certain degree of knowledge about the case you’re trying to make. If you don’t bother to educate yourself on the law it’ll drag the hearing (and the case) out and you won’t do yourself justice.
Determine what the issues in your case are
Once you’ve done your research then analyse what points of law and facts are going to be disputed by the other side. List these in bullet points.
Try and agree a list of issues with the other side at least a week before the CMD
This is an important step. If you’ve done the research and have got your list then you should try and have a chat with the other side’s solicitor to agree the list of issues. If you’ve done your homework properly then this shows that you’re informed and are going to put up a fight – this may encourage them to offer to settle your case. Apart from anything else, agreeing a list of issues makes life easier for the Employment Judge, which ultimately makes life easier for you.
Try and agree dates for the directions that the Employment Judge will give with the other side at least a week before the CMD
As with the point above, it’s sensible to try and agree dates for the following directions with the other side prior to the Case Management Discussion – that way you can be in control. You should agree dates for the following directions:
- Exchanging lists of disclosure with the other side
- Sending requested disclosure to the other side
- Who the Trial Bundle will be prepared by
- When the Trial Bundle should be prepared by
- Exchange of witness statements
- The Hearing itself
Complete the Case Management Agenda
The Employment Tribunal will normally send you a document called the “Case Management Agenda” (you can also download a copy of the Case Management Agenda here). This lays out in table format what the Judge will cover at the Case Management Discussion. It’s good practice to fill this out.
Write down a list of dates that you’re not available
This is very important – if you fail to do this (properly) then you may have a problem if the Employment Tribunal books a date for the Hearing and you’ve already got an important prior engagement. Make sure that you compile a list of dates that you’re not available and supply it to the Judge.
“Attend” the Case Management Discussion on time
We’ll finish on another relatively obvious point. If the CMD requires your attendance then get to the venue at least 20 minutes before the CMD is supposed to start. If the CMD is a “telephone CMD” then make sure that you dial the specified number at least five minutes before the CMD is supposed to start.
If you don’t think that you’ll be able to deal with the stress of the Case Management Discussion, have prior plans for the day of the CMD or simply want to instruct a professional employment lawyer to undertake your Case Management Discussion representation.
And finally, make sure that you comply with the Case Management Directions!
Redmans Solicitors are London employment lawyers who offer employment law advice to employees and employers. They are unfair dismissal no win no fee solicitors and offer Employment Tribunal no win no fee representation.