In this Gain Capacity Case Study, Victoria was approached by a solicitor who urgently required a capacity assessment for litigation within 10 days. Using the Dunhill v Burgin case as a guide, Victoria conducted a comprehensive assessment of the client’s capacity to litigate. Despite the client’s articulation and vocabulary, she displayed confusion and a lack of understanding and insight into her case. Victoria concluded that the client lacked the capacity to litigate and promptly provided feedback and a detailed report to the solicitor. This allowed the legal team to take appropriate action to protect their client’s interests and ensure a fair legal process. This case study emphasises the importance of timely and thorough capacity assessments in facilitating informed decision-making and effective participation in legal proceedings.
Solution: Victoria arranged to meet with the client to determine her capacity to litigate. The solicitor had noted inconsistencies in the client’s instructions and behavior, which raised concerns about her capacity. Victoria used the Supreme Court’s post-MCA case of Dunhill v Burgin as a guide to assess whether the client had the capacity to conduct the proceedings, give proper instructions, and approve a compromise.
During the assessment, Victoria found the client to be frail and confused about the current issues related to the court case. Despite being articulate with a wide vocabulary, the client lacked insight and understanding of the case. She was also inconsistent with her answers and had difficulty retaining information. Based on the assessment, Victoria concluded that the client lacked the capacity to litigate.
Victoria provided verbal feedback to the solicitor, and the report was delivered within two days of the assessment interview.
Results: Victoria’s timely and thorough assessment provided the solicitor with the information needed to make informed decisions about their client’s ability to conduct litigation. The report allowed the solicitor to take appropriate steps to protect their client’s interests and ensure a fair and just legal process. The solicitor was satisfied with the results and provided positive feedback to Victoria.
Key Takeaways: In this case study, Victoria was contacted by a solicitor who needed an assessment to determine if their client had the capacity to litigate. The report was required within 10 days as they were due back in court within the next 14 days. Victoria arranged to see the client who was experiencing confusion and lacked insight and understanding of the current issues. The assessment concluded that the client lacked the capacity to litigate. Victoria used the relevant case study as a guide to decide whether someone can conduct proceedings and manage the litigation. She provided verbal feedback to the solicitor and he received the report within two days of the assessment interview. This case study highlights the importance of assessing a client’s capacity to litigate in order to ensure they can make informed decisions and participate effectively in legal proceedings.