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Recent Judgments: Key cases in brief

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The failure to present certain evidence in court did not amount to misconduct by solicitors

 Maverley vs Clarke IEHC 232 (High Court, Kearns P,April 20th, 2015) 

The High Court dismisses an appeal from the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal and affirms the finding that there was no prima facie case of misconduct against solicitors who had acted in an action that was dismissed, where the solicitor – on the advice of senior counsel – had removed certain evidence from booklets to be handed into court.

– Mark Tottenham BL

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The Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014

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INTRODUCTION

The Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (SI no 9 of 2014) (The “2014 Regulations”) came into operation on 1 March 2014. The full requirements of the 2014 Regulations apply to those types of development as described below where a commencement notice is filed after 1 March 2014.

The 2014 Regulations apply:

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People we have helped

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The following articles illustrate how the Injuries Board does not always get it right:-

Road Traffic Accident leads to an award of €61,000


Declan a Garda, was injured in a road traffic accident and suffered a severe soft tissue injury to his shoulder and lower back. His case was complicated in that he also suffered psychological trauma. The matter was submitted to the Injuries Board where they assessed his general damages in the sum of €22,500. Declan was unsure whether he should accept the damages awarded to him as he was still had ongoing in his shoulder. However, he was concerned with issuing court proceedings. Having sought our advice Declan decided to issue court proceedings. Within 18 months, his case settled for €61,000.

Road Traffic Accident leads to an award of €100,000

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S117 of the Succession Act 1965

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S117 of the Succession Act 1965

1) Where, on application by or on behalf of a child of a testator, the court is of opinion that the testator has failed in his moral duty to make proper provision for the child in accordance with his means, whether by his will or otherwise, the court may order that such provision shall be made for the child out of the estate as the court thinks just.

[S117 of the Act of 1965 is hereby amended by the insertion of the following subsection after subsection (1)]

a) An application made under this section by virtue of Part V of the Status of Children Act 1987, shall be considered in accordance with subsection (2) irrespective of whether the testator executed his will before or after the commencement of the said Part V.

b) Nothing in paragraph (a) shall be construed as conferring a right to apply under this section in respect of a testator who dies before the commencement of the said Part V.

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Recent Developments in Personal Injury Claims

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In a personal injury action a plaintiff will be entitled to recover for lost earnings and other lost pecuniary benefits that are caused by their injuries.

If the injured person is unable to work because of personal injury, accident or occupational disease, they are likely to qualify for social welfare benefit during the specified period. If you receive compensation, it is likely that the amount of the compensation would include the loss of earnings which you incurred. In the past the amount of the social welfare benefit you received was offset against your loss of earnings, in the case of road traffic accidents and work-related accidents. This offsetting arrangement has now ceased.

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What are Your Rights as a Tenant?

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What is a Tenant?

You are classified as a tenant when you hold the right to use a piece of land or a structure by agreement with the property owner.

As a Tenant, you are entitled to these rights under The Residential Tenancies Act 2004:

  • Quiet and exclusive enjoyment of your home
  • Certain minimum standards of accommodation
  • A rent book
  • The right to contact the landlord or their agent at any reasonable times. You are also entitled to have appropriate contact information such as telephone numbers, email addresses, postal addresses, etc.
  • Your landlord is only allowed to enter your home with your permission. If the landlord needs to carry out repairs or inspect the premises, it should be by prior arrangement, except in an emergency
  • Reimbursement for any repairs that you carry out that are the landlord’s responsibility
  • Have friends to stay overnight or for short periods, unless specifically forbidden in your tenancy agreement. You must tell your landlord if you have an extra person moving in
  • Certain amount of notice of the termination of your tenancy
  • Refer any disputes to the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB) without being penalised for doing so
  • The right to a copy of any register entry held by the PRTB dealing with your tenancy  
  • Since 1 January 2009, all homes for rent must have a Building Energy Rating (BER). A BER will help you make an informed choice when comparing properties to rent.

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New Bankruptcy Laws

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The Minister for Justice signed the new bankruptcy legislation on the 3rd of December 2013 reducing the period of bankruptcy from 12 years to 3 years.

This follows on from the first debt settlement agreement which had been reached and which saw 70% of the unsecured debt written off.

The new legislation will provide an outlet for debtors who cannot reach a debt settlement arrangement with their creditors or where their proposed debt settlement arrangement proposals has been refused.

The first 7 bankruptcy cases came before Mr Justice Brian McGovern on Monday the 9th – 4 were personal applicants and 3 were made bankrupt by a creditor.

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