PA reporter who knew more about rules than lawyers and judge obtains High Court skeleton arguments

A Press Association reporter successfully argued his right to two barristers to access skeleton arguments in the High Court last week.

Brian Farmer asked barristers representing litigants in the Chancery Division of the High Court for the documents in a case involving two amputee ex-servicemen who worked as extras on films.

Barrister Rebecca Page told Farmer she did not know whether he was entitled to see the argument and would have to check with her clients.

And the defendant's counsel, Will Richmond-Coggan, gave the same response.

The reporter then applied for copies to Judge Patrick McCahill, but he said he was not sure what the rules were.

The judge suggested Farmer might be able to see them at the end of the hearing and said he should return the next morning when everyone had had a chance to check authorities.

Farmer said: "I popped back to [the] office and put together a file of authorities plus a file of cuttings about judges talking about the media's entitlement to skeletons, which included quotes from Neuberger, President of the Supreme Court.

"I took that back to court at the end of the morning session, gave a pack each to the barristers and left a pack for the judge.

"I went returned the following morning ready to have to make my argument – but both barristers said they'd read my pack, checked authorities, and said they accepted that I could have skeletons. Ms Page also said her clients had cleared her to give me the skeleton."

Ex-servicemen Anthony Tomlinson and Olaf Jones, who lost limbs as a result of injuries, had worked as extras on films needing amputees.

They are suing former business partner John Pickup, claiming that they are entitled to shares in a company called Amputees in Action. Pickup disputes their claim.

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