We have had numerous cases in recent months, where the Victorian Supreme Court has not been able to accommodate the case on the day it was due to commence, and the case has then been adjourned over for several months. In one case, the Court adjourned the case from August 2012 until April 2013.
In another case, the Court had given us a priority hearing date as the Plaintiff suffered such a severe psychiatric injury. However even with a priority hearing, the Court could not accommodate us on the day the case was due to commence. Instead that case was adjourned for a further 3 months.
This is very frustrating for the injured person, who has usually waited 15 to 18 months before the case could be heard. It is also adds unnecessary to legal costs, as often barristers and solicitors wait around for several days, to see if the Court is able start the case.
The Court lists several cases to start on any given day - presumably in the hope that many cases settle and that the court can then hear those cases where there has been no settlement. However it seems in the current environment, fewer cases are settling and cases are running longer than estimated. Although this has been a trend we have seen over the last year, the State Government has not appointed additional Supreme Court Judges and increased the Court's resources to allow such cases to be heard in a timely way.
So for the many injured clients we act for, there is no certainty in when their trial will start. It is another frustrating part of the litigation process. Although we pride ourselves at Redlich's Work Injury Lawyers in offering personal and expert legal advice to our clients, this is one delay beyond our control. We hope the Government will commit the necessary resources to avoid this trend continuing.