SUPERFLUOUS LITIGATION, IN A WRONG FORUM ABOUT NOTHING: WHEN LAWYERS AND EXPERTS COLLUDE Motswai v RAF 2012 SA (GSJ) Case No: 2010/17220
Keywords:burden on the public purse, cost order
The case of Motswai v RAF (2012 SA (GSJ) Case No: 2010/17220, not yet reported) is a clear indication of how lawyers and experts should not act in a case against the Road Accident Fund (RAF). From the facts of the case it is clear that there was no need to institute an action, yet the lawyers proceeded and experts even wrote lengthy opinions on a bruised ankle. The only inference the judge drew from this was that the lawyers (and experts) were only concerned about being paid even if it meant being paid from the funds intended to compensate road accident victims. Satchwell J therefore after analysing all the evidence made a cost order that neither the plaintiff’s nor the defendant’s attorneys should receive any fees at all in respect of this claim or litigation. The expenses incurred in respect of “experts” should not be a burden on the public purse and therefore the attorneys should meet these disbursements de bonis propriis. She further stated that counsel should be paid only on a scale of the Magistrate’s Court and it should not include trial fees.
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