Are witness statements becoming longer, more argumentative and less focussed to what a witness really can reasonably give evidence about?
The courts seem to think so. In the absence of rule changes across the board, there are signs that defaults are increasingly unlikely to be readily tolerated.
Instead judges are now more likely to require the redrafting of inappropriately drafted statements. Adverse costs orders are likely to follow as are perhaps applications for wasted costs. Parties who fail to comply could expect to have to meet applications to strike out. Ultimately in due course litigants who have lost out may cause their (former) solicitors to have to trouble their professional indemnity providers.
All litigators would do well to consider the likely hardening in judicial approaches to witness statement drafting, and the professional negligence practitioner should maintain a wary eye as matters develop as to this issue in the future.