My second week began with a contract case in the Leicester County Court.
I had read through the papers before and expected a controversial argument on breach and damage.
However, things developed in a way which is quite typical for the English legal system: The barristers started to negotiate the amount of damages on the court floors and eventually the case was settled "last minute", i.e. just before the parties were supposed to enter the courtroom. So, instead of determining which of the party had actually been in breach of the contract, the judge then only had to approve of the agreement to which the parties had come.
Interestingly enough the barrister of the other party originally came from Germany. I found it remarkable that it is actually possible to practice law successfully as a foreigner.
Yesterday I got to observe a case in the Nottingham County Court dealing with a car accident. The parties gave two completely different versions of the event. The claimant's witness who had been his passenger when the accident happened described it in the same way as the former. The defendant's witness surprisingly did not confirm the defendant's statement but introduced a third version of the accident. Therefore, the judge finally decided in favour of the claimant.