The Fundamentals of District Court Civil Procedure, Drafting and Advocacy Skills

Event Type Law Society Skillnet
Discounted Fee € 750.00
CPD Hours 20 CPD hours including 6 M & PD Skills (by Group Study)
Start Date 30 September 2016 at 2:30 pm
End Date 15 October 2016 at 4:30 pm



The Fundamentals of District Court Civil Procedure, Drafting & Advocacy Skills (Focus on General Tort & Personal Injuries Litigation)

The masterclass will be invaluable to solicitors who are relatively new to these areas of practice but will also provide experienced solicitors with a comprehensive overview and an update on the impact of the 2014 changes in the District Court civil procedures.

Module 1:

The fundamentals of PI Litigation; District Court Civil Procedure and Drafting Skills

Lectures and small group Modules providing an overview of the basic principles of civil liability & the law and procedure on PI claims; the 2014 District Court Rules and procedures; effective drafting of pleadings and interlocutory applications. Presentation and courtroom advocacy skills; overview of the law and rules of evidence in the civil context. 

Module 2:

Preparing for trial and court room advocacy

Building on Module 1 with lectures and small group Modules on District Court practice & procedure; case analysis and the application of the rules of evidence in preparing for trial.  Small group training in advocacy techniques including how to conduct both a direct and a cross-examination of witnesses. The Module will culminate in simulated trials conducted by the course participants as the advocates and actors playing the parties and witnesses. The aim is to encourage and enhance each participant’s trial skills. The trials will be followed by a feedback and learning Module with the ‘judge’.

Speakers include:

Colette Reid, Solicitor, Law Society of Ireland. Colette is a solicitor with ten years’ experience in practice and is the Skills Leader and a Course Manager on the Law Society’s Professional Practice Courses.  Colette’s areas of expertise include Civil Litigation, Civil Advocacy and Medical Law. She also heads the development and co-ordination of skills training and policy development on the Professional Practice Course. Colette holds an MSc in Healthcare Law & Ethics from the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland and diplomas in Arbitration (UCD) and EU Law (LSI). She edited and co-authored the Law Society’s Civil Litigation book (Oxford University Press). In addition to her Professional Practice Course role with trainee solicitors, Colette designs, writes and delivers legal professional training courses including courses for the Skillnet Jobseekers Support Programme and lectures in Civil Litigation, Medical Law, Applied Land Law and Skills. Colette is the secretary to the Litigation Committee.

Suzanne Mullally BL. Suzanne is a practising barrister and co-author of the recently published "Civil Procedure in the District Court” (2nd ed.), Karl Dowling and Suzanne Mullally, Roundhall, 2014. Suzanne’s areas of expertise include personal injury litigation, more particularly public liability claims, motor insurance claims, and employer's liability claims, together with conveyancing and family law. Other publications include  Trial by ambush no more – The District Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2014; Bar Review, Vol  20, Issue 2 (April 2015); and “The Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009: Implications for Family Lawyers”, Irish Journal of Family Law (2010) FLJ 3. 

Cathal Quinn. Cathal is a voice and speech teacher at The Lir, Trinity College.  He also provides presentation skills training for lecturers and senior staff members at Trinity College. Cathal has a Masters in Voice Studies from Central School of Speech and Drama having previously trained as an actor at the Royal Scottish Academy in Glasgow.  He taught at Oxford School of Drama and was the Head of Voice at the Gaiety School of Acting, Dublin, 1998-2012, until he took up his current position at The Lir. Cathal is also a busy voiceover artist with many corporate clients. Cathal’s film credits include Albert Nobbs, Parked, Eden and The Escapist and his TV work includes Love/Hate, Kitchen and Omagh.  He is also the Artistic Director of Mouth on Fire Theatre Company and Guthanna Binne Síoraí.

Professor Shane Kilcommins. Shane is the Head of the School of Law, University of Limerick. He is a graduate of UL (BA in Law and European Studies, 1994) the University of Wales, Aberystwyth (Ph.D 1999), and UCC (MA in Teaching and Learning, 2007). He joined the Law Faculty, UCC in 2001, was made a senior lecturer in 2006, and a professor in 2012. Shane lectures in evidence law, jurisprudence, penology and employment. He was a Visiting Scholar at Temple Law School in 2008/2009. He has co-authored various funded research reports on discrimination, victims of crime and integrative learning. He is an examiner for the Law Society of Ireland and acts as an extern examiner for Trinity College, UCD, DCU, DIT and AIT. He was appointed to the Office of the Inspector of Prisons in May 2013. 

Judge John O’Donnell. Judge O’Donnell was appointed to the bench of the District Court in 1997 and presided over District No.1 until he retired in 2006.  He was appointed to the Criminal Compensation Tribunal in 1995. Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge O’Donnell practiced as a solicitor in his own practice in Mullingar.  He is a regular contributor to the Law Society’s Professional Practice Courses, particularly as a lecturer and tutor in court room advocacy.

Judge Mary Collins. Judge Collins was appointed a District Court Judge in 1996 and sat on the District court Bench in Dublin Metropolitan District (DMD) until 2015. From 2005 to 2015 she presided over the Licensing Court where she implemented a series of innovative and well received practice directionsand produced the Handbook on the Intoxicating Liquor Licensing Laws in Ireland in 2015. During this time she also dealt with the Civil jurisdiction including regulatory matters. She sat on a number of committees as the courts representative including the Drug Court Planning Committee set up in 1999 to develop a Drugs Court supervised treatment programme until its establishment on a permanent basis in 2006 and a multi agency committee on Domestic Violence against Women.She is a former member of the Hepatits C compensation Tribunal. Prior to her appointment to the Bench she was senior partner in the Law Firm Porter Morris from 1978. Mary holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree and Higher Diploma in Education from UCD. She qualified as a barrister in Kings Inns and was called to the Bar in 1975. She completed her legal studies with the Law Society of Ireland and was enrolled as a solicitor in 1978.





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