Top Learnings from Donna Patterson
Tribunal cases can be overwhelming, but with the right tools and strategies, you can increase your chances of success. In this blog post, we share three tips from Donna Patterson, a self-representer who won her unfair dismissal and maternity discrimination case at the Tribunal against Morrisons.
Donna’s first tip: get your list of issues right!
A list of issues is essentially the legal framework and structure of your entire case. It lists out all the questions that the Tribunal will have to decide on. It’s important to remember that it is essentially a list of questions, not statements. The point is not to assert your case, but to define what each side is disagreeing about.
Donna’s second tip: you can amend your claim, even at your preliminary hearing!
For Donna, there were two separate ways she could have amended her claim:
- When filling out her Case Management Agenda, there was a space in the form asking about any changes to be made.
- During her preliminary hearing, she emailed the Tribunal asking to amend her claim.
Both options require you to explain why you’d like to make a change. This rationale could include: not knowing something happened, how it impacted you, etc. Although your rationale might be sound, the Tribunal won’t always accept any changes.
Donna’s third tip: use a Timeline to get your story straight!
For Donna, our Timeline was critical. The Timeline allows you to input events and attach evidence to the event. A lot of things happened in her case, with some of her events having more than one piece of evidence!
During a Tribunal, you need to be crystal clear and detailed about what happened, when it happened, who said what, etc., while having evidence to back up your claim. Using a Timeline can help you sort out your entire case and keep you organised.