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A Scott schedule is a special form of pleading that was originally devised by George Alexander Scott, an Official Referee, for use in building disputes. Over the years this has gradually been adapted, in various forms, to other types of litigation. In the area of building disputes, Scott Schedules are used to identify precisely the questions that a judge will have to decide. They are often used in cases where there are complaints of bad workmanship, where the work done is disputed and particularly in deciding how much should be paid to the party who is ordered to rectify the defects.
The idea of a Scott schedule is that it is a travelling document, which passes between the parties to enable one side to set out their arguments (the Claimant) and then the other side to respond (the Defendant). The first step is to separate the complaints being made into the individual items being disputed. This is either the builder complaining that the client has not paid him for work undertaken, or the client complaining that certain work has either not been done according to the contract, or not completed satisfactorily.
A Scott Schedule is a table which is usually set out on A4 paper in landscape format. In the first column after the item number, the Claimant sets out each complaint about the workmanship separately. The Claimant is also expected to identify in the next column how much he says it will cost to put the item right. At a trial, the Claimant will be expected to back up these figures with quotations and estimates. In the next two columns, the Defendant sets out his response to each individual complaint. Even if he denies that he is liable at all, he is expected to give his figure for any remedial work. If he doesn't, and the Judge decides that the Claimant's complaint is right, the Judge will only have the Claimant's figure to work with. It is also important that a proper response is included, rather than just "denied" or "not admitted". If the case then goes to Court the final column(s) in the schedule is used by the judge to set out the decision reached on each item.
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