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Student who sued law school after failing LPC twice fails to overturn vexatious litigant order

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She now wants to become a barrister

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A law graduate who launched a string of legal actions against the Law Society and the University of Law has failed in her bid to have a vexatious litigant order lifted as she seeks to become a barrister.

Paula Douglas commenced legal proceedings 42 times between 1997 and 2000 and another 28 times between 2001 and 2006.

The litigation, most of which had a discrimination theme, took place after the Lancaster University law graduate failed to pass the Legal Practice Course (LPC) on two occasions in the late 1990s.

Bringing County Court actions, employment tribunal claims and applications to apply for judicial review, she was deemed by the courts to be a “vexatious litigant” in both 2001 and 2006.

Fast forward to late last year, and Douglas, 53, found herself before the High Court once again, this time in an attempt to have the vexatious litigant order lifted as an apparently reformed character whose lawyer dream had been reignited. The judgment has just appeared on Baili.

Claiming that she is now a “renewed Christian and no longer has the same drive to litigate”, Douglas wanted the order removed to allow her to pursue a career at the bar.

Having recently become a “further education law teacher”, Douglas claimed the order against her was both “humiliating and restrictive”. Accepting that her behaviour pre-2007 was misconceived, Douglas initially claimed she was being discriminated against for suffering from both dyslexia and dyspraxia. She has since learned she suffers from neither.

The judgment also reveals that Douglas now wishes to either study an LLM at Chester University or — despite having attempted to sue them on a number of occasions — a Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) at the University of Law. But it would appear Douglas’ litigious past has already come back to haunt her, with Lincoln’s Inn refusing her admission as a student member in 2009.

Despite presenting herself as a changed woman, the judgment shows that Douglas’ urge to litigate seems to remain. As late as 2013, she was refused permission to commence judicial review proceedings against Manchester Metropolitan University and the Ministry of Justice.

Opting to dismiss Douglas’ application and maintain the order, Mrs Justice Carr said:

The Applicant’s recent attempts at litigation, right up to last year, demonstrate that her propensity for vexatious litigation remains. I am thus not satisfied that there is a sufficiently clear material change of circumstance, let alone a whole new set of circumstances, to justify discharge or variation of the Order.

Giving the wannabe barrister a glimmer of hope, she continued:

As before, it remains open to the Applicant one day — if the appropriate circumstances exist — to apply again for discharge of the Order. That would be an application carefully to be considered before being made and one that would need to be fully justified on the merits. It is impossible for me to prognose what lies ahead for the Applicant. But if, for example, she ceased from any form of unreasonable litigious activity for perhaps a period of some two or three years, she might be in a position to consider renewing the application that I consider that the Court must currently dismiss.

28 Comments

Anonymous

What a ridiculous individual.

(42)(1)

Anonymous

Litigant in Person bantz …

(4)(1)

Anonymous

How can anyone fail the LPC? You can write your name and the date and walk away with a 60% pass.

(36)(40)

Bazzah

0 – 42.

No chance at the bar with figures like those, or the inability to pass the LPC.

(28)(0)

Kuzka's Mother

I think she needs to find something better to do with her time.

(16)(0)

Lord Lyle

Better watch out. She will sue LC next

(15)(0)

Anonymous

She’s not suing anyone anytime soon; that’s the point of the order. The levels of self delusion that some people demonstrate never cease to amaze me.

(5)(1)

Anonymous

Hello, Paula.

(4)(4)

Anonymous

If she failed the LPC, she should have sat the BPTC, you get that as soon as you pay for it.

(6)(10)

Anonymous

You know its bad when even Aston Villa are mocking her loss percentages.

(14)(0)

Sandman

I wonder what percentage of law schools’ budgets are set aside for defending vexatious claims from disgruntled former students who learnt enough law to be able understand the basics of drafting a statement of claim, but not quite enough to be able to understand the merits of a particular claim.

(6)(1)

Old Provincial Litigator

We’ve all met these bag-ladies during a career on the high street.

Come in with several Tesco bags crammed with reams of haphazard papers and their pet theories of persecution and paranoia.

Usual trick I had to get rid of PDQ was to explain that a solicitor across town, who I hated, was an expert in the area of law and was willing to offer free initial interviews…

(22)(0)

Quality Solicitors

Genius… just genius

(1)(0)

Anonymous

What’s a statement of claim?

(1)(1)

Anonymous

The evil twin of the rare Particulars of Case

(3)(0)

Anonymous

How can she have applied to do the LPC without having already done the GDL? If she already has a qualifying law degree, why is she seeking to do the GDL?

(3)(0)

Anonymous

She’s an idiot

(2)(0)

Anonymous

…and her QLD (or original CPE/GDL) will be long stale by now (7 years from graduation) and so she will need a fresh GDL in order to access the BPTC.

(1)(0)

Not Impressed

She failed the LPC twice in the 90s. She NOW wants to do the GDL so her degree is more than 10 years old. I suspect it has ‘expired’ for the purposes of pursuing the career.

(2)(0)

A bemused member of the Bar

Not an encouraging start to her rehabilitation, interrupting the Court and calling their indication “incredible”:
“LORD JUSTICE ELIAS: No. You can re-apply when you like. We are indicating that we do not think you have any prospect at all any earlier than that. Whether you would succeed at that stage may well depend on what happens between now and then. But there would be – – – – –
THE CLAIMANT: I find that very incredible.
LORD JUSTICE ELIAS: I am sorry about that but that is our judgment.
THE CLAIMANT: Can I get a copy of the judgment?
LORD JUSTICE ELIAS: Yes, you will in due course.”

(6)(0)

Lord

Failed the LPC? Good luck with the BPTC then

(2)(1)

HenryV

This unfortunate lady probably still considers herself a persistent and courageous advocate.
Unfortunately the universities cannot teach ‘insight’.

(2)(0)

BSB

She is definitely fearless!!! (..and hapless..)

(0)(0)

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breaches Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(1)(1)

Anonymous

another failure to add to the list.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

vexatious litigation – another form of authoritarian method to suppress or take away the basic right of citizen to protect their right.

(0)(4)

Anonymous

Hi Paula. Still utterly deluded I see.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

“Douglas initially claimed she was being discriminated against for suffering from both dyslexia and dyspraxia. She has since learned she suffers from neither. ”

What’s the excuse, then?

(0)(0)

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