Day 156, week 33: attention deficit disorder

I appeared in front of a District Judge today about whom I had already heard a great deal.  He’s become infamous for playing online bridge during hearings instead of taking notes of the evidence.  I think he still believes that he’s getting away with it since he very carefully guards his computer screen so that no-one can see from any angle.  Little does he know that word has been out for several months now after he mentioned it in passing to another judge whose son is a junior barrister.  One barrister apparently advised appealing a case just to expose his lack of attention but the judge scraped through by claiming that his computer had crashed and the notes with them.

When I saw him in action today, it was clear that either he had some kind of attention deficit disorder or he was up to something other than the hearing.  It seemed the only way to bring his attention back to the case and the points I was making was to add and particularly emphasise the word “bridge” (“building a bridge between the two versions of events”, “bridging the gaps in the evidence”) and other related words (“the trick to understanding the Defendant’s evidence”, “in his bid to win the case”).  After it had caused the judge to jump back into judicial action a few times he eventually gave up on his game and started paying attention.  Which was a shame as it turned out as we lost. 

Maybe I should have just taken my chances.

May 14, 2007 · Tim Kevan · 3 Comments
Posted in: Uncategorized

3 Responses

  1. Fresh - May 15, 2007

    Not unique, I am afraid. Judges have (a) answered mobile telephone calls during cases, (b) perused the internet and (c) one appeared to be booking herself a holiday online.
    Then there are those that seem to suffer from narcolepsy (but that may be my own advocacy skills)

  2. Sarah - May 15, 2007

    Playing cards – sounds like the judge was a bit of a joker!

  3. SM - May 18, 2007

    He should have had enough sense to remain poker faced.