Day 236, week 48: JudgeJiggles

I don’t know what it is about being a barrister but it seems to have a peculiar effect on some of their voices.  Quite specifically, many of them seem to go much further back in the throat as soon as they start cross-examining with the TV barrister style line of “I put it to you that…”  The more the weeks and months go by, the more some of their voices go further and further back in their throat, presumably thinking that this is perhaps posher or somehow more professional.  Now by the time they get to about ten years’ call, it’s really hard to tell that their voices were ever any different.  By QC level, it is impossible to believe that their families had not been Suffolk gentry since time immemorial. 

However, they tend not to be the barristers that I’m against and it’s in the younger ones like my opponent today that the truth can be heard.  I even felt a little sorry for him today.  It was as if his voice was breaking all over again with “sarf-Landon” occasionally entering to haunt his otherwise cut-glass west-London submissions.  It’s not the accent which causes the damage.  It’s the fact that the accent won’t let go without a fight and so occasionally jumps in simply to expose and maybe cock a snoop at the absurdity and pretentiousness of it all.

It really started to go wrong for my opponent today as he was cross-examining someone who was clearly proud of their south London roots and my opponent was somewhat naively trying to chummy up to him in order to try and catch him out.  Like a sort of yodel his voice went in and out of different accents as he tried not to get thrown by this.  However, it ended up getting so bad that even the kindly-faced and patient female judge actually started to get the giggles.  It came from a couple of slips from posh to not within the same sentence.  As these slipped out the judge started to look very intently out of the window.  When that obviously wasn’t working she started looking even more intently at her notebook.  Her face was a kind of constipated agony and however unbelievable it was to witness, I think it was fairly obvious to us all that the expression was not one of judicial ruminations or nashing of legal teeth.  No, it was nothing more than a suppression of the giggles.  Plain and simple.  A fully-fledged, colourfully-robed bearer of high office with the judicial giggles.  Or maybe the jiggles? 

Whatever it was, it took her a full couple of minutes to manage to get out the few words which she eventually managed to utter in communicating that she needed a ten minute adjournment in which to “deal with an urgent matter which has just arisen.”

September 4, 2007 · Tim Kevan · 5 Comments
Posted in: Uncategorized

5 Responses

  1. Sarah - September 4, 2007

    I like the word jiggles!

  2. FS - September 4, 2007

    Jolly Good !!

  3. BE - September 4, 2007

    At the risk of niggling, are you sure the judge was nashing rather than nawing?

  4. Dodgy Geezer - September 5, 2007

    Umm…I thought this was not meant to be based on fact?
    I think I was present at this one….

  5. Matt - September 5, 2007

    Personally I’d’ve thought it more likely the judge was gnashing…