Archive for February, 2012

Sponsored post: Avoid the imposter syndrome with the ICLR online

The pupils are now preparing for their first days in court which start in April and today they were sharing their worries with the rest of chambers.
“The problem is,” said one, “that I’ll feel like a complete fraud. I mean, people have this image of barristers being all so well-qualified and everything and in actual fact I’ll have absolutely no idea what’s going on at all.”
“I wouldn’t worry about that,” said BusyBody. “OldSmoothie still has no idea what’s going on even after thirty years of practise.”
“To be fair, I still get a little nervous sometimes,” said TheVamp. “Particularly when a really experienced solicitor instructs me and I kind of think that they’d be much better doing it themselves.”
“I think they call it the imposter syndrome,” said TheCreep. “That however good you are objectively, you never quite feel like the real thing in your own head.”
“I think OldSmoothie suffers from the opposite of that,” said UpTights. “That however bad he is objectively, he still seems to come out over-flowing with confidence.”
“Don’t worry,” said TheBusker looking at the pupils. “Everyone has to start somewhere.”
“But what if they ask me how many cases I’ve done?” piped up another.
“I’m ashamed to say that I lied when that happened to me,” said BusyBody. “I wouldn’t recommend it though as it got me into all sorts of trouble with the client.”
“It’s worse when the judge guesses you’re new and starts making fun at your expense,” said Teflon. “Though I imagine it happens less often these days.”
“Oh, I don’t know,” said OldSmoothie. “I still enjoy a spot of pupil-baiting. “I share a points scoring system with a couple of other part-time judges. Getting a stutter is a one point, a blush is two and losing their train of thought three. It goes all the way up to ten with nine points for getting a pupil to break down and beg for help and ten points if it’s in front of their client.”
The pupils now looked absolutely terrified. “Don’t worry,” said TheBusker. “Not all judges are as cruel as him and even for those ones there’s a golden bullet which always wins them around.”
He paused for theatrical effect as the pupils looked ever more desperate for the answer. “What is it?” said one.
“Always take along the ICLR online case reports. Not only does it win over even the most pompous of bullying judges but it also acts as a great comfort blanket.” TheBusker looked at them reassuringly before adding, “So remember, you’ll never feel like an imposter with your ICLR cases at the ready.”
“And whilst you’re at it,” said BusyBody, “you might want to head along to the ICLR’s stand at the National Pupillage Fair this Saturday 3rd March at Lincoln’s Inn and collect your free ‘How to survive pupillage kit’.

February 29, 2012 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
Posted in: ICLR, Sponsored

Book recommendation: ‘Lewis & Buchan: Clinical Negligence’

Written in a clear and concise style, this new 7th edition of this popular and highly respected title has been fully updated to take account of the various important developments in legislation and case law that have occurred since the previous edition. Practical and accessible, it provides practitioners with a structured background to the law. This information is supported by numerous case illustrations, plus a large amount of highly valuable practical guidance on procedure. A ‘must-have’ title for all practitioners specialising in this complex area of the law. Fully revised and updated to include: * causation in negligence, * human rights and clinical negligence, * damages, * expert evidence, * terms of duty of care, * detention under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, * the Mental Capacity Act 2005, and * the NHS Redress Act 2006.

Available from Amazon.co.uk

February 29, 2012 · babybarista · Comments Closed
Posted in: books

The anti-compensation culture

“Where does David Cameron get off having meetings with insurers and then having yet another crack at the compensation culture?” said TheVamp today.

“I know,” said OldSmoothie. “Every time he does it, I suddenly have a vision of my earnings being slashed down to nothing.”

“Thankfully the whole thing is like some sort of slippery fish that they can’t quite seem to grasp a hold of,” said HeadofChambers.

“At least for the moment,” said OldSmoothie.

“That’s not my point at all,” said TheVamp. “It’s that the whole thing seems completely one-sided at present and genuine claimants may well be deterred from seeking compensation.”

“Or worse, that they may even be prevented from claiming,” said TheBusker.

“It’s true. You never hear about anyone claiming the right to a fair trial in personal injury cases,” said BusyBody. “But that’s exactly what the government seems bent on destroying.”

“Oh, get real,” said UpTights. “We all know that fraud’s rife.”

“Though I usually prefer to call it exaggeration in front of the judge,” said TheCreep.

“That might be so,” said BusyBody. “But surely if there’s a problem with fraud the place to start is investment in policing and improving the investigations? Not in diddling with the whole system of justice?”

“It certainly has echoes of the way governments have undermined the right to a fair trial in criminal proceedings in the last few years,” said BusyBody.

“Getting less convictions?” said TheBusker. “Hmm, let’s get rid of the right to silence.”

“Juries being nobbled?” said TheVamp. “Hmm, well, let’s just get rid of the juries then.”

“Getting annoyed about fraudulent claims?” said BusyBody. “Let’s have a go at claims generally and the fraudulent ones should get caught in the net.”

“I have to say, though,” said TheBusker, ” that I love the suggestion that somehow a law could be introduced that treated cases differently if cars were travelling at less than 15mph. Just think of all the money we’d all make appealing that into non-existence. I mean, let’s start with the eggshell skull principle of taking your victim as you find them…”

“Yes, and then there’s the different weights and momentums of cars, lorries, even bicycles.”

“Not to mention the evidential difficulties of proving speed.”

“I do love the fact that the more they try and tackle the compensation culture, the more work they seem to make for us all,” said TheBusker.

“Maybe the idea of reform isn’t so bad after all,” said OldSmoothie, with a smile.

BabyBarista is a fictional account of a junior barrister written by Tim Kevan whose new novel is Law and Peace. For more information and to read past posts visit babybarista.com. Cartoons by Alex Williams, author of 101 Ways to Leave the Law.

February 28, 2012 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: Uncategorized

Monday morning with Alex Williams’ cartoons, 27th February 2012


This cartoon is by Alex Williams who draws the Queen’s Counsel cartoons for The Times and in numerous books including Lawyers Uncovered. He also does the cartoons for BabyBarista and has had two more excellent books published recently: 101 Ways to Leave the Law and 101 Uses for a Useless Banker. He offers almost all of his cartoons for sale at £120 for originals and £40 for copies and they can be obtained from this email info@qccartoon.com.

February 27, 2012 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
Posted in: Uncategorized

Weekend video: ‘Can men and women be just friends?’

February 25, 2012 · babybarista · Comments Closed
Posted in: Uncategorized

Judge not lest yet be judged

If judges are going to start assessing barristers then let’s have barristers assessing them back

“I have to say I’m very much looking forward to the government implementing their plan to have judges assessing criminal advocates,” said OldSmoothie.
“You what?” said TheVamp looking incredulous.
“Yes, ever since I started doing my part-time judging, it’s the criminal barristers in particular that are most jumped-up and irksome. Never seem to know their place. This, at least, might make them a little more respectful.”
“Er, isn’t that exactly why the idea is a bad thing?” said BusyBody. “Barristers need to be fearless in defence of their clients.”
“Fearless? Pah! Paper tigers more like,” said HeadofChambers. “As soon as I start threatening them with a wasted costs order against them personally there’s many a junior barrister in particular who will completely dismount from his or her moral high horse and all of a sudden be quite prepared to do anything I suggest.”
“I find that threatening to report them to their own chambers has just the same effect,” said OldSmoothie.
“And you think adding another weapon to the arsenal of the bully judge is really going to help the cause of justice and a fair trial?” said BusyBody.
“Maybe not,” said OldSmoothie. “But it’s certainly another thing which might help me get the case finished early enough for me to hit the golf course by the afternoon.”
“You know, I think that if they’re going to have judges assessing barristers, then it’s only fair that barristers should in turn get the right to assess judges. Maybe we could even make their pay contingent on getting good marks.”
“I hardly think they’d allow that,” said OldSmoothie. “It would completely undermine the whole principle of the independence of the judiciary.”
“Exactly,” said BusyBody.

BabyBarista is a fictional account of a junior barrister written by Tim Kevan whose new novel is Law and Peace. For more information and to read past posts visit babybarista.com. Cartoons by Alex Williams, author of 101 Ways to Leave the Law.

February 24, 2012 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
Posted in: Uncategorized

Join the big Faberge Egg Hunt with BabyBarista cartoonist Alex Williams!

This week saw the launch in London of the Faberge Egg Hunt – the world’s biggest ever Easter Egg Hunt and BabyBarista cartoonist and top Hollywood animator Alex Williams has designed his very own egg. The event aims to raise funds for two important charities: Action for Children and Elephant Family, inviting tourists, locals and visitors to hunt down the strategically placed giant eggs all over the capital. Alex of course cannot reveal the secret location of his egg, but visitors to London’s South Bank near Hungerford Bridge might be searching in the right area. You can see a pdf map of the South Bank eggs here: And if you really get stuck, there’s a cheat sheet here. And you can even bid on the eggs too! The auction begins online here. Go on…you know that what you really need is a giant Easter egg in your living room!

February 24, 2012 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
Posted in: Uncategorized

Book recommendation: ‘ Personal Injury Schedules: Calculating Damages’

The new edition of this text is your authoritative and up-to-date guide to the assessment of damages and presentation of schedules. This book offers practical, expert guidance helping you accurately to assess the value of a claim and decide on what basis to seek damages. It also provides an up-to-date toolkit for best practice in the presentation of schedules and counter-schedules.

Available from Amazon.co.uk

February 22, 2012 · babybarista · Comments Closed
Posted in: books

Monday morning with Alex Williams’ cartoons, 20th February 2012


This cartoon is by Alex Williams who draws the Queen’s Counsel cartoons for The Times and in numerous books including Lawyers Uncovered. He also does the cartoons for BabyBarista and has had two more excellent books published recently: 101 Ways to Leave the Law and 101 Uses for a Useless Banker. He offers almost all of his cartoons for sale at £120 for originals and £40 for copies and they can be obtained from this email info@qccartoon.com.

February 20, 2012 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
Posted in: Uncategorized

Weekend video: ‘Going Out Out’

February 18, 2012 · babybarista · Comments Closed
Posted in: Uncategorized