Data protection hits chambers

Slick announced in chambers today that everyone must have encryption software installed on all laptops and home PCs that we use for work.

“Absolutely ridiculous,” said OldSmoothie. “When we’re all meant to be tightening our belts and watching the pennies and you start suggesting expensive and time-wasting computer add-ons.”

“I think you’ll find it’s the law,” said Slick. “Maybe you’d prefer a fine from the Information Commissioner and a professional conduct complaint instead?”

“Who on earth would be interested in our boring personal injury cases anyway?” said HeadofChambers. “It’s just dry medical reports and employment records. That hardly constitutes the keeping of state secrets.”

“I think you might find that your dearly beloved clients would be at least a little interested in your keeping their private matters, er, private,” said UpTights.

“I once left my papers in a pub the night before court,” said Teflon. “I somehow managed to wing it by asking my client just a few more questions that I usually would. Said that although I’d read the papers thoroughly, I’d like to hear it in his own words. He did admittedly seem a little suspicious.”

“I shudder to think what the Information Commissioner would have made of the flat I shared when I was doing pupillage,” said TheVamp. “A whole bunch of us used to play a variation on poker using my clients’ medical records. For example, a visit for the doctor counted as a two of clubs right up to an embarrassing condition counting as a king of spades. If you landed one of those older medical records where doctors made wry comments or in-jokes about their patient, it counted as a joker. Embarrassment and a joke and you had a full-house in our version.”

Slick ignored the frivolity and continued, “While we’re at it. I assume that everyone who takes work home also has a safe installed in which to store said papers?”

There was a silence.

“Anyone?” added Slick.

Not a single person had any such thing.

“How about my gun cabinet?” asked OldSmoothie.

“I hardly think that would fit all the lever arch files for a big trial,” said Slick.

“So you’re suggesting we need a safe big enough to fit any amount of papers we might be carting home?” said TheCreep. “I’d need to move out of my studio flat if that were the case.”

“Well, the alternative is that you leave all your papers in chambers,” said Slick. “You don’t need a safe for most sorts of papers if you’re working here.”

“Which is more than a little ironic given quite how bad the security is in there. There are papers lying around everywhere and dishonest mendacious thieves coming in for conferences all day,” said BusyBody.

“And that’s just the lawyers,” smiled TheBusker.

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 Cartoons by Alex Williams, author of 101 Ways to Leave the Law.

March 9, 2012 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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