I want my day in court!

“My clients’s absolutely crazy,” said one of the younger tenants today. “His case is hopeless and yet he insists on having his day in court.”
“Ah, music to my ears,” said OldSmoothie, “and my accountants for that matter. Sounds like my very favourite sort of client.”
“Matters of high principle in a case where you’re guaranteed to lose,” said HeadofChambers. “All you ever have to do is go along, bluster as loudly and indignantly as possible and then go down in flames.”
“What luxury,” said OldSmoothie. “Absolutely nothing to lose.”
“If only there were more clients with such high-minded ideals,” said HeadofChambers.
“Except that the client ends up being personally liable for all of the trial costs,” said TheVamp.
“I always hate a spoilsport,” said OldSmoothie. “But you’re right. Having your day in court becomes a lot less frequent when the costs are so huge.” He patted his stomach with a look of smug satisfaction.
“The costs or the barristers?” said BusyBody.
“It’s what I miss about those smaller claims where everyone’s backed by an insurance company and the solicitors just shrug and allow the case to proceed, however hopeless,” said OldSmoothie.
“But that’s just made you more sophisticated in encouraging your clients to fight,” said BusyBody. “So if a decent-ish offer comes in, I always know that your advice would be to wind up the client and have them chasing every last penny, even if it did put them at risk on costs.”
“To be fair,” said OldSmoothie, “only those who are privately paying or on legal expenses insurance. No win no fee cases have somewhat scuppered the nothing to lose day in court.”
“My general approach to a decent enough offer,” said TheBusker, “is always to say to the client that in my own view life’s too short to be conducting litigation. I don’t know many clients who in hindsight would have bought the prolonged misery with that bit of extra cash they have only a chance of winning.”
“Yes, get out while you can,” said BusyBody. “Before the likes of OldSmoothie start skilfully winding you up into an irrational rage.”
“Pointing out matters of high moral principle, I think you’ll find,” said OldSmoothie.

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.

November 10, 2012 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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