Passing the buck

“I got contacted by a PR agency today,” said OldSmoothie. “They wanted to send me a copy of a new law book. Very kind, I replied, here’s my address. All good so far. Then came a short reply back asking me to sign an attached non-disclosure agreement in order to, er, protect the book before it is published.”

“What? For a law book? As if somehow you’re going to turn into some sort of a law book whistleblower,” said TheVamp.

“Exactly and worse still, for a book for which I’d even written the foreword.”

“Nice.”

“So I opened the shoddily-drafted 26-page document and discovered that if I signed not only would I pretty much be passing over rights in everything I did into the future but also that I wouldn’t even be able to, er, pass wind without seeking their permission.”

“In writing, naturally,” said TheBusker.

“It’s always the same these days,” said HeadofChambers. “No-one’s prepared to take any responsibility. Everybody’s just running scared.”

“Which is a bit rich given that it’s all due to the lawyers in the first place,” said BusyBody.

“He’s right, though,” said UpTights. “Clients go crying to their solicitors at the first sign of any trouble. Solicitors then pass it straight to a barrister as soon as a fight gets anywhere near the horizon. Barristers qualify everything they say and then blame it all on the judge when they lose. As for judges, they just sit back and watch as the case is then sent up ever-higher avenues of appeal. It really is a miracle that anything ever gets done at all.”

“So how did word your response,” asked TheVamp turning back to OldSmoothie.

“I referred her to the reply given on behalf of Private Eye in the case of Arkell v Pressdram.”

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.

June 2, 2013 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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