Courtroom gimmicks

“Don’t you just hate it when TheBusker pulls his handkerchief trick?” said BusyBody today. “He did it against me yesterday just as I was making my best point to the jury. Started pulling a red spotted handkerchief out of the breast pocket of his suit and it just kept on coming. Must have been at least four feet long. All I could do was watch as the giggling spread from one member of the jury to the next and that was before he then started theatrically blowing his nose with the said giant hanky. It’s just not right that he’s able to distract them like that.”

“And your madly twiddling your glasses around at top speed during an opponent’s summing up isn’t intended to have the same effect?” smiled TheBusker.

“Well, er, at least I’m not trying to be funny,” she replied.

“Not something you could ever be accused of,” said OldSmoothie. “Not deliberately, at least. Personally I think a good dose of pathos beats humour every time.”

“Bathos, more like, in your case,” said UpTights.

“I still like the old trick of getting the other side’s witness to illustrate the accident using a little model of a reckless-looking sports car whilst you get your own client to use a model of a boring and very sensible-looking estate car.”

“My favourite is HeadofChambers’ imaginative use of spelling out words very slowly,” said TheVamp.

“How does that work?” asked TheCreep who was already taking notes on this conversation.

“Well, it changes depending upon whom he’s addressing. So, if, for example, it’s the judge, he’d say that J is for judicious, U for ultimate, D for daring, G for great, naturally and E for excellent. But if he were whispering indiscreetly to an opponent, he might say, for example, that J is instead for jumped-up, U for unctuous, D for dreadful, G for gibberish and E for empty-headed.”

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

October 8, 2013 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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