Blustering buffoons

‘One of the great advantages of being a barrister is that it’s almost completely unaccountable to the people who employ you in the first few formative years of practisc.’ It was OldSmoothie lecturing one of the new pupils.

‘Formative in the sense of making mistakes off the backs of others,’ said HeadofChambers.

The pupil looked a little taken aback and BusyBody stepped in to explain.

‘Solicitors, you see, are simply too expensive to be dealing with the smaller level of claims and hence the need to instruct the baby Bar.’ As if that somehow made it better.

‘But the irony of all this,’ said OldSmoothie, ‘is that going down in flames on behalf of a client often causes more gratitude to be fed back to the all-important solicitor than ever a clinically brilliant display of advocacy leading to a victory might bring.’

‘Like you’d know what that is OldSmoothie,’ said UpTights.

He ignored her and continued, ‘Which of course means that the system therefore encourages the success of the over-confident, grandstanding losers in the early years.’

UpTights raised an eyebrow but resisted the temptation to comment.

‘Until that is the cases get bigger,’ said OldSmoothie, ‘and solicitors can justify coming along to watch. It’s only then that they realise quite what monsters they’ve been feeding.’

‘I was against just one of those today as it happens,’ said TheVamp. ‘The problem is that inexperienced counsel come in front of inexperienced district judges and it’s quite literally the blind leading the blind. The more he emphasised his terrible points with “It’s obvious, Sir” the more the district judge seemed to agree with him and whenever he buried his head in his hands muttering ‘Complete rubbish’ the judge simple frowned at me.’

‘Truly a meeting of minds,’ chuckled TheBusker.

‘That might going a little far,’ smiled TheVamp. ‘But a meeting of some sort at least.’

BabyBarista is a fictional account of a junior barrister practising at the English Bar, written by barrister and writer Tim Kevan. For more information and to read posts from the last few years visit Cartoons by Alex Williams, author of 101 Ways to Leave the Law.

September 30, 2014 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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