The pupil strikes back

I felt sorry for my opponent today at least at the start. He’s a tall skinny fresh-faced pupil who looks as if he’d completely topple over if you were even to blow in his direction. Kind of a posh English version of Napoleon Dynamite with the sort of face which looks as if it’s constantly about to burst into tears or what OldSmoothie might describe as “an invitation to treat it to a good punching”.

Worst of all for his calling as a barrister, he can’t even get to the end of a sentence without raising his voice a notch as if to make everything he says a question. Like he’s not sure of whether what he’s saying is correct and so he figures he’ll ask for your reassurance each time. Maybe it’s due to too many OldSmoothies having punched him but whatever the reason you just can’t help but feel sorry for him. So when he introduced himself as “Hello, I’m Giles and I’m representing Mr Jones” I immediately felt the need to reassure him that he was indeed Mr Jones’ barrister with “I’m sure you are”. Given his delicate nature, I also thought I’d call him FraGiles from now on.

Anyway, once into court, he had the bad luck to be in front of a man who has quite justifiably garnered the nickname of JudgeDread of the “I am the law” fame. It really couldn’t have been a worse combination and that was absolutely clear right from the off when FraGiles perked up with:
“Your Honour, I represent the claimant Mr Jones in this small road traffic matter…”

Inevitable his voice rose which was followed by Judge Dread’s eyes also rising to the ceiling whilst his tight lips showed off his impatience. He then looked directly at FraGiles and said,

“Well, are you sure about that? Perhaps you’re in fact for the defendant? Or maybe it isn’t a road traffic matter?”

FraGiles visibly wilted and he replied,
“Yes, you Honour, I’m very sure I represent the claimant and it is a road traffic matter…”

But his voice was still rising as he said it.

“So why are you saying it as if it’s a question. Don’t they even teach you how to speak in Bar School these days?” said JudgeDread, never one to mince his words.

“Your Honour, I certainly didn’t mean it as a question.”

“Well why are you speaking in that ridiculous namby-pamby, mummy’s boy rising little voice of yours then? Go on, let’s see if you can say anything with any degree of confidence at all.”

Then it was as if FraGiles suddenly cracked.

“Your Honour, I am well aware of the impediment in my speech and have spent many years trying to correct it. Your reputation had already preceded you as a bully but even I hadn’t imagined quite how accurate the caricature really was. So Your Honour, let me tell you one thing with absolute confidence. At the end of this hearing I will obtain a transcript of your unseemly little outburst. You will then receive notice from the Office of Judicial Supervision seeking your answer to a formal complaint which will have been made against you. This will then give you the opportunity to reflect on what you have just said at your leisure. In the meantime, I would like to see that my client Mr Jones gets the fair hearing to which he is entitled in our great system of justice.”

Well, I looked at FraGiles in awe as JudgeDread was utterly silenced. Not only that but inevitably after the judge had been put on notice that the case would be scrutinised by the powers that be for fairness he quite unfairly found in favour of FraGiles’ actually pretty hopeless case. Which did make me wonder if it’s a tactic he’s used before…

May 19, 2015 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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