Chuckled out of court

TheBuskerTheBusker had already wound up TheCreep with his Skeleton Argument and by the time we arrived at court TheCreep was almost jumping up and down with frustration as he tried desperately to find out what TheBusker was going to say. Unfortunately for him the only response he could elicit was a low-pitched chuckle. Once in court, the chuckle continued. Not in a snide way but merely in response to the constant jibes being thrown forth by his opponent. By way of example, TheCreep said: “Your Honour, my learned friend has singularly failed to set out any coherent argument against each of my points and has even failed to do so when I have asked him this morning…” and then when everybody looked at TheBusker for a response his shoulders started rising and falling and he just carried on chuckling to himself like he was privy to some hilarious private joke.

In the end, TheCreep cracked and started to look more and more paranoid about TheBusker’s show of confidence. Then TheBusker made the killer blow by handing him a note saying: “This Judge appeared in the case I referred to in my Skeleton.” When TheCreep read the note his face dropped and he immediately asked for a short adjournment. Once out of court he said to TheBusker, “Why on earth didn’t you tell me that beforehand?”
“It’s in the report for all to see,” replied TheBusker still chuckling, and sure enough when TheCreep studied TheBusker’s copy he found that the judge had indeed appeared and in fact successfully argued against exactly the legal point that TheCreep was now trying to put. To put him out of his misery, TheBusker made an offer that if TheCreep withdrew his appeal he wouldn’t seek his costs thus far. By this point, TheCreep was in a blind panic fearing that he had in fact been negligent in not spotting the significance of the judge’s identity for himself and accepted almost on the spot before The Busker reminded him that perhaps it might be wise to take instructions first.

It was only on the train home and after TheCreep had stropped off in a sulk that TheBusker gave me the full low-down. “You know, things are rarely as they seem. I heard this judge speak at a dinner only a few weeks ago when he described that case as [and he put on a slightly pompous judicial tone] ‘the worst injustice I’ve ever caused in a long career dedicated to causing such injustices’ and he went so far as to say that ‘if such a case ever comes before me on the bench, it’s one of the very few of my wrongs I intend to right’.”

Which has led me to wondering if I can apply the ChuckleBluff to a few of my own cases which are coming up.

November 3, 2015 · Tim Kevan · 2 Comments
Posted in: Uncategorized

2 Responses

  1. Little Miss Lawlessness - November 16, 2009

    I do so enjoy a good case of blind man’s bluff…these are the judicial ironies upon which centuries of anglo-american stare decisis doctrines are based!

  2. Paul Magrath - June 29, 2010

    At any rate it shows the value of actually READING the law reports whose names and citations are sprinkled in the skeletons. Sometimes they are actually worth citing to the bench, and not just there to intimidate the opposition.