I was against a lady today who was doing her fifteenth six, poor thing. She changed career aged fifty and since having qualified as a barrister has had more than a little trouble finding a set of barristers which will take her on permanently. ‘I’m not going to give up though, BabyB. I haven’t come this far to be defeated by a bunch of ageist, sexist and everything else-ist fools, you know.’

Even the judge seemed to know of her plight. “Any luck with tenancy, yet?” he asked as she entered the room.
“Not just yet, Sir. Maybe this lot’ll keep me.”

Sadly, though, I realised within a few minutes of the case starting that the failure to get taken on so many times had nothing whatsoever to do with her age. Maybe it had something to do with having spent the previous twenty years being an estate agent.  Maybe it was just her temperament. Whatever it was, she came across more like a litigant in person than a lawyer, never mind a barrister. Rather than professional detachment, she first of all started haranguing my client about being a liar and then when the judge hinted that she might perhaps want to tone down her cross-examination, she started having a go at him. “Sometimes I think you’re all the same. Judges, barristers, solicitors, what’s the difference? All part of the same club, all nodding and winking at each other whilst you scratch each others’ backs and stitch up the rest of us.”

Thankfully for her, the judge was a good humoured soul who replied with, “Ms FifteenthSix, I am a patient man and have to put up with a lot in this job. I have to put up with rudeness, I have to put up with intemperance and sometimes I even have to put up with insolence, though I must say, rarely from counsel. These are things which I try to bear as a part of my responsibility in seeing that justice ultimately is done.”

He then suddenly put on a much sterner look. “However, one thing which I do not tolerate in this court and even more so from counsel is the mixing of metaphors.”

He looked at FifteenthSix who by this point was looking well and truly back in her box and said very slowly: “Ms FifteenthSix, am I making myself entirely clear?”

August 3, 2016 · Tim Kevan · 2 Comments
Posted in: Uncategorized

2 Responses

  1. Abigail - April 23, 2008

    It is quite intimate, isn’t it? There “the rest of us” are, held together by busy needles, in between the professional lawyers who are using their other hands to scratch each other’s backs, winking and nodding all the time. How do you manage avoiding a Glasgow kiss? Then again, lawyers are always quite flexible…
    Professional men, they have no cares
    Whatever happens, they get theirs.

  2. bsq(c) - April 24, 2008

    “However, one thing which I do not tolerate in this court and even more so from counsel is the mixing of metaphors.”
    Haha.. brilliant! x