Book recommendation: Power of Attorney by Dexter Dias

With a $15 million super-yacht ablaze on the Thames and a tortured body upon it, young lawyer David Kilkenny, run out of the police force for exposing corruption, has the chance to make his name. Surprisingly, the main opposition comes from his enigmatic client, Sebastian Santos. Mercurial entrepreneur, money launderer or the most softly spoken, coldly cruel murderer to come before the courts? But to take down his client, he must also take down Santos’ financier – David’s own brother, Francis.

Available from Amazon.

August 27, 2014 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Dirty barristers

UpTights had her annual wig-fitting yesterday. Given that she’s now spent many thousands of pounds on the little horse hair numbers, she even gets a personal visit to chambers. As usual she was talking about it at chambers tea afterwards.

‘It’s so good to throw out the old,’ she said.

‘What do you do with it?’ asked BusyBody.

‘I cut it up and then feed it through the shredder,’ she replied nonchalantly before adding, ‘and then I burn it in my back garden.’

‘You what? The shredder? Burning? As if somehow it might hold the secrets of your sordid little life within its tight knit curls?’ said OldSmoothie.

‘Oh do shut up. It’s basic hygeine, that’s all.’

‘Well, I never even clean my wig,’ said TheBusker. ‘I’m afraid I wouldn’t even know where to get it done.’

People looked around the room as if to find out whether it was okay to admit that they too failed such basic standards of hygiene.

‘I think most people take great pride in the fact that their wigs get a little dirty. It’s a mark of experience,’ said HeadofChambers.

‘A little dirt’s one thing,’ said UpTights. ‘But if you wear that wig five hours a day, two or three days a week for most of the year it’s going to get pretty sweaty to say the least. Particularly given the lack of air conditioning in the summer.’

‘It is perhaps a little ironic that wigs were supposedly introduced for cleanliness reasons,’ said TheCreep. ‘You know, to keep away the nits and their like.’

‘Well, I still wear the wig that belonged both to my father and to his father before him,’ said OldRuin, ‘and I have to admit that I’ve never cleaned it once. As to whether it received any particular treatment back in the day, I’ll never know although I doubt it very much.’

‘Perhaps that’s why barristers never shake hands,’ said BusyBody. ‘I mean, once they’ve spent time adjusting their wigs, well, you can understand.’

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 babybarista.com. Cartoons by Alex Williams, author of 101 Ways to Leave the Law.

August 26, 2014 · Tim Kevan · No Comments
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Monday morning with Alex Williams’ cartoons

qccartoon
This cartoon is by Alex Williams who draws the Queen’s Counsel cartoons for The Times and in numerous books including The Queen’s Counsel Lawyer’s Omnibus. He offers almost all of his cartoons for sale at £120 for originals and £40 for copies and they can be obtained from this email info@qccartoon.com.

August 25, 2014 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Weekend video: The Art of Foraging

August 23, 2014 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Book recommendation: Scalia and Garner’s Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges by Antonin Scalia and Bryan A. Garner

In their professional lives, courtroom lawyers must do these two things: speak persuasively and write persuasively. In this noteworthy book, two of the most noted legal writers of our day – Justice Antonin Scalia and Bryan A. Garner – systematically present every important idea about judicial persuasion in a fresh, entertaining way. Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges is a guide for novice and experienced litigators alike. It covers the essentials of sound legal reasoning, including how to develop the syllogism that underlies any argument. From there the authors explain the art of brief writing, especially what to include and what to omit, so that you can induce the judge to focus closely on your arguments. Finally they show what it takes to succeed in oral argument.

Available from Amazon.

August 20, 2014 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Body language

BusyBody was busier than ever today and her hair consequently just that little bit more curly. ‘My life coach has given me a new way of winning my cases,’ she said slightly breathlessly.

‘Like passing them to someone else, maybe?’ suggested OldSmoothie.

‘That’s a bit rich coming from the man who’s made a living out of going down in flames for his clients,’ she replied.

‘So what’s the new tactic?’ asked TheBusker.

‘It’s all about body language,’ she said.

‘A big subject then in your own case,’ saidOldSmoothie.

She ignored him and went on, ‘Yes, he says that if I mirror what the judge is doing it’ll make him warm to whatever I’m saying.’

‘What, copying how he’s sitting?’ asked TheCreep sounding very interested.

‘Exactly. He also said that when the other side are making a killer point that it was better to sit with your shoulders completely open as if you don’t have a care in the world. That and occasionally clasping your hands together as an indication of confidence.’

‘Did he also say that you shouldn’t cross your arms?’ asked TheVamp.

‘He did actually. Said it looked defensive. He also told me never to cross my legs.’

OldSmoothie looked like he was going to make a comment but clearly even he thought better of it.

‘So,’ said TheVamp smiling, ‘if you’re going to be copying the average judge…’

‘Is there any other?’ chortled HeadofChambers exhibiting the big chip he has on his shoulder about never having been made a judge.

‘…then,’ continued TheVamp, ‘that’ll mean picking your nose, yawning loudly and putting your head in your hands I guess.’

‘In between occasional snores,’ added TheBusker.

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 babybarista.com. Cartoons by Alex Williams, author of 101 Ways to Leave the Law.

August 19, 2014 · Tim Kevan · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: Uncategorized

Monday morning with Alex Williams’ cartoons

qccartoon
This cartoon is by Alex Williams who draws the Queen’s Counsel cartoons for The Times and in numerous books including The Queen’s Counsel Lawyer’s Omnibus. He offers almost all of his cartoons for sale at £120 for originals and £40 for copies and they can be obtained from this email info@qccartoon.com.

August 18, 2014 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Weekend video: John Grisham On His Writing Style | genConnect

August 16, 2014 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Book recommendation: The Stay-Behind Cave by Boris Starling

Lord Of The Flies meets Flowers In The Attic. December 1940. As the German army closes in on Gibraltar, 16-year-old Rassie Elder and five friends stumble across the most secret place on the Rock. They were never supposed to know about this place, let alone find it. And now they’re trapped inside, Gibraltar has fallen, and they’ll stay alive only as long as they can remain undetected. But danger is not just outside the cave. It’s in there with them too. For there is no darkness greater than that of the human heart. And the terror is just beginning…. The greatest World War Two story never told. Until now.

Available from Amazon.

August 13, 2014 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Chinese walls and palm tree justice

BusyBody was talking about her case at chambers tea yesterday which involves a student appealing a decision by his college to expel him. ‘It was a complete kangaroo court,’ she said.

‘I’ve always loved the image that conjures up,’ said TheVamp. ‘You know, a huge kangaroo of a judge and all the little joeys coming up before him and with none of them able to sit still for a second. All bouncing up and down on the spot trying to make their submissions.’

‘It’d make it quite hard to keep their wigs on,’ said TheBusker.

‘It’s Chinese walls which make me chuckle,’ said UpTights. ‘I just imagine a huge wall of takeaway boxes separating two halves of an office.’

‘Palm tree justice has always done it for me,’ said TheBusker. ‘Makes my mind wander to hotter climes than this.’

‘I always liked the idea of lawyers going on fishing expeditions,’ said OldRuin.

‘Always brightened up even the most dreary day in court.’

‘As for skeleton arguments,’ said OldSmoothie. ‘They make me think of two skeletons stepping out of a closet, squaring up to each other and then one of them saying “I’ve got a bone to pick with you”.’

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 babybarista.com. Cartoons by Alex Williams, author of 101 Ways to Leave the Law.

August 12, 2014 · Tim Kevan · No Comments
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