Thursday, 23 April 2009

I smell a rucus a-brewin'

I wonder if it'll get down to 'yo mamma' stylee mudslinging match?

My tutor gave me a copy of the judges comments, which Michael at Law Actually and Charon QC have posted about today. The Solicitor Advocates in question have responded.

They say the judge was:

"“hostile to us all, me included, the whole way through. Much of
this was conveyed by facial expression and vocal intonation, and therefore won't show up on the transcript. It was obvious from the first day of trial; none of us said anything until halfway through day 3, so the hostility predated anything we said or did. He would not look at any of us or address any of us directly; he referred to us innumerable times as "solicitors"in tones of contempt.” By contrast, he treated the only barrister in the case (prosecuting counsel) with perfectly proper courtesy."
Pretty hefty accusations all round.


Law Minx said...

Hm - I first came across this at White Rabbit's blog. Between that, and a story concerning a Chartered Accountant about to be struck off for knocking seven bells out of a Freshfields Solicitor in a pub for bieng too LOUD, I wonder if we are about to have Handbags at DAWN!!

Charon QC said...

Good stuff.. have put you on the blogroll and on my Netvibes page on Insite Law...

Bar Boy said...

To clarify, the accountant has been found guilty of assualt but there is no news yet on whether he will be sanctioned professionally. Privately, I think many accountants are admiring. After all, spend any time in the company of a magic circle lawyer and who would not want to thump them ?

Michael said...

Hmmm... this response sounds something like a schoolboy might say, complaining about a teacher who's 'got it in for him' when pulled in front of the headteacher. Whether their 'beef' is justified or not, they could have worded it to make it sound a bit less petty.

Lost said...

I've responded to this more on Geek Lawyers blog post about the whole SolictorGate scandal.

It will probably have barristers at the Bar pissing themselves with laughter, saying "I told you so!" whilst further fueling the divide of solictors and barristers that do legal aid work.

I still think there needs to be a lot of co-operation between the two. The saying 'don't bite the hand that feeds' is quite relevant.

HCA's are a huge problem at the criminal Bar, but not all are shit like the Judge in this case says.

I was recently doing some work experience at a criminal firm, and the trainees there couldn't wait to get to do some advocacy work.. which made me think.. if you want to do advocacy work then why not go to the Bar?

Why is it that they can have the best of both worlds? Reliance on doing the admin and prep work and ALSO then taking on the Court fee.. something just isn't right with the whole system.

I would have blogged about this a bit more but you all seem to have it under control ;)

Lost said...

And of course I would agree with Bar Boy with thumping magic circle lawyers.. a few people at my university have training contracts with big firms, and everyone wants to hit them..

Mel said...

Minx, if you listen really carefully can you hear the strains of "Fight, Fight, Fight" in the background? Bit like being in the playground after school!

Thank you Charon, I'm honoured :D

Bar Boy - indeed. Although in the current crisis, are city accountants not closer to the evil that is bankers than lawyers (in image at least, not in reality).
During the G20 demonstrations, I was having some pub grub near Liverpool st and got chatting to a chap who was forced to wait it out in the pub because his place of work (RBS) was under siege and no-one was allowed in.
He was an in-house lawyer and totally baffled as to why he was so vilified when he earned nothing compared to the senior RBS bankers, or lawyers working at law firms! I nearly felt sorry for him - nearly.

Michael - quite. I'm reminded of teenage rants against my dad concerning favouritism against my little sister. 'You always take her side, you've just got it in for me'. I didn't get anywhere with it - don't see this lot making any judicial friends for themselves, or getting an apology anytime soon!

Lost, why do you say HCAs are a huge problem at the criminal bar?
As for those at magic circle firms - well, karma usually comes back to bite smugness in the behind doesn't it? Usually with the combination of dull work, ruthless HR and obscene billable hours. Oh, and in this climate- no job security. Not much to be smug about!

Lost said...

Well in criminal/legal aid work, the money is shit, and further squeezes by the government on the scheme means that there will likely to be a single fixed advocacy fee if the Lord Carter Legal Aid reforms come in.

More solicitor firms are keeping work in house that they use to refer to barristers, and using their in house advocates to do it.

There will always be a need for specialism in Criminal trials and HCAs are unlikely to go to the High Court or Court of Appeal.

However this means that the criminal Bar and the Bar in general will shrink and become more of a specialised profession, junior barristers will find it hard to get work and will have less court appearances but will do more devilling... so I hear