Tuesday, March 13, 2007
An amusing story from The Water Cooler in The Times today about a reception held at Inner Temple to mark the 45 year old career of Sir Ivan Lawrence QC. A judge remarking of his career as a Recorder: “Justice had not only to be done and seen to be done — in Sir Ivan’s court it had to be seen to be believed.”
Another…the rather better known story: I quote from the piece in The Water Cooler:
“Sir Ivan also recalled Judge Maude sentencing two homosexuals for an act of gross indecency. “It is not so much the enormity of the crime itself that appals one,” he said, “it is the fact that you chose to do it under one of London’s most beautiful bridges.”
Attitudes and times have changed…
The Modern Attorney-General
“I am the very model of a modern Attorney-General,
I’ve information political, immoral, and analytical,
I know the judges of England, and I quote the laws historical
From Domesday to Archibold, in order categorical;
I’m very well acquainted, too, with matters apolitical,
I understand donations, both the simple and problematical,
About restraining injuctions, I’m teeming with a lot o’ news,
With many cheerful facts about who is going to lose.”
With sincere apologies to Gilbert & Sullivan.
With not much else to do, I decided to report my own death back in the day on Saturday, March 10, 2007
I’m afraid that Charon died this afternoon.
The Bollo had run out Rioja. Scotland failed to beat Ireland at Rugby. England lost the friendly cricket match against Australia yesterday, The Lord Chief Justice had to give a speech (because useless interfering politicians who know little about law, penology or the criminal justice system, have been interfering) complaining about the fact that judges have lost their discretion to sentence criminals and that we have far too many people serving indeterminate sentences, Jade Goody refused to answer Police questions and the Police could do nothing about it, Patrick Mercer MP was sacked by WebCameron for making unfortunate remarks, the cafe where he usually has breakfast ran out of eggs and, therefore, he could not have the breakfast he has had for 23 years without interruption, someone sent him James Joyce’s book, Finnegan’s Wake, and he tried to read it, Lord Jeffrey Archer is still a member of The House of Lords, TV companies have stopped running phone-in competitions so he has nothing to do now late at night, banks are being criticised for making stealth charges on customer accounts, the viagra pills he bought off the internet didn’t arrive, The Bollo has introduced a ‘no-smoking’ policy on Sundays so that people can bring their absurd children in for lunch and let them run around screaming, The Bollo seems to be encouraging people who talk about ‘hice prices’ in West London to come into one of his favourite pubs, he could not face looking at any more trainee blogs… It was all too much.
We regret his passing. It was quite a moving ceremony. ‘Hello’ magazine covered it. At 8.45 this evening he was ferried across the Styx, a silver coin in his mouth, by a member of the family.
Rest in peace, Charon….
No flowers. Charon was a nihilist. At a quiet dinner the other evening he told a group of us that he had many lives and death was but a temporary inconvenience – a bit like your internet service provider [ISP] ‘going down’ for a while, or losing signal on your mobile [Cellphone for non-UK residents] (yes… Charon had an ‘Orange’ phone and it did not always work in Chiswick – another ’stress’ he had to bear). He told us that he believed he would defeat medical science and be blogging again within 24 hours. We now have an opportunity to see if he was right.
And… on that note… I wish you all… “Good Nietzsche.”
PS… at least he asked us to use some punctation before he took the ferry….
The Diary of Barrister A: Saturday 3rd March 07
But I, that am not shaped for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass;
I, that am rudely stamped, and want love’s majesty
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
Richard III. 1. 1
Danielle asked me over dinner the other night why the papers were full of senior lawyers having affairs. I’m afraid the subject does not interest me that much. I am not a voyeur. I replied as follows: “Opportunity, Motive, Ability and Mens Rea”
“By which you mean?” she asked, sipping a glass of Chablis.
“Many of these lawyers are in their late forties and early fifties. They are absorbed by their ability and power. I suspect, in the back of their minds, they wonder whether they can still hack it. They work long hours – and opportunity is there. Another late night is easily explained away – as is a trip out of town. As to motive – they probably have children and may well not have had any exciting sex for some time. There is a darker side, of course. It may well be that in the back of their minds they know or believe that their sexual prowess is waning. Power can, after all, only go so far as an aphrodisiac or attractant.”
“And… mens rea?”
“Oh yes.. plenty of that. Lawyers are a secretive bunch. Some of them are Masons… although not as many these days. Their skills of advocacy are often brilliantly demonstrated when they get caught.”
Danielle smiled, tapping her nails on her glass… “You wouldn’t do anything like that, would you?”
I was ready for the question. I had been ready for it when she asked the first question. “Darling… I am not shaped for sportive tricks… dogs bark at me as I halt by them”
She laughed… We moved on to discuss John Reid. Later, it occurred to me that she may have been asking if I am a Mason.
What – with The Attorney-General, the DPP and sundry other QCs and senior lawyers exercising their rights under The Freedom of Fornication Act (nicked from Private Eye – could not resist it) to have ‘have it away days’; we have now got the surreal and, frankly, absurd situation of a Court of Appeal judge being charged with flashing at women on a train on two separate occasions – a charge which he denied when first questioned about this some months ago. Guardian [The BBC story mysteriously disappeared from their website last night – cannot be connected with being gagged below, of course]
The Attorney-General, rather than gag over his breakfast as he reads about his extra-curricular activities being reported in the Sunday tabloids, has now gagged the BBC to stop them reporting a story about the cash for honours business. It seems that prosecutions may be on the way. Guardian
Nearly Legal has found an extraordinary statement by Law Society President Fiona Woolf – worthy of Matt Muttley.
“Thought Leadership”: I quote from Nearly Legal’s blog… and repeat his comment – you will have to visit his blog for the rest of his excellent commentary on this! And here is Fiona Woolf:
“And so, given its ever-increasing importance, the Law Society has taken the bold decision to enter, for the first time, the territory of thought leadership – to facilitate a better understanding the issues around staff retention and job satisfaction by exploring factors that help to meet the needs of not just fee earners but their supervisors and employers too. “
Friday, March 2, 2007
I regret to inform you that my blawg has been blocked by the Chinese authorities. It may be that the Chinese authorities do not care for human rights, Rioja, excessive smoking and references to scandal – cash for honours, gigolo lawyers, senior lawyers having affairs etc etc. It is, of course, possible that my taste in UK blogs (as evidenced in my blogroll) does not meet with the approval of 中华人民共和国主席@greatfirewallofchina.
This is a great honour… and I am pleased to be in the UK, a relatively free (if ponderously overgoverned) country, to hear the news of this award.
My cousin Tom turned up to pick our Grandmother up with a spade…
There is a picture of me as an eight year old (one front tooth missing from an accident) eating an ice cream… in short trousers, prep school cap, with a parrot on my shoulder. My Grandmother is standing beside me – looking strangely “amused.” [May her God have mercy upon her soul] I remain convinced to this day that my Grandmother put the parrot on my shoulder when I was not looking to make me look absurd. She was like that. A curious and demanding woman. She used to stand up and wail…calling upon God to take her – at various intervals, usually after a Sunday lunch – prompting my cousin (10 years older than me) to turn up to collect her for the ‘Sunday lunch’ one week, with a spade, and ask her if ’she was ready for God.’ Yes… I enjoyed that. She never did it again.
Thick and brick, paired, is most appropriate in the case of a new motorist, a brickie, who got a drink driving ban 38 HOURS after passing his test. Apparently the born-again pedestrian, as he know is, went out to celebrate passing his test, got pissed on six pints, went to bed, got up a few hours later and drove. The Sun reports “The cops stopped him for driving without lights.” Yes… not really surprising at night.
Police Inspector Eric Robinson expressed the view “It’s possibly the shortest time anyone has held a licence.”
I am gladdened by the news, again reported in The Sun, that thousands of children think that cows lay eggs. Apparently, many of these children also believe that bacon comes from sheep. The children were eight years of age. At that age I was about to qualify as a Master of Wine…. OK… I may be exaggerating…
Prince Charles, on a visit to the United Arab Emirates, has managed to irritate a lot of people by calling for a ban on McDonalds. Excellent. Glad to see he is keeping busy.
Jesus’ bones found: The news that Titanic film director, James Cameron, and his co-director on the Lost Tomb of Jesus(Discovery Channel) have found the lost tomb of Jesus has irritated priests, god-botherers and archaeologists who did not make the discovery themselves. He appears to have also found the tombs of the Virgin Mary, Mary Magdalene and Joseph – so a full house then. An american news reporter (Video) tells us that this story comes from the Da Vinci Code meets Indiana Jones school of archaeology. Not good news for the Resurrection theme in christianity? A bit irritating for agnostics as well.
Associates Office – Lower ground floor
From: Matt Muttley
To: All Partners
cc: Dr Strangelove
Date: 24th May 2007
ANY OF YOU KNOW ANY FAMILY LAW ?
Eva Braun has just put the Evening Standard in front of me. A woman has won a £48 million divorce battle. Do we have anyone who knows any Family Law? If not, can we do a lateral hire? Approach a Silk who is into Family Law and bring him/her into the partnership?
If we only handle high value cases, what would the downside be? Cross-fertilisation into asset management, trusts, tax, off-shore, private equity, hedge fund?
Eva sent me this from a blog: Family Lore – “Needless to say, Mr Charman does not accept the words of the President of the Family Division, and has indicated that he intends to appeal again to the House of Lords. Oh well, more money for the lawyers and legal analysts, and more copy for the media…“
By the way… one of our associates is sitting at his desk with a Bluetooth earpiece in his ear. I’m looking at him on CCTV now. Looks ridiculous. Think he is in Trusts…. can someone tell him that if he wants to look as if he works in a call centre, we have vacancies in our Mumbai office.
Get back to me if you have any thoughts / ideas