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I Have Been Instructed

“Your honour, I have been instructed…” It was TheBusker today in front of a particularly aggressive judge.

“Oh come along MrBusker. You have been instructed? We know what that really means, now don’t we?”

“Yes, Your Honour, it means that I am about to tell you what my solicitors have instructed me to tell you.”

“No, what it really means.”

“Er, yes, Your Honour. It means exactly what it says on the tin.”

“Well in my long experience of sitting on the bench, as soon as I hear those words, I know immediately that the barrister has lost heart in his case and has decided instead to hide behind what his solicitors have told him to say. It comes, if I may say so, with about as much sincerity as the use of the words ‘with the greatest of respect’.”

“That may be so your honour and if I may also say so, in my long experience of appearing in front of judges such as yourself, I know immediately that when I hear as bold a statement as that which your honour has put so articulately that I will have at least one ground of appeal should your honour find against my client.”

The judge pretended to ignore this threat and kept digging. “But you’ve got to accept that your words about being so instructed do indicate that your advice on the case hasn’t been accepted by your solicitor?”

“Your Honour, what I have or haven’t advised my client is,” said TheBusker as he paused theatrically, “with the greatest respect, privileged. But let me add that I am extremely grateful nonetheless for Your Honour’s generosity at putting voice to the ruminations of the learned judicial mind in such a clear way. Two grounds of appeal so early in the day are a rare treat indeed.”

After which the judge quietened down and if it even needed adding, found in favour of TheBusker’s client.

BabyBarista is a fictional account of a junior barrister written by Tim Kevan whose new novel is Law and Peace. For more information and to read past posts visit babybarista.com. Cartoons by Alex Williams, author of 101 Ways to Leave the Law.

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