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Bare Garden

This morning I visited the so-called ‘bear garden’ in the high courts for the first time with a case of my own.  Whenever I’ve seen the place before it’s like a vision of hell with lawyers piled high all arguing aloud like some kind of terrible legal trading floor.  Today though, it was completely and utterly silent.  Not a lawyer in sight.  Not even an opponent.  Now admittedly all I was doing was handing in agreed directions, (hard days work if ever there was one) and so I guess not having an opponent was not actually a complete surprise.  But what has happened to the bear garden?  Is litigation coming to an end?  All cases settling?  For the sake of the profession, that would be a most terrible thing.

But just when I was even starting to wonder if I’d somehow got the wrong day or something, who should pass through but OldFatherTime himself.  The old ex-law lord who still strolls around the Temple and also it now seems the high court.  We have now met on quite a few occasions and this time he recognised me. “Ah, hello, young man.  It’s rather quiet around here don’t you think?”
“I was wondering about that myself.  Do you think perhaps people have decided to stop litigating or something?”
“Don’t worry about that young man.  So long as people remain greedy, vain and proud they will continue to waste their hard-earned money in fights so complicated and expensive that only the ingenious imagination of a lawyer could ever have invented.”

Then he looked at me with a smile before adding: “But remember young man, for every thousand meaningless cases that you churn out just for the money, there’ll be one in which you might actually make a difference.”

I’m not sure quite how to take those kind of statistics but as he went on his way, he turned around and added: “Believe me, when you get that case you’ll know.  Oh, please do pass on my very best to OldRuin.”

BabyBarista is a fictional account of a junior barrister written by Tim Kevan. You can buy the latest BabyBarista novel, 'Law and Peace' on Amazon. The cartoons are by Alex Williams, author of The Queen's Counsel Lawyer's Omnibus.