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Had a fraud case this morning.  It’s incredible how much of a brass neck some people can have in the face of insurmountable evidence against them.  Absolutely playing to type.  Deep steady well-spoken voice with a slightly dishevelled kind of ex-military demeanour.  Upper-middle class boy done bad.  Kicked out of school at sixteen and then a wide boy for the last forty years.  Never actually earned a penny.  Just conned his way around the world.  Couple of bankruptcies.  Five marriages.  Lots of booze.  Now spending his time between his run-down barge in Norfolk and regular trips to Thailand.

Today’s scheme was clearly one of a few which he had on the go.  Selling dodgy east European property to a bunch of people he had befriended on a cruise thanks to a certain Colonel Mustard type who he had finagled himself in with early on.  Yet despite the fact that my opponent was nailing him in cross-examination, he continued to twist and turn in the wind saying one thing one moment and the complete opposite the next without even flinching.  In fact, such was the confidence of the delivery from this experienced conman that I’m sure it left one or two of the jury questioning themselves as to whether they’d in fact missed something.

Yet wherever he turned, my opponent had another question with which to skewer him.  Made me think that perhaps the name of the venue should be the “Caught Room”.  Which got me thinking about other such names.  Maybe the venue for the corporate-type of committee meetings might better be described as the “Bored Room” for obvious reasons.  Then a little more surreally, there’s that great legal highway, Gray’s Inn Road surrounded by barristers’ chambers and solicitors’ firms.  For some reason I always imagine it as “Grazing Road”, full of all those rich, fat lawyers grazing away on cold hard cash.

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.

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