Thursday, May 26, 2005

Busy Day

I was Court Duty Solicitor today for an East London Magistrates Court. This particular scheme appoints a Duty Solicitor to its busy Courts. Today I was covering the Narey Court.

I arrived nice and early, at 9.45 am (this Court does not start sitting until 10.30 am). I then had to wait until 10.20 am before the Court room opened it's doors. I spoke with the Usher and she told me that there were only 6 cases on her Narey list. All the other matters listed in the Court were cases previously before the Court and they all had a representation order in place.

By 11.00 am the final case on the Narey list was snapped up by a solicitor who had attended to deal with his own Client. I then asked the Scheduling Office if there were any other additional matters to go in to Court, I was told yes and that those cases were also covered by other legal representatives who were already in the building.

Just after 12.00 noon I was released from the Court having represented no defendants at all. When I was released the District Judge said to me, "Not a very profitable day for you then?" I replied that as I was paid the same rate for sitting on my backside as I would be if I was dealing with ten custody cases I was not too unhappy. Of course I would have preferred to pick up a few on going cases with representation orders but that is the wonderful way the Court Duty Solicitor scheme works in this particular Court, some days you are overrun with Clients and on others you see no Clients.

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