Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Pet Hates

Here is a list of my current ten pet hates about my job (not in any particular order):
  1. Calls from the Police Station at 3.23 am to inform you that as previously thought your Client will not be interviewed until the morning because he is now in his sleep period.
  2. Police Officers and Custody Sergeants not being available to say what is happening when a Client has been bailed to return to a Police Station.
  3. First appearances in the Magistrates Court where the Court and Crown Prosecution Service have no papers!
  4. People who phone up asking for legal advice on issues such as driving with no insurance who just do not understand that they cannot get legal aid to be represented in Court.
  5. Clients who simply fail to provide instructions who then turn up to their trial expecting their case to be fully prepared and expect to win their case.
  6. The fact that the Home Office continues to create more and more absurd offences, more procedural rules, and generally change the law when they feel like it.
  7. In order to try to defend my profession against adverse change I have to spend my own personal time in responding to the countless number of consultations thrown at Solicitors. Even when the consultation receives a sharp response from others and myself they still implement the change!
  8. That I have no certainty that in a years time I will still have a job due to Lord Carter's Legal Aid Procurement Review.
  9. That the District Judges at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court prefer to barter, rather than listen, when dealing with custody cases on a Saturday morning.
  10. And, just recently all of my decent trial cases have been discontinued meaning I am now burdened with more time to deal with administrative tasks.


Gavin Whenman said...

How do the District Judges barter in custody cases?

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Instead of politely listening to objections to bail from the Prosecution and then listening to your representations on bail they bark, "Objections?". Then the Prosecutor will reel off comments like, "Fail to surrender," or, "Commit further offences on bail". Then the DJ, if they are even thinking of granting bail will barter, "I don't like the Defendant's address can he live elsewhere?" Sometimes they ask for a surety. But it is often a system of bartering as they try to get through 25 or so custody cases
as quickly as possible on a Saturday morning.

There was one famous Saturday or Bank Holiday morning when the whole custody list was discharged as a Prosecutor did not turn up.

Gavin Whenman said...

Sounds a strange way to administer justice.

Law Student said...

4. And from the family side of things we get people coming in who want divorce and ancillary relief but have thousands in savings and don't understand why they aren't eligible for Public Funding.

8. I would imagine that the CDS would have a more fighting chance than the CLS right now, but then what do I know? Of course, if the CLS is done away with us in family and civil litigation will still have jobs but it will all be charged privately. I reckon CFA's will be more prevalent than ever.