Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Trust No One

I went to a West London Magistrates Court recently to deal with a sentence hearing. I try not to venture too far from my office is Essex these days, and usually the most travelling I will do in a day is the 24 minutes the Legal Services Commission allows from me to travel from my office to the local Magistrates Court or Police Station. I went to Court in order to pacify a Client who was less than happy about the barrister who had represented him at his trial.

Most Magistrates Courts have advocates rooms where solicitors can put their hats, coats, bags, papers and whatever other objects they are carrying with them that are not necessary for the Court hearing. The standard of these rooms varies from Court to Court, but they all usually have the same feature - a lock on the door.

The Court I went to yesterday had an advocates room which included a coat rack that had a locking system so that a coat correctly hung could not be stolen. There was some kind of mechanisim whereby you placed a metal wire through the arm of the coat and locked the wire in to the rack. What is the world coming to when you have to go to Court and lock up your own coat in a room that has been set aside for the supposedly honest solicitors?

I hung my coat up and decided on principle that I would not lock it up to see if anyone would have the cheek to steal it. The coat was still there when I got back. My local Court has an advocates room that seems to have collected many items over the years. There is a large coat rack that is never completely emptied and several bags that have not moved in a long time. Perhaps in my local Court items are not locked up in hope that they will one day walk away themselves!

4 comments:

Lennie Briscoe said...

Sounds like a potential weakness for suspect bags/bomb threats to me....

Jurgen said...

Good heavens haven't they heard of E-Bay ..........?

Anonymous said...

As an unknown lawyer in a distant court, are you required to prove who you are before being admitted to the advocates room?

Or would anyone blag their was in?

Gavin said...

Anyone can blag their way in. Provided they look suitably dressed to be an advocate (and that does not take much these days) then you can get in.