Sunday, May 28, 2006

Tiring Work

I have completed a stint of Court Duty Solicitor work this week. I was the Court Duty Solicitor for my local Magistrates Court from Monday through to Saturday. Court Duty work is always interesting as you are thrown a variety of interesting cases to deal with. Some of this weeks highlights were:

1. The man from the Czech republic who was in Court for various motoring offences, one of which was imprisonable. He had been convicted in his absence of a number of things. He told me that he did hold valid insurance etc. I told him to go home and get his insurance document over the lunch period, and told him that he must come back to Court. He disappeared and never returned. As a warrant has now been issued for his arrest he will come before the Court for another Court Duty Solicitor to represent him.

2. The man who had not paid his fines since 2001 and claimed that he suffered from Alzheimer's. His medical condition afforded him a great defence to non payment of his fines. The Court could only send him to prison for non-payment of fines if they generally thought he had decided not to pay them, or had been negligent in the way he had not paid them. As this Client was giving evidence on oath that he had forgotten to pay them the Crown Prosecutor leant over to me and said rather cynically, "People will go to such lengths to avoid paying their fines. I bet he read about this condition in Take A Break magazine."

3. The man who had breached his community service and said that he could not complete his community service whilst the people who had stabbed him recently were also completing their community service. Unfortunately the Court did not accept this as a 'reasonable excuse' and his community service was revoked and he was resentenced to prison.

I was also on a 24 hour Police Station Duty Solicitor rota yesterday meaning that I have now completed another seven day working stint. No rest for the wicked eh?


Anonymous said...

Gavin, I see you are in Essex, but whereabouts? I've never heard of someone being put on court duty for six days straight and then following it with a night shift as police station duty!!!

Where is this place where they works duty sols so hard? I dont ever want to work there!

How do you ever manage to actually prepare your other cases?!?!?!?!

Gavin said...


The Police Station duty was just bad luck as I had swapped a duty that was in my name for a duty in a colleague's name. But I am not joking about the six day Court duty slot. I won't say where I am based but you do not have to be a genius to work out who I am from the links at the top right of the page.

The reason I did six days in a row was because I had a very quiet work, the only real appointments I had were dealing with remand hearings at the Court I was Duty at. I am fortunate that I work within a well staffed criminal department and usually we share the six day Court duty slot amongst us so that we would probably do no more than 2 days of it.

motoring solicitors said...

I agree, solicitors work is one of the hardes work, even more then a GP.