Taking all the credit for a pupil’s hard work

Posted on 2nd Apr 2013 in BabyBarista

BabyBarista - Old Smoothie

OldSmoothie was against a very traditional opponent today who always insists on bringing along to court the original volumes containing the particular law report in question. This meant that as he came into court both he and his pupil were weighed down by piles of authorities whilst OldSmoothie rather smugly carried his slim bundle of authorities in a folder under his arm.

The judge was an old sparring-partner of OldSmoothie’s and after he entered he smiled at OldSmoothie and said, “I’m particularly grateful to OldSmoothie for the extremely helpful bundle of authorities printed off using the excellent ICLR Online.”

“Thank you, your honour,” came the reply, “I always like to be one digital step ahead in the technology stakes.”

“Ah, yes,” said the judge. “I’ve always had you down as a shiny new moderniser and not the prehistoric old fossil that others might cruelly suggest.”

“Tradition with a modern twist, your honour. I even have a fan page on The Twitter, you know.”

The judge winced and continued, “Yes, I’m sure your dictaphone and typist make you a real whiz on, er, The Twitter. I also thought, for what it’s worth, that it was an unusually well-crafted skeleton argument if you don’t mind my saying? Somewhat less skeletal than your usual.”

“Again, your honour, I like to be thorough in these things.”

“And it also elicited a surprising grasp of this particular area of law in which, as I understand it, you usually don’t practise.”

“Oh, there’s nothing I love more than swotting up late into the night on new little points of law.”

“All of which brings me to the conclusion that you had nothing whatsoever to do with the preparation of either this bundle or the skeleton argument.” Then, without pausing to give OldSmoothie a chance to refute this the tone of his voice changed and he barked at the pupil sitting behind OldSmoothie, “Young man, there, hiding behind his hands. Please stand up.”

The pupil rose slowly to his feet.

“Tell me this, young man. Did OldSmoothie put a single second of work into either the bundle or the skeleton?”

“Er…” the pupil blushed.

“Or was it, as I guess, all in fact done by you?”

“I, er…” the pupil remained unable to answer.

“And now he’s standing in this court taking not only his big fat fee but also all the credit.”

“Er, I, er, OldSmoothie…”

Before the pupil was able to start dissembling OldSmoothie was back on his feet and objecting. “Your Honour, I think my pupil is having difficulties answering when he is concerned that anything he might say as to the preparation of this case,” he pushed out his chest, “indeed the backstage of this particular performance, is of course protected and quite properly hidden from view by the stage curtains of legal professional privilege.”

“Ah, yes, OldSmoothie, I’m absolutely sure that’s the reason,” said the judge raising an eyebrow. “I quite understand and though I shudder to think what goes on backstage in OldSmoothie-land, I recognise that in stealing another’s limelight, as you might say, you follow in fine theatrical tradition.” Then he added, “But anyway, I would still like to congratulate you on your impeccable taste in providing me with authorities from the ICLR Online.”

After which, having put the smugness who is OldSmoothie firmly in his place, he went on to give judgment in his favour with a knowing nod to the pupil.