As pupillage and training contracts get harder and harder to come by, many young would-be lawyers have been asking: “What am I missing? What has he or she got that I haven’t?” The answer is probably “brains, talent and charm”, but even if you can’t compete on those, there are other ways of making sure you’re fully equipped to enter the legal profession.
It’s a common enough feature of adversarial banter these days. You ask for an opportunity to amend your pleadings or file a circumlocutory misleader and your opponent leaps to his/her feet to complain to the judge that to allow such an application would amount to giving your client a “second bite at the cherry”. You’ll look pretty foolish if you don’t have one of these popular stoned fruit, oozing with juice, ready to pass to your client at the critical moment.
Price: £0.49 (or £4.99 a punnet)
for putting before the horse
People say you should know your case backwards as well as forwards but that’s no excuse for getting your cause and effect the wrong way round. So when your opponent suggests that something follows “as day follows night”, you can argue that, in fact, night follows day, and to suggest the contrary is to “put the cart before the horse”. This always goes down well with their Lordships, but do make sure you have both the wheeled conveyance and the patient steed (a nosebag of oats is a useful distraction) in harness and ready to go.
Price: £499 (oats extra)
There’s nothing better calculated to impress the Court of Appeal, on your first appearance before that exalted tribunal, than to maintain, in the face of every cogent legal argument to the contrary, that your opponent’s case would have the lamentable consequence of “opening the floodgates” to myriad similar (equally unmeritorious) claims. Imagine the disdain of the crusty judicial threesome gazing down from the bench above, should you fail to have these bulky aquatic defence mechanisms ready to produce the moment your argument meets with a favourable response!
& Nut, for the cracking of
Sometimes the finely calibrated remedy just doesn’t hit the spot. “Come on, punk”, you seem to say, “make my day”. So, for example, your brother in law borrowed ten quid after a night at the pub so he could buy a takeaway, and when you next saw him and asked for it back he gave you a look. So you took him to the county court, got a judgment against him, plus £740 costs, and when he didn’t pay it all you filed a statutory demand, on the strength of his non-payment of which he was made bankrupt. He lost his car, his house and his agency business selling Christmas novelty gnomes. And your sister’s not talking to you. Great! You just used the biggest tool in the box.
Feels good, doesn’t it? You really don’t want to be without it.
And let’s face it, if there’s a nut case out there, you really need to crack it.
Gavel – for sale
We appear to have a considerable unsold stock of these elegant, highly polished, wooden articles, which might in this jurisdiction pass muster as the handy accessory of an auctioneer (going, going, gone!). As it well known, or should be, there is no use for such an article in an English courtroom, where justice is not for sale, even at a knock-down price.
Price: £4.99 (£5 for two).
With apologies to the following sites for using their pictures:
- SCE Solicitors, Disciplinary action – is a second bite of the cherry permitted?
- Atoms of Reason, Corporate Social Responsibility: The Cart Before The Horse
- Recognize this!, Open the floodgates of employee recognition
Now remember, everyone, it’s 1 April. Try to stay calm and concentrate, even if you feel a bit funny. It’s quite normal.