BabyBarista L-PlateI had a terrible dream last night in which I was standing in the dock in my wig and gown and looking up at a terrifying judge (I won’t mention who he was) as he boomed down his judgment from on high.

“BabyBarista, you have been found guilty of the heinous crime of failing to use the ICLR. For such a terrible wrong, I have absolutely no alternative but to consider sentencing you to the maximum of twenty years of hard labour doing road traffic cases in the small claims track.”

I was aghast. Just when I thought I’d climbed the ladder out of the poverty trap which is the small claims track, I had hit a snake and was tumbling back down into what is the abyss for a civil claims practitioner.

Then things got worse as the judge continued: “In coming to a conclusion on sentence I take into account the following aggravating features of the offence: that you addressed me as ‘Sir’ rather than ‘Your Honour’, that you turned up at court saying that you had left your case papers on the train and that you were not only sporting some hideous red braces but clip on ones at that.”

All my worst fears come true in one dream.

The judge went on: “However, I also take into account the points which you made in your mawkish and self-pitying little plea, or rather whine, in mitigation. In particular, that it was a one-off incident and that you did usually make use of the ICLR Online. What’s more that you completely recognise the error of your ways and that you will never again let your professional standards fall so low. I have also heard the testimony of two character witnesses, a MrBusker and a MrOldRuin, who both said that whilst you are young and impetuous there remains hope of your redemption.”

I breathed a sigh of relief that the two barristers I admired most in the world had come to my defence.
“MrBabyBarista, you are lucky to have such loyal friends as these since without them I would be giving you the maximum sentence possible. But taking into account all that they said on your behalf along with your early plea of guilty and your very clear remorse, I am prepared to reduce that sentence to only ten more years of small claims track hearings.”