Quiet in the Court!
Nowadays, judges often feel that they should give the appearance of being impartial even when one party has a hopeless case.
This impartiality could have been achieved by listening quietly and politely. However, judges have found it difficult to restrain their traditional pent up anger, general grumpiness and twisted sense of humour which has always made listening such a challenge for them.
Therefore, judges took to criticizing both sides in what they believed was an even handed manner. In practice, this usually amounted to launching blistering attacks against anyone who raised their head above the parapet.
Advocates became fearful to say anything at all, which only encouraged judges to greater outbursts.
Lawyers became too embarrassed to bring their clients to Court who turned out to prefer short upbeat briefings rather than wasting a day at Court. Lawyers began to send clients text message updates often during the hearing itself.
Lawyers who had always made their bravest and most confident speeches in conference with their clients at their own offices, days or weeks before the court case, now wondered, why go to court at all? So they didn’t.
Client meetings were no longer rushed and could take all day. Without the oppressive atmosphere of a court room and in the comfort of their own offices, lawyers started to enjoy advocacyonce again. They were able to quote Henry V and even Mel Gibson without snide remarks from the Bench. They even got a few laughs which had become almost impossible in the Courtroom.
Lawyers were no longer “In Court” when clients called. They became quite efficient and were able to get on with their real work. They no longer had to bother reading court rules or old cases; there was no need to prepare lengthy affidavits and written submissions. Litigation became cheap and even cheerful.
With the advent of Twitter some lawyers reduced lengthy reporting letters to 140 characters. But other lawyers included romantic interludes, car chases, Vampire Ushers and Zombie Clerks in their reports which were snapped up by publishers and some became best sellers.
Judges promised to be less cranky and offered 5 day trials in Bali but it was too late. Lawyers had become so popular that the Attorney General finally accepted that Judges had been to blame all along and they would all need to go out and get proper jobs.
So ended the Era of the Judges.
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