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Court guide warns litigants-in-person to beware of the judge
05 April 2013
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A revealing new guide warns litigants-in-person not to piss off judges and tells them not to scream if they catch a witness lying.

The Bar Standards Board is expecting a lot of litigants-in-person once legal aid cuts take effect, and has released 'A Guide to Representing Yourself in Court'  to scare them into paying a barrister help them run their own cases. And naturally enough the guide plugs barristers at the expense of solicitors along the way:

The guide also contains lots of useful tips. If litigants-in-person manage to stitch up a witness under cross-examination it advises them not to celebrate, even though "it can be tempting to say 'Aha!'".

    Sometimes too tempting

It warns laymen not to get carried away with their story, using examples apparently supplied by a barrister on acid:

But as far as the BSB is concerned, judges are the ones to watch. The guide presses home that after a long lunch in the Garrick (probably with the other side's QC) they need to be handled with kid gloves. It recommends various techniques to keep them calm:

Prospective litigants-in-person are also warned that judges find it frustrating if anyone talks too quickly or questions their earlier decisions and claims they hate anyone speaking "like lawyers speak on television". According to the guide "some bad lawyers do it", although it doesn't quite go so far as to refer directly to those pesky solicitors with their higher rights of audience.


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anonymous user
27/03/2015 08:40
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This is the reality of the whole of Manchester.
27/03/2015 09:00
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Divine law? WTF. Aston Carter Mk 2.
anonymous user
27/03/2015 09:02
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Hello! You've reached the law offices of James M. McGill, Esquire, the lawyer you can trust"
anonymous user
27/03/2015 09:08
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These clowns used to offer work experience to College (now University) of Law students. Entirely unpaid, of course.

As if working at a not-even-high-street firm at the arse-end of Manchester would some CV-bolstering experience students should be grateful for.

Yet I bet they still get applicants. The legal industry, including in particular the SRA and the profiteering law schools that take anyone able to cough up the fees, need to take a good hard look at themselves and what they're doing for the profession.

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