Monday, 18 December 2006

Noting brief II

The barrister I was following dropped by once he was back from court to talk me through what had happened. I left a bit of a confused note for him with the files and the transcript I'd done.

It turns out that a noting brief is actually a brief, in the sense of being instructions to attend court from a solicitor. Apparently solicitors are supposed to attend court with a barrister, but this convention or rule is regularly flouted, presumably as it ramps up the costs of a case considerably, often at the expense of the public purse. However, the local authority that gave me the noting brief takes its obligations very seriously and makes sure that someone is in attendance at court to sit behind the barrister that is fully instructed. Even though in this case, it actually meant instructing another barrister to attend to sit behind the first barrister to take a second note of the hearing. Well, I say 'barrister' but of course I am not technically yet a barrister yet and cannot hold myself out as one.

From the little I heard, it's a shame they don't take what some might think to be slightly more important obligations seriously, such as those under the Children Act. The judge was very critical of the local authority's inactivity in this case.

I've left a voicemail message for my instructing solicitor (feels a bit weird typing that, I've never been instructed before, even if it was basically by accident) saying that I can do a transcript of my note for her, but it is apparently very unlikely that she'll want one. She already has a transcript of the Order from the main guy she instructed.

I had a word with the third six pupil and apparently I'll end up being paid £100 for this, which is utterly absurd. However, there will be other days when I end up doing tonnes of work for very little money. Hopefully it reaches some sort of equilibrium in the longer term.

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