Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Still standing

I'm happy to report that all went quite well. The pre-hearing review went smoothly, although the judge must have taken three times as long as was necessary, just through general faffing. The ex parte application also went fairly smoothly.

I was certainly nervous. The Master wasn't around, but had texted me some rough details. There was no papers yet, so I drafted up an order based on this text message, thinking I could amend it once I had the papers. When did I get the papers? On the way to court, of course. It was a bit late for changes by then as we really needed the order signed and sealed that day so that documents could be released to us by the court.

The solicitors sent a work experience student. This was Good because it meant that no-one important was watching me if I messed up, stuttered, slumped forward in a nervous collapse and so on. However, it was Bad because there was no-one there to point me in the right direction if something went wrong.

After some deliberation I decided to write on the form for my name and party that I was 'counsel/pupil' and tell the usher it was my first case in the High Court in the hope she would tell the judge. I decided there was probably more chance of an easy ride that way, as the judge in question was reputed to be OK. I'd checked that in chambers before leaving.

The hearing was over in a flash and I did fine, even if I say so myself. There was very little to say and the order I'd drafted was suitable, with one slight amendment (insertion in the recital of a quick reference to a previous order). The judge and Associate were willing for me to hand write this, as otherwise we'd need to call the solicitors, get them to make the changes then email it to the Associate so that a pristine correct copy could be produced.

All in all, a good first day. I've now got a few hearings appearing in my diary, including some substantive half day cases. I am, however, going through what I hope is simply a nervous phase where I wonder where the work is going to come from in the future. I've got to make a living doing this.


lawyer-2-be said...

congratulations on your first appearance! am thinking this will be me this time next year. keep posting - this is a great insight... L2B :-)

Josephine Bloggs said...

Hurray! Sounds like an all-round pretty successful first day to me :)

Nearly Legal said...

Don't worry - reputations build. Glad it went well. I've just had my first experience of losing and I do prefer the alternative.

Simon Myerson said...

Well done.

I was sick and the Magistrates Court Clerk who found me then did everything - although I managed to squeak 'yes' when he said my client wanted bail.

So a non-vomiting, unaided, High Court experience augurs well...

Anonymous said...

"I've got to make a living doing this"

.. after a year at the game, these words still ring true :)

Pupilblogger said...

Thanks all. Sorry for going quiet, but it's been a bit hectic!