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Bringing the profession into disrepute

“I’ve just had a threatening letter today from a con man of a builder who caused all sorts of damage to my house a few months ago,” said OldSmoothie.
“What did it say?” asked TheVamp.
“It accused me of bringing, and I quote, ‘the honourable and esteemed profession of the Bar into disrepute’,” he said. “I mean, the cheek of it. A con man claiming to be concerned for the higher morals of the Bar.”
“What? You mean on the basis that it’s a case of the pot calling the kettle black?” smiled TheBusker.
“So what exactly is he accusing you of doing?” asked TheCreep.
“That’s the point. His letter is threatening to cause me all sorts of professional difficulties and I didn’t actually do anything wrong.”
“But even so. Go on, humour us. What is he saying?”
“He’s claiming that a letter I wrote to him on chambers headed paper was misusing my position as a barrister. Says that it was threatening.”
Looks were exchanged and a small silence followed before TheVamp said, “Er, I think you’ll find that that would be somewhat, how shall I put it? Frowned upon by the Bar Standards.”
“And I’ll bet it was only made worse by phrases such as ‘As a barrister’ and ‘If you go to court you’ll regret it’,” said BusyBody.
“I’ve heard him use ‘very close friend of most of the senior judiciary’, before,” smiled TheVamp. “Not only a wild overstatement but also hardly something that’d help these days in any event.”
“It never seems to hinder TheBusker that he gets on with all the judges,” said TheCreep with a tinge of bitterness.
“So what do you think I should do?” asked OldSmoothie.
“I think you already know the answer to that one,” said TheVamp. “I hardly imagine his fees are equal to the value of your reputation.”
“Though it’s starting from a low base,” said BusyBody.
“It’s just so unfair,” said OldSmoothie sounding like a whining teenager.
“Thank goodness less people are aware of their ability to hold us to ransom through the Bar Standards,” said HeadofChambers. “Otherwise, where would we be?”

BabyBarista is a fictional account of a junior barrister written by Tim Kevan whose new novel is Law and Peace. For more information and to read past posts visit Cartoons by Alex Williams, author of 101 Ways to Leave the Law.

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