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Barristerspeak decoded: A guide for solicitors, students and clients

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Legal Cheek’s resident funny man Wigapedia returns with another helpful translator

Thankfully for those bewildered by the intricacies of legal language, barrister and resident funny man Wigapedia has made on-going efforts to decode the language of m’learned friends. Here he helps confused clients, baffled solicitors and the odd judge to work out what on earth they’re talking about.

The barrister says

The barrister means

“I wonder if I might ask a couple of questions concerning the instructions?” You call this random collection of badly photocopied documents and a two-paragraph cover note instructions?
“That’s an interesting point.” That’s a point which is going to be expensive to determine.
“I can probably squeeze in a conference on this next week?” My diary is emptier than Liz Truss’ head.
“I can see your point.” No, I really can’t.
“There is another way of looking at this.” Specifically, my way. Which is the right way.
“We need to approach this matter on broad, common law principles.” Because if we don’t, I’m going to have to research some actual law.
“Well, that’s one way of dealing with it…” …if you’re a complete moron.
“There are a range of possible outcomes to this litigation.” There are two outcomes:
We could win.
Or we could lose.
Buggered if I know which it is.
“Damages in this case are not that easy to determine.” So I’m not going to try.
“This is a developing area of law.” This is an area of law I don’t really understand.
“There are some commonwealth authorities dealing with the point.” There are some obscure cases mentioned in the footnotes to my edition of ‘Chitty’, but I’ve not read them because that would mean actually going to the library and I’ve not been there since bar school.
“Meet up for a coffee, you say? That would be great!” But not this side of Doomsday.
“A meeting at 3pm? I’ve got a telephone conference before that, but I should be finished in time.” I’m on level 126 of Candy Crush and I’m not pausing my winning streak for your poxy meeting.
“The advice is very nearly complete, should be with you today.” The advice is not yet started but I might knock something up over the weekend.
“There’s a Court of Appeal case which may be relevant to that point.” Did I mention to you I was in a Court of Appeal case? You should read it. I was REALLY brilliant.
“My opponent was a bit of a dick.” My opponent won.
“The judge wasn’t very good.” My opponent won.
“The witnesses were just awful.” My opponent won.
“So — how are things with you?” Let’s get that boring stuff out of the way so we can talk about my latest case.
“Your Honour makes a very good point.” Damn! Rumbled.
“I wonder if anyone has my copy of [insert any legal textbook].” If you’ve borrowed it without asking — I will look for you. I will find you. And I will kill you.

Wigapedia (aka Colm Nugent) is a barrister at Hardwicke in Lincoln’s Inn in London.

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24 Comments

Anonymous

Colm – we should go to Borough Market on Saturday and buy lots of lovely fresh produce and cook up a feast.

(8)(1)

Anonymous

Lashings of cream Margaret. Lashings.

(6)(0)

Anonymous

Oh you’e so naughty Graham. Cooey cooey coo.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

I was in court today when I overheard a conversation between an older male Barrister and a younger female Barrister.

Younger Female Barrister:

“…I don’t think you’ve discharged your evidential burden…”

Older Male Barrister:

“Cor… you can discharge my evidential burden any time you like!”

The two of them fell about laughing but I was disgusted.

Who can I complain to?

Should I also report the female Barrister for being complicit in this behaviour by not objecting?

Any advice much appreciated.

(3)(20)

Anonymous

Yeah that didn’t happen. Nope.

But you could complain to Katie King. She’ll go psycho-fanny for that.

JD Partner

So you’ve met my brother then?

Anonymous

Is this serious?
And when did “barrister “ however qualified, become a proper noun?

Barrister-on-Train

“Yes that is a very interesting point, I will be certain to mention that to the judge” – I am clearly not going to say that.

(26)(1)

Anonymous

How many of these will he churn out?

(10)(0)

Anonymous

I feel that one was enough.

(5)(0)

Anonymous

You know you’ve gone wrong in life when you’re described as “Legal Cheek’s resident funny man”.

(41)(1)

Anonymous

This is risible. You can tell it’s an ancient retred from the dated reference to Truss. Alex, it was piss weak and unfunny three years ago and remains so.

(9)(2)

Anonymous

And Candy Crush. I mean come on.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

“I am instructed to seek…”

= my IS has completely misunderstood the law but has told the client something patently incorrect enough times to make him look stupid if I do not mention it; I apologise profusely.

(13)(1)

Anonymous

What is candy crush actually?

A barrister.

(3)(0)

Annie

“My instructions are ….”
= I know what I’m about to say is stupid but s/he (client) is making me say it. So, forgive me.

(11)(0)

Anonymous

I hate this. It is so nudge nudge wink wink it’s painful.

(11)(0)

Kirit Pankhania

“Being of a certain vintage”

Namely Your Honour/My Lord and I are both equipped with years of aged experience

(1)(2)

Alan Robertshaw

“If the court were to put the matter back briefly, it may well be my learned friend and I could crystalise the issues”

Please god let me have some time to ask my opponent what this case is actually about.

(8)(0)

Anonymous

Not forgetting my personal favourite: “Could the Court assist by pointing us towards a legal justification for its position?” : You’re talking out of your arse, your Honour.

(9)(0)

Anonymous

So funny….so true. .😆😆

(0)(2)

Anonymous

Unfunny tedious crap = unfunny tedious crap.

(1)(2)

A non

The Judge is likely to prefer the other side’s evidence on this point = You’re a liar.

(3)(0)

Scep Tick

“That’s an interesting point” is more “that’s an incorrect point”.

(0)(1)

Comments are closed.

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