TRY as he might Counsel will be praying the new Lord President remains true to the vow he made in his installation address.
“Having been a practitioner myself, I know the stresses that you experience in your professional lives,” said Lord Gill. “Preparing cases at short notice, meeting deadlines, arguing difficult points and so on. I know the burdens that you bear – and I shall try not to add to them.” Note his use of the word “try”…
• WHAT’S IN A NAME? It’s more often the other way round, but on this occasion the lawyer received the apology from the judge. Cameron Tait stepped forward as his next case was called in the appeal court, to be met by a few words from an embarrassed Lord Clarke. “Mr Tait, I have been calling you Mr Anderson all morning. I’m sorry. I will remember from now on,” he promised.
• LONG TEETH OF THE LAW The police dog-handler explained she had a spaniel which sniffed out drugs, and a German Shepherd: “He is the one that tracks after people … basically, he bites the bad guys.”
• SOUND AND VISION Defence counsel Andrew Mason and the prosecution witness were having great difficulty in agreeing what could and could not be seen on the CCTV footage. “I’ve got only one eye and I can see that,” the witness snarled at him.
• A BONE TO PICK Consultant orthopaedic surgeon Michael McMaster is very much an insurer’s “go to” man and he has probably appeared in court more times than most lawyers, but rarely will he have been on the end of the kind of roasting he received from temporary judge Gordon Reid, QC. Acknowledging the witness’s “impeccable qualifications” and “full and distinguished career”, the judge added: “In evidence in this case, however, I regret to say that he tended to be overbearing, domineering and dogmatic … the manner in which he gave this chapter of evidence could hardly be described as the balanced evidence of an independent expert. No doubt on most other occasions he does provide such balanced, independent and weighty evidence commensurate with his very considerable expertise and skill.” OUCH!
• PENTLAND FIRTH It may seem a bit early to start thinking of the next Lord President, but a couple of quid on Lord Pentland could prove a wise wager, at least going by the courts website. One of his judgments did not carry his name but was attributed to “Lord President”. Mind you, within an hour the mistake had been corrected, making Lord Pentland probably the shortest-serving office holder in history.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Tuesday 21 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 3 C to 13 C
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