It's all my fault

As the title suggests, it really is all my fault... must be two judges said so.

Problems with two cases have been blamed on me, one quite bizarrely and the other because the judge seems intent on not listening .to the facts of the case.

First, yesterday I got a call to let me know that one of my clients was in court for his custody time limits to be extended.  This surprised me as it was the first I'd heard of it.  Turns out that the prosecution had notified the firm, by fax, of their intention to apply to extend the time limits at 9pm on Tuesday night.  Unsurprisingly, come Wednesday morning at 10am nobody was at court for the defendant and because it is the school half term it was surprisingly difficult to find cover.  Somehow the judge seemed to believe that this was my fault and ordered that we attend.

Second case was today.  One of the trainee solicitors who is about to qualify is handling the case, I'm supervising but as the "solicitor" I get the blame - which is fair enough.  We have been trying to obtain an expert report there have been the usual problems, first with the Legal Services Commission taking nearly three-months to finally agree to pay for the expert then there were disclosure problems - for example one of the prosecution solicitors went on a three-week holiday and inexplicably took the papers with her thus preventing our expert seeing them.  Once the expert did see them he said he needed more disclosure, which was duly arranged and provided.  All in all, the various delays have taken up the whole year to date.  The judge complained he had not been kept up to date with the disclosure problems despite there having been several hearings during which we formally asked the court to order the Crown to serve the evidence!

Today the judge asked me to attend to explain why I should not be personally liable for some of the costs of this case.  He decided not to award costs against me, but still criticised the handling of the case even though we are actually ready for trial. 

I have to wonder exactly what I have to do for something not to be my fault in the eyes of judges at the moment.


  1. Ed (not Bystander)29 October 2010 at 14:38

    What a shame that judges and the prosecution aren't equally held accountable for their failures.


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