Obiter was shocked to learn that catching up with the news in England and Wales’ most widely read legal weekly could land you in trouble. Mike Warren, partner at Chelmsford firm Taylor Haldane Barlex, got in touch last week after being admonished by the chair of a lay bench at an Essex magistrates’ court. His offence? Reading the Gazette in court while waiting for a client’s case to be called.
To Obiter, this sounds like an excellent use of time, but the magistrate was not so impressed. Warren’s humble protest ‘but it’s the Gazette, madam’ left her unmoved, and she asked him to read it outside. Obiter wonders if, had Warren hidden the offending publication inside a copy of Justice of the Peace or even Good Housekeeping, he would have got away with it.