Do you know who’s lazy? Lawyers.
I’m amazed you’re even bothering to read this, what with your late starts, early finishes and boozy lunches. It’s Friday lunchtime, so you’ll be off for the day any moment. Once you’ve finished this of course – that counts as work right?
What lawyers need is to work harder, and certainly longer, which is why the government’s idea of later opening hours for courts is so inspired.
The beauty of the late-night court is that lawyers have nothing better to do. They don’t have children to tuck into bed, they don’t have long trips home from far-flung courtrooms and barristers and solicitors simply rock up to court unprepared and wing it. They haven’t been up earlier than BBC Breakfast putting their case together. It’s simply a matter of turning up for a 10am start and leaving work at the courtroom entrance at 4pm. Usually they’re home for Pointless.
It’s not like so many lawyers on lengthy cases are spending their nights cooped up in some dingy hotel (must keep those costs down), Facetiming their families and hoping they might clear a bit of space at the weekend for recreation.
And what about those busybody magistrates? It’s about time we wrung some more graft out of them – after all, it’s not as though numbers of magistrates have dropped off a cliff in recent years. What we really need to entice them back is to sit in Sheffield and Highbury until 8.30pm. Same for any court staff that have survived the axe of recent years.
Of course, we’ll need to pay more to ensure lawyers are remunerated for this extra time they’ve giving up. Sure, criminal legal aid funding has been in freefall in recent years, but I’m sure the government will find the cash to pay people for working late. Surely they wouldn’t just rely on the goodwill of lawyers?
I mean, what’s the alternative? Organise our existing court service more efficiently to ensure courts are occupied and cases not adjourned for months? Employ more court staff to keep the system running smoothly? Pay lawyers a reasonable wage to take account of the extra work involved?
Now you’re just being silly. I would say we can speak in more detail after work, but I wouldn’t want you missing the last train.