I have no time for the whingers moaning about the excellent decision of the Court of Appeal in Mitchell. The court made it perfectly clear that it would have been more sympathetic if the solicitor was terminally ill or his office had been struck by a meteorite.
For my part, I have never suffered from a dose of flu in the middle of litigation, or if I have, I made sure that none of my colleagues had taken on any other work that year.
I have never overlooked a forthcoming court appointment because of pressure of work. When I am asked to act for a client I require an assurance from him that his case will not be randomly listed to coincide with that of my only other client.
I have never been let down by counsel not returning papers in a timely fashion, nor have I had to accept responsibility for counsel’s delay because I failed to chase him up three times a day.
I have never submitted an application to the court which has not been listed for three months, or if I have the court staff were dealt with in a robust fashion by the judge. I have never had a case listed as a backup with consequent huge expense to one of my two clients. I read the civil procedure rules avidly in the many hours of leisure time that I enjoy.
None of my family ever has a crisis, or if they do they keep it from me. Nor do any of them ever die or get married.
I work every weekend because my wife and children understand that procedural requirements are more important than a family life. That article in the human rights legislation guaranteeing a family life was never intended to apply to solicitors.
As no judge ever makes an error (apart of course from those two mentioned by the Court of Appeal as having no grasp of the concept of justice) it is reasonable to expect that all members of the junior profession will be perfect and will work for no reward.
I trust that the whingers will come to understand that what they wrongly perceive as manifest injustice will spawn a whole new industry of professional negligence lawyers and greatly enhance the fee income of the struggling indemnity insurers, to the great benefit of the economy as a whole.
Stephen Hill, Haverfordwest