A long-practising barrister has been fined £1,000 for being rude to a judge, after allegedly pulling faces at her and calling one of her decisions ‘insane’.
Marguerite Russell, who was called to the bar in 1972, was found to have acted in a ‘rude and unprofessional manner’ towards the judge over a three-month period in 2016 while instructed as counsel for the defence.
According to a finding from the Bar Tribunals & Adjudication Service, Russell interrupted both the prosecution counsel’s submissions and the judge, and failed to sit down when asked to do so. She also shouted at the judge and/or talked over counsel, and said ‘this is ridiculous’ following a ruling given in response to submissions she had made.
The following month Russell interrupted and/or argued with the judge when she refused to accede to a submission she made, describing the decision as ‘insane’. She also pulled faces at her and/or acted in a manner that led to her being told to sit down.
Russell was found to have engaged in conduct which was likely to diminish the trust and confidence which the public places in a barrister or in the profession. She was reprimanded and fined £1,000.