Another day, another Zoom meeting. But this time it was a case management hearing involving Baker McKenzie and the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal to decide whether a part-heard case should continue remotely.
Like other courts up and down the country, the SDT has been getting to grips with a radically new way of working.
Things went remarkably smoothly until the final barrister’s submissions, which were interrupted by a burst of drilling from the builders next door. ‘Excuse me madam,’ the QC said, before diving off screen, leaving the rest of us to admire his bookshelves and tasteful cornicing. And to imagine what words were being exchanged over the fence.
After that, things quickly went downhill. The chairwoman’s broadband, it emerged, was being updated that morning, so there were issues with her internet connection. As a result, the SRA’s unfortunate barrister had to repeat his closing arguments three times to his (even more unfortunate) audience. A short adjournment was called.
Ten minutes later and we’re back in business. ‘Can everybody hear me?’ the chairwoman shouts, in a voice eerily reminiscent of Dalek Caan. The QC nods and valiantly continues to explain why there is no difference between giving evidence in person and giving it via web link.
The tribunal agrees. The hearing is scheduled to continue remotely on 27 April. What could possibly go wrong?