The Gazette faced a dilemma last week when a judge slipped a piquant literary allusion into a ruling. A litigation client was made liable for costs to her former solicitors after refusing to accept advice to make a reasonable offer to her opponent (see here).
For such solicitors to be required to wait, ‘like Vladimir and Estragon’, for an offer from the other side which might never come was not justified, the Hon Mr Justice Turner observed.
Obiter, who sat through Samuel Beckett’s buttock-numbingly dull play Waiting for Godot for O-level, got the gist immediately. (The tedium is kinda the point, to be fair to Becks.) But would all the Gazette’s readers? Taking no chances, we explained the allusion in square brackets – which only goes to show just how far standards have fallen.
‘The most worrying thing about this report is that the Gazette feels it necessary to tell us who Vladimir and Estragon are,’ sniffed one correspondent. ‘The Gazette believes that lawyers have little or no understanding of literature.’
Honestly, we just can’t win sometimes.
Obiter preferred this response from another reader, which also demands an answer: ‘Who’s Godot? And shouldn’t he be struck off for not turning up?’