Some unsporting individual seems to have told the Bar Standards Board that barristers are appearing on social media – and the regulator is pretty shocked.
‘Comments that you consider to be in good taste may be considered distasteful or o ensive by others,’ its stern guidance warns practitioners.
Cue 15,000 grateful barristers looking up from their smartphones to the world beyond the sash window, murmuring: ‘Who knew? Certainly not I. Thank you.’
A little more scepticism can be detected around the reminder ‘not to behave in a way which is likely to diminish the trust and confidence which the public places in you’ when married with the advice to ‘avoid getting drawn into heated debates or arguments’.
A tweet from within Middle Temple set the tone for the profession’s response: ‘Is it OK with the regulator to call someone a “marrow-bothering idiot”, do you think? Asking for a friend.’
An couple of silky echoes over at Inner Temple: ‘We must, it seems, rely upon our good judgment (ha ha ha).’ And: ‘I read that too with mounting horror :-(,’ [the guidance is frustratingly vague on emoji-use].’
A judge (disappointingly, not Sir Brian Leveson) piled in: ‘The BSB is against heated debates even!’
Perish the thought.