Collected Solicitorial Pronouncements



The Sayings of a Scottish Solicitor

These words of wisdom were uttered by the solicitor I hired to defend me against a charge of Dangerous Driving

My own speech is given in italics

1st session  

 Justice is about establishing credibility. It is not interested in investigations that look for factual evidence.

 It's perfectly possible for 2 independent witnesses to come up with similar stories.
 It's when they are exactly similar that their veracity should be questioned.
 Witnesses are allowed a few mistakes in their recollection.
 The Sheriff winnows out the chaff and makes his decision based on the balance of 'good' evidence.

 If the Witness Box has no front panel I'll be able to observe the shaking legs that indicate prevarication.

2nd session  

 As a PF I was a rank above a Chief Constable.
 Some PFs let that go to their heads but not me.
 I don't need to give my name in Court - they all know me.

3rd session  

 Let's be objective about this.

 You are guilty of Careless Driving on your own admission.
 I'm an advanced driver. I used to race cars although I don't hurry now.
 You'd fail a driving test if you did that overtaking manoeuvre. Even if the car behind was 5000 yards away.
 You must not balk other vehicles even if they're speeding.
 It might have been going to hospital with a dangerously ill baby on board.

 There will be plea-bargaining. The PF will likely reduce the charge if you plead guilty.
 It would be a very suitable thing to do because of the risk of going to trial on a Section 2.
 There is a Section 3, which is a special category of 'bugger all'.
 I've got one, the Sheriff has got one, the Lord Chief Justice has got one - we all commit Careless Driving.
 Careless Driving is what I do all the time. It's not considered very serious. You'd get penalty points.

  But I would never plead guilty, not even to dropping litter.

 What I will say to you is this: I would never advise someone to plead guilty to something they know they didn't do.

Pre-trial briefing  

 What direction were you travelling in?

 Did you see him hit the central reservation?
  I don't think so.
 What do you mean, did you or not?
  Well, he was behind me.
 But you're supposed to look in your mirror frequently as in the Advanced Driving Test.

 After a Guilty verdict, the Sheriff will ask for the licence.
  I won't be paying any fine.
 I wouldn't think it would be wise to do any histrionics about not being believed.
 We do that calmly, coolly and collectedly in the Appeal Court and not create a fuss in the original court.

 I will be there on Tuesday to conduct your trial.

In Court  

 Did you make any stops when driving from Bradford?
  No. It's a a diesel car.


  You are not to make any plea of mitigation.
 My lord, my client needs his car to visit an ageing relative in Bradford.

Post-trial debriefing  

 I did err by asking if you had driven non-stop from Yorkshire. The Sheriff had already picked it up, though.
 Commercial drivers are only allowed 6 hours without a break and you had been driving for …erm… 5 hours.
 I'm an expert in Road Traffic Law, but even experts make mistakes sometimes.

 Anyway, I think you're lying.

 I've been a PF. If I'd been on the Bench I'd have found you guilty.

Appeal session  

 You can appeal against a miscarriage of justice on the basis that the evidence did not support the verdict.
 There are no grounds for appeal in your case.

  Can I appeal against the sentence?
 I do not advise it, because the appeal judge could increase the sentence or even reinstate the original charge.
  I'll take that risk.
 It would be very foolish. I do not advise it.
  I'll take that risk.
 I do not advise it.

  Is it a Human Rights issue?
 I wish I'd never heard of Human Rights.

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