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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

23 JUL 2014

View from the Foot of the Tower: Witness Template – Truth Serum style

View from the Foot of the Tower: Witness Template – Truth Serum style
Caveat – of course 99% of advocates don’t think like this, and there is no such thing as a deckchair brief.

Witness Local Authority Mother Father Grandmother Guardian
Social Worker 30 minutes
[safe pair of hands]
4 hours
[my client wants to see her cry]
30 minutes
[maybe I can get her to agree some contact when she’s weak after mum’s cross-exam]
1 hour
[I am a baby barrister, and the final hearing will be given to someone more senior. I don’t want to get this wrong]
5 minutes
[Deckchair brief!]
Health Visitor 10 minutes
[I hope she’s a nice one, and not a stern one]
30 minutes
[I haven’t read her statement yet]
30 minutes
[me neither]
1 hour 0
[Here I am in my deckchair]
Contact supervisor 5 minutes
[REALLY? You’re making me call the contact supervisor? ]
3 hours
[Get ready to be bored, folks]
5 minutes
[My client hasn’t gone to contact for 2 months. At least I don’t have to read the notes]
1 hour
[oh, this is easier than I thought it would be]
0
[I earned a rest, damnit]
Dr Kutten
Psychiatrist
10 minutes
[I agree with every word]
1 ½ hours
[I have NO idea how to tackle that car-crash yet]
3 hours
[I’ve skimmed this and I thought of 4 questions immediately]
1 hour 15 minutes
[I get off my deckchair for experts, but not for long]
Ms Paste
Psychologist
2 ½ hours
[you will RUE the day you made an enemy out of me, missy]
5 minutes
[please stick to your conclusions, please please please]
1 hour
[proportion of my questions that will start ‘isn’t it the case that?’ 40%, proportion that will start ‘isn’t it also possible that?’ 45% proportion that will start ‘but this isn’t an exact science’ 15%]
1 hour 2 minutes
[she’s not a doctor]
Mother 3 hours
[I want her to get scared and agree to do it on submissions]
30 minutes
[I think she can hold it together that long and look pretty good]
30 minutes
[It doesn’t help my case, but I love the sound of my own voice]
1 hour 0
[wonder what I’ll be having for tea that day?]
Father 15 minutes
[he tested positive for heroin 2 weeks ago, fish in a barrel]
5 minutes
[see, I put 5 minutes down for YOUR client – don’t ask mine anything]
5 minutes
[I might just ask him his name and sit down]
1 hour 0
[this is the life]
Grandmother 5 minutes
[good old gran]
5 minutes
[don’t upset gran]
5 minutes
[she’s not my client’s mum]
1 hour
[is my column looking suspicious? I’ve put an hour for everything.oh god, do they know?]
0
[wonder if she’s like Emily Bishop?]
Guardian 15 minutes 1 hour
[my client hates you, but she hates the social worker much more]
5 minutes
[my client failed to attend 4 appointments with her, and stole her purse at court]
3 ½ hours
[oh god, they know, throw them off the scent]
5 minutes
[stick a fork in me, I’m done] 


The views expressed by contributing authors are not necessarily those of Family Law or Jordan Publishing and should not be considered as legal advice.

The website image has been kindly reproduced from Hababoon under the Creative Commons Licence.
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