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Not Exactly Stage Fright


I’ve got a trial hearing listed for a full day tomorrow on one of my cases, which has been rumbling on for months due to a whole series of failures by the other side.

This is always a nervous moment. Maybe it is my relative inexperience, but from observing my supervisors, I’m not so sure.

At this stage, everything that could be done to back up the case has been done, every move by the other side countered as far as possible. Any remaining lacunae or evidential grey areas are just going to have to play out in court, with Counsel briefed as far as possible on strengths, weaknesses and counter arguments.

And then the case is out of my hands, and usually I won’t be there for the trial. We don’t get paid for attending fast-track trials without good reason.

Tomorrow’s trial is particularly butterfly-worthy, for two reasons. The other side have behaved oddly throughout and, although their defense is downright weak, I am not at all sure about what they might try on in court. I know that is Counsel’s job, but I do like to have a strong sense of how matters are likely to play beforehand, so that countering materials are to hand. I don’t like to rely on unpredictable responses from the client alone.

Secondly, it is one of the rare occasions where a disrepair claim, rather than counter-claim, actually goes to trial. So, not only have we got to win, there are a whole range of uncertainties about the court’s possible assessment of quantum (soon to be the topic of another post, although not this case specifically, for obvious reasons).

I haven’t even had to rush on this one; had the bundle ready and served ahead of time, counsel confirmed and briefed with a follow up call, the client prepared and Court time and place confirmed. Dammit, it has all gone too smoothly. What is going to go wrong tomorrow? I will be jumping at every phone call.

Giles Peaker is a solicitor and partner in the Housing and Public Law team at Anthony Gold Solicitors in South London. You can find him on Linkedin and on Twitter. Known as NL round these parts.


  1. BabyBarista

    So what was the result? Hope it went well.

  2. contact

    Alas, I don’t know. See the post after/above this one, but thanks for the thought.


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