Morning Briefing: Courts geared towards lawyers’ performances, says report

by Steve Randall05 Nov 2015
Courts geared towards lawyers’ performances says report
A new report focusing on the criminal courts in England & Wales says that the system is stuck in the 19th century and is geared too much towards the performances of those who work within in. The Criminal Justice Alliance has spoken to lawyers, witnesses, victims and others who have experienced the judicial system and has published its findings in a report titled “Structured Mayhem.”
It highlights the “archaic” aspects of criminal courts including the settings, language and rituals; such as lawyers in wigs and gowns. It concludes that witnesses and defendants are “side-lined and tend to play only minor roles” while there is a “deliberate strategy to sustain the Crown Court’s aura of authority for those who work in court but, especially, for those who enter the space as outsiders.”
The report says that proceedings further marginalise outsiders as “Prosecution and defence counsel often seek to outdo each other with displays of eloquence, quick-wittedness and legal knowledge” which is aimed at the judge and jury.
 
Tributes paid to Freshfield’s partner
A partner with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in Washington DC has died suddenly. News reports have linked Tim Coleman, who had been a partner at the firm for six years, with a man who fell or jumped from a building where many law firms, including Freshfields, have offices. No confirmation has been given at this time.
On its website Freshfields says: “It is with deep sadness we report that our colleague and friend Tim Coleman passed away today in Washington, DC. Tim’s enthusiasm for his family and friends touched everyone around him. His death is a profound loss to all of us personally and to Freshfields. We will do all we can to support his wife and family, who are very much in our thoughts and prayers.”
 
Lawyers set to feel the love tomorrow
This Friday is the annual Love Your Lawyer Day organised by a non-profit organisation in the US which aims to promote the positive things about the legal profession. This year though, the 15th that it has been running, is the first time that the American Bar Association has backed the day. The day’s creator Nader Anise told Bloomberg: “The reality is that lawyers are, for the most part, vilified in our society. This day is about recognising them, appreciating them and thanking them.” Clients are being encouraged to use the social media hashtag #LoveYourLawyerDay and share positives comments and images about their lawyers. 
 

COMMENTS