You turn up to work. It’s just like any other day. Upon arrival that is.
For unknown reasons your case management system shows a trial date for the same morning. What?!! Oh yeah – THAT case. The case that used to dominate you with fear. The one you hoped would go away.
In fact you tried to blank it out. And today’s the day. S**t.
No witnesses. No expert booked. No Counsel instructed. Your immediate thoughts are “how can this have happened?”
You telephone the Court. You are helped for a split second when the clerk informs you the trial is not listed there for 10am. Phew! No, it gets worse. They have transferred it to another nearby Court. The opposing side is already there. When are you turning up?
You know that you will need to hand in your notice today and fall upon your sword; but in the meantime you need to try and clear up your mess.
The most senior partner is in the office. You walk across and admit everything to him. Full and frank disclosure. The look on his face is pure anger and fear. The client is going to lose his marbles. He also knows the firm will face a claim on their indemnity insurance. It happened on his watch and the firm will take a lot of bad publicity over this.
He tells you to jump in the car – he will come with you to the court. On the way you discuss how an explanation will be provided and that an application to adjourn will need to be made.
On arrival, you go before the Court. Hands sweaty as you are an occasional advocate and know that you are about to face the brunt of everybody.
It goes as badly as you expected. Your case is struck out. No adjournment. INDEMNITY COSTS!!!
F**K F**K F***K!
Every solicitor has this dream at least once a year… mind was this week. I wonder if anybody else admits to having this dream too?
The version described above has happened to at least 2 people I know about in real life (both ex colleagues). One only had Counsel there with no bundles, witnesses or experts. The other just walked out of the office and never returned. This is why it’s not easy to dismiss the nightmare!
Over and out.