Friday, September 28, 2007

A matter of £25 pounds.

Victories when they come, no matter how small, are there to be savoured for all they are worth. Especially so if it happens to be your first in court defending a possession order. I was today once again volunteering at the court representing members of the public who find themselves staring eviction in the face. The fourth and final case of the day that I handled was the first where I have faced opposition to part of the judgment I was seeking.

The court will generally award a suspended possession order with the conditions that the monthly instalment is met plus a small amount extra towards the arrears. However what is a reasonable amount towards the arrears is sometimes contested, so it is up to the Judge to decide. Thus was the situation for my first actual contested application in court.

The bank was not prepared to accept any less than £50 than towards the arrears, which was, although affordable right at the top end that my clients budget would allow. I therefore informed the rep from the bank that I would be asking for the amount to be £25.

I was nervous and excited, and most importantly wanted to get the best outcome for my client. First the rep put his case, then it was my turn. The words flowed well, the points were clear, although I think I gave some ammo to my opponent when mentioning the three children. It is a fine line between getting the judge sympathetic, and not showing that it is unlikely that the client can afford the repayments. I waited with baited breath for the lines "I believe that £25 is a reasonable amount for repaying the arrears".

Obviously I was over the moon, and the client was very pleased. I see it as another small step towards reaching that goal we are all so frantically chasing. Till next time,

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Home sweet Home

Not much to blog about unfortunately, so just a quick one to show that I have not fallen off the face of the earth. Lots of new law to learn, all starting again in a weeks time, plus mooting, possibly debating, and more time at court volunteering. Hopefully there will be some time in there to relax lol.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Mini Pupillage (1)

I last week completed a very enjoyable mini pup at a chambers in London. The location of the chambers is in one of the Temple Inns, both of which are absolutely beautiful.

My mini pupil master was very nice, and although busy was able to find lots for me to do, including shadowing other barristers from both the family and civil law teams. I can't comment on particulars but everything went very well, and I have realised that a career in civil/chancery would be where I would want to practice. This experience, along with the outdoor clerking, has been instrumental in making that decision.

I was told that my CV was impressive, especially the real life advocacy experience. I was also informed that everyone that I had shadowed had found me a pleasure to be with, and that I had made a very good impression.

To finish the week perfectly I was able to attend the cheese and wine evening on Friday, which was great fun and everyone from chambers was very friendly. I would certainly say that this will be a strong contender for one of my OLPAS choices.

Well back to uni very soon, with no rest for the wicked as volunteering this Saturday with the Housing charity, so more court time. Hope everyone else that has gone back or is going back is well, and that they have a successful year.