Lawyers shouldn’t blither

A story on the lighter side this evening.

I had a matter fixed for hearing yesterday for a nice lady with an injury case. She was quite nervous and so she’d brought three members of her family to the office for the conference pre-hearing. The client and her family are from India originally.

The hearing was to proceed by Zoom, and so we set the client up on a computer in a spare office. As I got everything ready, I was mainly thinking about the half-dozen other things I needed to do so the hearing would proceed smoothly. As I often do when I’m thinking about something else, I was chattering away rather thoughtlessly to avoid an awkward silence. One of the things I had to do was enter the computer login password, which is in part the word “Blackjack”. Without thinking about it I blathered away “so the password is ‘blackjack’ so clearly whoever set it up was either a keen gambler or a fan of the 1960s Country Party, the leader of the party then being called John “Black Jack” McEwen”

Prime Minister John “Black Jack” McEwen (source: Dept of Foreign Affairs and Trade)

The client asked why he was called “Black Jack” and I explained “well, I understand he had dark hair and had quite a dark complexion and …”. It was at this point that I remembered who I was talking to and the fraught ethnic times we’re in and thought in a panic “Oh Lord, I hope they don’t think I was having a go at them!”. I felt my face getting red and I blithered on by saying “and, I understand he favoured dark suits, and he was Prime Minister for a bit too, and … Oh good, we’ve got Zoom up and running!”.

I don’t think the client and her husband were paying much attention to it all, but from the grin on her son’s face he was clearly enjoying watching me trying to dig my way out of the hole I’d dug myself into!

Comic relief can be useful in stressful times; apparently yesterday it was my turn to provide it.

In which Court?

Over the years I haven’t had much trouble with work bumping into my private life. Oddly though, it did happen last night. While I was from the tram stop a black car pulled up beside me with four young men in it.

One of them leaned out and asked “how’re you going?” expectantly. I replied “good” and then “do I know you?”.

“Yeah! you appeared for me in Melbourne Children’s Court”

I was a little puzzled at this. I’ve appeared in a lot of courts but never in the children’s court. All I could reply was “oh; okay”. He asked “It’s Stephen isn’t it?”

“Yeah, that’s me” I said. They laughed and drove off.

I spent the evening trying to figure out who it could have been without success. Presumably it was someone I did act for at one time or another, Children’s Court or not. I can’t fathom what it might have been about though. Crimes compensation perhaps?

I suppose I must have done a decent job since he didn’t throw anything at me!

Fun with Flags

I think I’ve mentioned that we have a remarkably diverse clientele here.  Looking over my notebook for today I see that I’ve worked on the files of clients who were born in nine different countries.  I thought it might be an interesting challenge to share the flags of each; how many can you name?

Happy Competing!

North Macedonia





El Salvador