One does not have to read Tales from the Courts to know that the judicature is in shambles. One did not have to listen to Attorneys-at-law Sean Lewis and Naomi Rochford on Getting Down to Brasstacks today to appreciate how dysfunctional our court system has become. For those left in doubt, a senior lawyer skinning his botsy at a judge last week sealed it.
The 64k question being asked by many since the incident which has gone viral is what would have provoked a senior lawyer who wears silk to behave in such an undignified manner. BU has tried to make sense of the information hitting our inbox and here is what happened between The Hon. Madam Justice Sonia Richards and Attorney-at-law Alair Shepherd QC.
The case in question involved the Commissioner of Police and several police officers, consequently many lawyers attended court that fateful morning. BU understands the case was scheduled to be heard by Madam Justice Margaret Reifer, who had recused herself, therefore the matter was rescheduled for Justice Sonia Richards for 9.30AM.
Related Link: QC Showed Judge His Silk
Several of the lawyers concerned with the matter including Alair Shepherd QC arrived at 9.30AM. BU understands the judge arrived about 12.30PM. Shepherd of those present appeared to have gotten riled up at having to wait 3 hours because he shouted aloud, “Hooray, hooray, she has arrived at last.” The judge asked him if he was addressing her, to which he replied, “You want me to repeat it? Hooray, hooray she has arrived at last.” Madam Richards then walked out of the court.
Madam Richards then called the lawyers out to the corridor with the exception of Shepherd and had a discussion with them. The fireworks began when Shepherd joined them in the corridor and released a verbal assault directed at Justice Richards for daring to do the unthinkable i.e. holding what the legal fraternity refer to as ex parte discussion with the other lawyers.
BU acknowledges another view posited by Caswell Franklyn which may be read HERE and HERE. If what Caswell posits is correct one would have thought that Justice Richard’s clerk would have ensured all counsel engaged in the matter were informed of the reschedule. Something smells rotten in Denmark. Surely a senior counsel merits all courtesies.
BU is on record condemning Alair Shepherd’s botsy escapade. The fact that he felt aggrieved at having to wait 3 hours while wearing silk to get the ear of the sitting judge is no excuse.