Judge Jock: Famous QCs show how it's done

Judge Jock
Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson
Solicitor-General Michael Heron

“They are both lovely lads, Judge Jock,” mused Our Man At The Bar, sweeping a few fag ends off the leaner into his pocket, “And well deserving of a lift in the social pages.

“But don’t you think there’s something a wee bit odd about how Chris [Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson] and Mike [Solicitor-General Michael Heron] became Queen’s counsel?”

(The couple’s appointment was announced by Prime Minister John Key on December 13, the first made under changes to the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006, which did away with the unwanted Silly (Senior) Counsel title and restored the much sought-after QC rank.)

“You mean they asked themselves if they could be made QCs?” quizzed Judge Jock.

“Trust you to lower the tone with your suspicious snivelling,” roared OMATB. “But now you mention it, that’s the wheeze around the Ladies and Escorts Lounge.

“You see, Judge Jock, if you want to be a QC these days you have to apply to Solicitor-General Heron QC, who may or may not pass your application form on to Attorney-General Finlayson QC.

“They run you by the law society and bar association to make sure your nose is clean, no-one’s successfully complained, your taxes are in order and there are no black balls in your past.

“If they both fancy you QC Chris will put your name up to Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae, a soldier who is neither a lawyer nor a QC. But before GG Jerry can do anything he must get the nod from Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias, who is not only a QC but a PC and a GNZM to boot.”

“Ever got the wrong side of any of that crew?”

“But can’t you just shout some jokers down at the law society a few beers and get them to put your name up?” asked Judge Jock.

“Get a grip, Jock J, times have changed.”

“An applicant must show excellence, knowledge of the law, oral and written advocacy, independence, integrity and honesty and leadership,” boomed OMATB. “Leaves you dangling on the poker, what??? Dudley Ffyfers would have a better show..."

“Next thing they’ll expect a chap to be a lawyer, too,” sniffed Judge Jock, to the background accompaniment of tearing paper.

“But coming back to your query, Jock J.”

“Maybe, just maybe, GG Jerry pulled the wildcard and used the discretion bestowed on him by Her Most Gracious Majesty And Sovereign Lady The Queen (bows deeply towards the fly-specked Coronation photo behind the Bombay shelf) to appoint the lads in recognition of what is called 'extraordinary contributions to the field of law'.

“I know it's anyone's guess what that means, but that, my lad, is for them – not you or your half million followers – to know,” said Our Man At The Bar, tweaking the change into his boot.

Meanwhile: Judge Jock has it on impeccable authority that Jovial Joe (Karam) – the taxpayers’ friend – having clocked up a cool $400,000 in generous legal aid handouts, is now in the salary bracket to depose Dame Sian Elias as new Chief Justice. A date to be set.

Footnote: Entries in the “Sexiest QCs to Spend the Night With” challenge continue to swell Judge Jock’s mailbag. Entrants are reminded they may wish to remove any messages of a delicate nature from the back of their photos. All to be revealed.

Stop Press: A “we act for” letter on behalf of His Honour Justice X’s chambers, clearly penned by an agitated hand on fine parchment rolled between the compliant thighs of a lissome legal executive, has put on hold Judge Jock’s promised Pop-Up Guide to Being a Judge. Advice being taken.

More next time…


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It is a well known tactic isn't it of wannabe rulers for life to surround themselves with crew sporting shoudlerboards and medals whilst wearing an understated suit made of Ok fabric. The modest me look whilst the crew await the next awards ceremony content to be one of the elevated few. Look for the introduction of position of lord high chancellor in a town near you and a platoon of baton waving fieldmarshals running the ministries.

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Judge Jock is so diplomatic. Understandably so. I'm quite intrigued and look forward to a more robust clarification from a budding Rumpole.

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A very nice piece, Jock, but, as you well know, the whole thing is not only farcical, but it is a disgrace.

These shenanigans simply bring the law and lawyers into disrepute.

Chris Finlayson, the MPs whom nobody voted for and who was immediately promoted by Our Leader ( I've left out Glorious, although you may be too tactful to notice this) is arguably one of the most damaging ( to the democratic process) individuals we have in Parliament. He has far too much power which the country never gave him.

His over-obliging attitude to now utterly opportunistic, even completely unproven iwi claims has impoverished us all. It was scandalous, even, that he should advice opportunistic iwi to deal directly with him, rather than go through the bother of the court processes.

It's sad that traditional restraints to ensure the country remains a democracy, to ensure that the self-serving simply can't virtually help themselves to whatever perks and honours they want, are apparently all now being discarded.

The last thing we need is a four-year parliamentary term, for these clowns to continue to work to self advantage. Finlayson and Heron QCs? Utterly inappropriate - indeed, risible.

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This 'wittery' is almost like pulling one's own leg for the resultant muffled guffaw that masks the miserable fact that reality and humour may not be so far apart....

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Judge has put his legal (or political) finger on something that sounds a bit too cosy to be healthy.
Maybe some clarification will be forthcoming from the appropriate quarter?
Then again, maybe not?

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It's a shame there is no rating system for Judges, a bit like QC, separating the sheep from the goats.

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It takes a lissome legal executive to know revelations into the Land of the Long White Shroud legal bureacracy will invariably prompt "we act for" warnings which routinely cause backtracks into obscurity. Thank God Judge Jock can be counted on to cleverly tell the cover story even where such warnings prevent the indepth one.

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Judge Jock, what's your view on politicians-turned-business-leaders who then develop form....when it comes to ducking off the board with minutes to spare?
I believe you have some info on the subject in your files going back to the turn of the century.

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