Judge Jock: Lawyer In Rowdy Mob, Joe Karam's Legal Aid, Judicial Biscuit Probe, Andrew Dips Out, Legal Lycra Looms

Rowdy Mob Turfed Out – Lawyer Involved
An investigation is underway into reports from Australia that a group of New Zealanders were removed from a “working class” pub in Sydney the other day as a result of pre-Bledisloe Cup rowdiness.

A prominent barrister was involved.

Photographs have been obtained.

A gunboat, while handy, was not required.

A senior Law Society source was quick to distance the profession from the vile allegations, confirming to Judge Jock its members were expressly forbidden from entering working class pubs.

“This story is obviously false,” the source said.

Shown a clear photograph of the allegedly “prominent barrister,” the Law Society source - who queried if Judge Jock had been at the Bombay - said he'd never seen the fellow in his life before...

“But there will be an inquiry…”

More later.

The Taxpayer’s Gratitude To Mr Joe Karam
Many folk have asked Judge Jock how much more taxpayer-funded legal aid money has been paid to Mr Joe Karam as he continues his crusade to get a lot of taxpayer-funded compo for Mr David Bain.

This is an interesting question and one those at the Ladies & Escorts Lounge are keen to have answered.

Which in itself is an interesting question, seeing as how habitues of said L&E Lounge long ago mastered the art of tax minimalisation and probably have contributed very little - if anything – to Mr Karam’s legal aid trouserings.

As Our Man At The Bar reminds us, it was earlier reported by NBR ONLINE how Mr Karam – who is neither a lawyer nor a licensed private investigator – received about $427,000 from the Legal Services Agency (LSA) for his work as an investigator on Mr Bain’s case.

That was a total up to about October last year after payments began in October 2006, when the LSA first approved payment so Mr Karam could assist Mr Bain’s defence team with preparation for a Privy Council hearing.

While this might sound generous, Mr Karam claimed back in 2009 he had spent millions of dollars of his own money campaigning for Mr Bain.

The LSA has been invited to bring taxpayers up to date with what a new total is and a response is eagerly awaited.

Meanwhile, interested non-lawyers and bon-vivants about town want to know what they need to do to get on this legal aid gravy train.

A Bloke In The Corner said he was quite happy to help out and do his bit for about $75 an hour, plus the usual expenses – “And that’s a damned sight cheaper than what those bigshot lawyers get…There are big savings to be made here for a Justice Minister keen to do away with crime by Christmas…”

Yet More Important Inquiries
A whole raft of new inquiries has been announced by an increasingly-Prime Ministerial-looking Judith Collins’ progressive justice ministry.

Among them are inquiries into High Court carpet patterns; a broad-brush examination of the environmental properties contained in the polish used on courtroom door knobs; a cross-Bench inquiry into the need to reconsider the centuries-old One Size Fits All rule for judicial gowning; whether the Robing Rooms should have lavendar or magnolia air sprays, plus a pre-inquiry scoping paper to establish terms of reference for that hoary old Judges’ common-room chestnut – plain or chocolate digestives.

A senior judicial communcations adviser welcomed the inquiries, saying they were long overdue and would ensure judges were kept gainfully employed and on their toes after Minister Collins had succeeded in putting an end to all crime by Christmas.

“The judiciary are particularly pleased with the announcement of a re-vitalised inquiry into digestive biscuits, some of which have gone a bit limp in the intervening years.

As everyone knows, being a judge takes the biscuit – but it must be the appropriate one…” the senior judicial communications adviser said.

The need to keep judges fully-employed follows the release of shock statistics which reveal their caseload continues to shrink. (Read all about this and more in NBR ONLINE’s Weekend Review)

Updates as more news comes to hand will be posted on the slate at the Ladies & Escorts Lounge. Tell only those you can trust…

Judge Jock’s Quick Quiz – The Answers
As the two bright sparks among you twigged, last week’s Quick Quiz was in fact lifted from the Grovelling, Blame-Shifting and General Toadying section of the official test of suitabililty for higher judicial office.

Here’s what Judge Jock asked last time:

What should be done when encountering a well-lubricated senior jurist in a distressed state?
Cough politely and look the other way?

Offer a helping hand for a modest fee?

Pretend to be busy adjusting your trousers?

Capture the event for LawTalk on your cellphone camera?

Yell the news around the bar?

The answer, of course, is all of the above.

(Thank you Andrew for your many multiple entries, all of which were wrong and missed the point…Please attach a stamp next time…Jock J)

And bring money…

More Cushy Numbers For Ex-Judges
In an important announcement the other day, widely ignored by the common press, the Hon Sir Bruce Robertson and Michael Behrens QC were appointed as Cease and Desist Commissioners to the Commerce Commissioners.

The ex-judges began their five-year terms this month.

Former High Court and Court of Appeal judge Sir Bruce is already bedded in as head of the Disciplinary Committee under the Financial Advisers Act.

For their Cease and Desist efforts they get paid $1440 a day plus up to half the daily rate if they work more than eight hours a day. The daily rate includes annual leave and sick leave.

A jolly insider told anyone prepared to listen the Cease and Desist appointments were the bold beginning of a vast and progressive array of new quasi-judicial jobs carefully designed to keep judges occupied after Justice Minister Collins does away with crime by Christmas.

“Cease and Desist this rubbish,” said The Scunner.

News Digest
Bankrupt brief Davina Murray cops $61,000 costs hit.

In response to last week’s item, troubled barrister Evgeny Orlov conveyed his respect to Judge Jock for giving him the opportunity to have a voice but said Jock J was “understandably sarcastic.”

“There’s no pleasing some folk,” said OMATB.

Shocking Disclosure
Dyed-in-the-lycra cycling-luvvie and Auckland barrister Grant Powell becomes a district court judge next Monday…Motorists beware if this guy isn’t reined in…

Next Time From Ringside
Do lawyers contribute more than accountants???

Shocking facts to be revealed this weekend…

Find out more next time…

janderson@nbr.co.nz