“ What’s the difference between a cat and a barrister?”

One is an arrogant creature that will utterly ignore you unless you do something for it. The other is a pet.

Many barristers who practise in the civil world may sound arrogant, but half the time it may only be an act. After all, showing great confidence in your ability to present a case to a judge sitting alone, is important in this kind of advocacy.

But in crime when you’re addressing a jury, it’s a different thing altogether.

Modern juries don’t like being addressed in hectoring tones or being lectured at by pompous lawyers. On the other hand, attempting to become “matey” with the jury can be equally ineffective. Every successful barrister has his own style and I remember one old QC’s in particular. He would push his full- frame specs down on his nose and talk to the jury, as if he were speaking to a group of old and trusted friends. It usually worked a treat!
Charlie, in my book Wig Begone by Charles Courtley, came across the former type of barrister when he ventured unsuspectingly once into the Chancery Division.

On Page 69, he describes his opponent, Lucius Polp as –
A tallish, spare man with a thin face from which jutted a beaky aquiline nose. His voice resembled the unwrapping sound of parcel paper but its very dryness blended with the aridity of the proceedings. I couldn’t ever see him make an impassioned plea on behalf of a murderer at the Old Bailey.

Not Charlie’s type of barrister at all! Or mine either, for that matter.

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