Real Life Law and Order

I was apoplectic with joy when the agency called and said that there was a six week gig looking after the Chief Justice of the Federal Court. My very own Law and Order. Chief Justice Ewing didn’t quite look like Sam Waterston, but was fiercely intelligent and had a commanding presence when he walked into a room. I practically genuflected whenever I walked into his chambers.

I was finally able to wear my corporate wardrobe again. The soutiens-gorge were back in circulation as were the patent high heels. They glided along the marble floors. As it was winter, Babcia’s tomatoes had been turned into rich luscious sauce, so I enjoyed self catered pasta lunches.

In my first few days, I wondered why there were so many interstate lawyers and barristers floating around the courts. I finally realised that the suit cases were not filled with overhead luggage but forests of paperwork to be used as ammunition during litigation. The law court building was busier than JFK airport replete with security cameras, guards and real coffee.


Real Life Law and Order Image FINAL 6 July 2105

One of my first tasks was to sit in on a high profile case for a doctor suing his employer for wrongful dismissal. No it wasn’t his fault that the scissors were left inside the patient. That was the sous Doctor’s job to check that all the utensils were accounted for following the appendectomy. With no legal training, I found it difficult to follow the arguments of the two barristers.

Blue Silk                      “My client was well within his rights to terminate the contract of employment pursuant to section 42. 3, subsection 5 paragraph 2 of the Labour Relations Act 1988.

White Silk                   “Had my learnered colleague bothered to check his references he would rightly know that section paragraph 2 of subsection 5 of Section 42.3 had been superseded with an addendum that clearly stipulates that employers cannot summarily dismiss an employee without due cause.”

Blue Silk                      “We believe that the Doctor abdicated their duty to the patient when he delegated the closure of the patient to a registrar with limited surgical experience. This pathological dereliction of duties is sound cause for dismissal thereby rendering the addendum obsolete.”

And so the pissing contest went on for another 45 minutes until Chief Justice Ewing cottoned on to what was going on and chastised both white and blue silks and asked them to stick to persecuting the facts, not each other’s reputations.

I grew quite fond of Chief Justice Ewing. He, like most ludicrously bright & eccentric people, and some advertising agents, had a predilection for bow ties. They were resplendent in colour and texture from the most vibrant silks to the most densely woven wool. He carried them off with aplomb.

The doctor’s case had regrettably attracted the media vultures.Turns out the health care service was a private facility notorious for firing medical staff deemed too liberal with their surgeries and pathology requests. Unbeknown to me, Chief Justice Ewing also held shares in the company. This came to light when a tabloid journalist called the chambers looking for a comment.  When I checked in with Chief Justice Ewing, he raised one eyebrow, took a slow breath and said in no uncertain terms that he had divested himself of those, and any other shares that he felt may be in direct conflict with the high office. The journalist wasn’t interested in hearing the facts and threatened me with publishing the story in situ unless he was granted an interview with the Chief Justice. This wasn’t my first time at the party and my killer instincts were as sharp as ever. A few choice words and the journalist backed off. Chief Justice Ewing nodded as he walked past my desk and said “Well executed Alexandra.”

Dah Dum.

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