Friday, May 03, 2013
...AND JUSTICE FOR NONE: Chapter 1 - Contempt
LOCKED UP in prison. Not the place you would expect to find an up-and-coming young barrister like Arthur Conscience.
As he looked around at the winos and other assorted undesirables accompanying him in the cells, Arthur reflected upon how he, supposedly one of the most talented barristers in his generation, had ended up in such a hideous place.
It had started as any other day in court. Arthur was representing a wife who was applying for an order requiring her husband to disclose assets that he was clearly hiding from the court, in a blatant attempt to defeat her financial claims on divorce.
The evidence that the husband was hiding assets had been overwhelming, and Arthur had expected getting the order would be a formality.
What Arthur hadn't taken into account, however, was that the application was being heard by Judge Dodgy, and that the husband was being represented by Edgar Venal. Like most of the legal profession, Arthur had heard the rumours that Judge Dodgy accepted bribes to find cases in favour of the payer of the bribe, but he was still sufficiently inexperienced to believe that such a thing could really happen in his beloved profession.
However, today it soon became clear to Arthur that Judge Dodgy was interested in something other than the overwhelming evidence in favour of Arthur's client. Much to Arthur's astonishment, he summarily rejected each point in Arthur's carefully-prepared skelton argument, and dismissed the application, without even hearing what Edgar Venal had to say.
Arthur was fuming. Before he could stop himself, he leapt to his feet.
"So the rumours about you are true!" He shouted at Judge Dodgy.
Judge Dodgy peered over his glasses at Arthur, a look of utter disdain on his face. "Rumours?" He said calmly. "Explain yourself, Mr Conscience. What do you mean?"
"He paid you to find against my client!" Shrieked Arthur, pointing across at Edgar Venal.
Needless to say, the accusation didn't go down well with Judge Dodgy, who promptly sent Arthur down for contempt.