This is an email I sent to a number of lawyers who are known for their keen forensic skill. many of them believed it, despite the reference to 'April fuel' at the end.
Many of you may be unaware that chambers has signed up for the test scheme of 'barristers via Skype' that is being introduced in pilot areas in selected Crown Courts around the country.
Because of this scheme we will be permitted to attend certain hearings via a Skype videolink. This is set to coincide with paperless trials and has the benefit of enabling us to maximise our efficiency. Where we do not have to physically attend court we can attend mentions in, say, Newcastle, Cardiff and Canterbury all in one morning.
There are a few requirements for the pilot.
1) you must agree to dressing appropriately. Although you will be working at home, you will still be deemed present in whichever Crown Court you appear in.
2) You must have a policy to minimise the disruptive effect of disapproving partners or your small children. It is accepted by judges that interruption may occur by partners or spouses asking for car keys or complaining that certain household chores have not been completed. Also, young children may interrupt hearings as they ask to be able to play, go to the park or inform you that their nappy needs changing.
So long as you have a policy that you can email to the relevant judge, you will find them to be accommodating when such matters occur.
3) A paypal account. The LSC is devolving its responsibilities to paypal and eBay for the payment of barristers, so a paypal account is essential if you want to get paid.
Finally, I hope you make the most of this scheme. It should increase your profitability and should reduce your travel and travel costs considerably. In light of the recent petrol fiasco, it is important to make savings where we can, especially on April fuel.
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