Since news came in of Justice Dame Lowell Patria Goddard's new job as head of a British child sex abuse inquiry, the Ladies & Escorts Lounge has been flooded with tales of fond memories from Her Honour's stellar career.
According to Our Man At The Bar, who is conducting a farewell whip-round, well-wishers include Judge Les Atkins QC and ex-lawyer Barry Hart.
(After expenses and incidentals are deducted OMATB expects to have something left over for a nicely-inscribed card on special at the $2 Shop.)
A venerable contemporary (name withheld) remembers fondly a High Court jury trial with Lowell and others. "I was impressed. She looked and smelt wonderful...Our clients were found guilty but it was an enjoyable and memorable experience..."
Legal insiders reminded CaseLoad that as well as being currently married to Queen's Counsel and military man Chris Hodson, and first married (briefly) to squirrel-saver Sir Walter John (Johnny) Scott - who became 5th Baronet of Beaclerc - Lowell also fitted in marriages to Auckland University history academic Tony Cotton and Auckland lawyer Graeme Jenkins.
Unfortunately, the highly-regarded Cotton - who met Lowell in the early 1970's - died suddenly in the mid 1970's, it is believed, from a heart infection picked up earlier in the Middle East.
A pal says Cotton's PhD was on newspaper publishing in England in the 17th century.
Another reckoned Jenkins' office parties were jolly good fun.
More on David Bain
Prisoner's advocate Roger Brooking - having followed CaseLoad's commonsense appraisal of the David Cullen Bain Affair (
) - has drawn attention to what he sees is a conflicting courtroom conundrum.
In completely rejecting Bain's now abandoned pre-judicial review claims to the contrary, Justice Patrick Keane found conclusively that then Justice Minister Judith Collins did everything by the book in handling Bain's compensation claim.
In his 2013 judgment, Justice Keane quoted the Supreme Court of Canada, which said:
"The purpose of a prosecution is not to obtain a conviction, it is to lay before a jury what the Crown considers to be credible evidence relevant to what is alleged to be a crime. Counsel have a duty to see that all available legal proof of the facts is presented: it should be done firmly and pressed to its legitimate strength, but it must be done fairly. The role of the prosecutor excludes any noting of 'winning or losing'; his function is a matter of public duty."
Brooking asks CaseLoad if this Canadian interpretation has any relevance in New Zealand and whether the Solicitor General's guidelines for prosecution are based on a serious misinterpretation of legal thinking.
For the record, the New Zealand Test for Prosecution is met if:
The evidence which can be adduced in Court is sufficient to provide a reasonable prospect of conviction - the Evidential Test; and Prosecution is required in the public interest - the Public Interest Test.
Each aspect of the test must be separately considered and satisfied before a decision to prosecute can be taken. The Evidential Test must be satisfied before the Public Interest Test is considered. The prosecutor must analyse and evaluate all of the evidence and information in a thorough and critical manner.
Guidelines go on about the prospects of success and state that a prosecution should only proceed if there is an "objectively reasonable prospect of a conviction on the evidence."
"At first glance, CaseLoad, there appears to be fundamentally different approaches to prosecution between the Canadians and us," said Our Man At The Bar sensibly.
"Maybe that's the difference which confused and conflicted Bain compo inquirer Ian Binnie???"
Meanwhile, Prime Minister John Key, talking to Bain/Karam advocate Mike Hosking on NewstalkZB on Monday, says Bain's legal team will have to prove David's father Robin Bain killed his family, if he wants compensation.
According to Key, having his convictions quashed is not good enough for Bain to claim compo - he has to prove his father did it.
Key said Queen's Counsel and former High Court judge Robert Fisher - engaged by Judith Collins to peer review Ian Binnie's report - "ripped Binnie's report apart."
What do you think???
"Not a penny more," said The Scunner...Again.
Seen & heard
has joined Anderson Lloyd's commercial and employment team, working as a solicitor in the Dunedin office. Brenton was admitted in 2014 after graduating from Otago University with an LLB. He also holds a B Com from Lincoln University.
* Nicko Waymouth is a new senior associate at competition law firm Matthews Law. Described as a most experienced competition lawyer, with expertise in mergers, cartel work and consumer protection/marketing law, he joins from Minter Ellison Rudd Watts where he previously worked with Andy Matthews and Gus Stewart of Matthews Law.
There must be more to judging than this
CaseLoad goes Beneath The Wig to reveal how a High Court judge ponders (
) the bothersome job of running a trial.
It's a warm, sultry morning in Auckland High Court as business begins for the day...
"Be upstanding for Her Honour, the Queen's Judge...
The Queen versus drone drone drone..."
What's up today??? Some b*gger accused of murder at a convent, burning the nuns alive, putting it all on Facebook and pleading not guilty on the grounds of poor parenting... Shouldn't take too long...
Dammit, I've laddered my stocking...
Who have we got on our side??? Saints preserve us, not old Creepy John (name withheld)...better add on a couple more weeks...
And for the innocent accused, it's that inbred nincompoop "Have Open And Shut Not A Sh*t Show In Hell Guilty Case, So The Only Way To Make A Quid Is To Screw Legal Aid For Everything Possible" (name withheld).
"Any chance of making a start this side of Christmas, counsel???"
"Ma'am, Your Honour, there are, Ma'am, some preliminary matters of jurisdiction, Ma'am, Bill of Rights, Hague Convention on Red-Bearded Miscreants of Short Stature, ramifications of the Jarndyce and Jarndyce conundrum, Ma'am, if Your Honour pleases, Ma'am..."
I don't please at all, sonny...
"Applications declined...Get on with it..."
Just look at that bunch over there...a comatose budgie would have a bigger brain...What do they come here for, anyway??? Cluttering the place up... Shelter from the rain, free cup of tea and a digestive biscuit...
"Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, it is my job as trial judge to outline your important civic role in this matter before the Court..."
No it's not...I'm here to keep them awake, show them where the toilets are, remind them to turn off their cell phones and tell them when we knock off for morning and afternoon tea and lunch...The latter, incidentally, they pay for themselves or go hungry...
Sh*t, now the other stocking's gone...They've been firing staples into the Bench again... Ouch."
"Yes, yes...Carry on Mr Whoever You Are..."
He'll be getting some stick from me if he persists with this "my client is innocent" nonsense much longer...B*gger wouldn't be here if he was innocent...
Hello??? What's this poking out of the Big Blue Chambers Book??? A cutting from the latest Cushie Judicial Jobs In Exotic Locales magazine...
Golden opportunity, whacking great salary, all expenses paid, first class travel, flash digs, tax minimalisation, flunkies and forelock tugging galore, weekends in the country, subsidisied shopping trips, Royal Ascot, more toffs than one can shake a long bottom at and - best of all - no pesky appeal judges to trip up One's Honour.
Would suit well-brought up and worldy-wise colonial with links to the Peerage keen on personal advancement.
May have to occasionally deal with some grubby public school stuff but staff can take care of most of that.
An interest in animals would be useful.
"Court is Adjourned..."
I'm out of here...Where's my passport???
The Judge and The Printing Press - Strange Practices Revealed.