A Case of Judicial Familiarity


The Judge has realised that he is a customer of the Defendant’s garage.

Author: Jason Williams
Reading time: 2 minutes

This article is 6 years old.

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Picture the scene. You have been involved in a long running legal dispute of some 18 months or so.

Finally, the big day arrives where your case is in court for determination. Smartest suit adorned, a nervous drive to the court and some last minute “revision” of your case in the waiting room.  Your opponent arrives and glances duly exchanged. Are they nervous too? Has he come with a solicitor? Should I try to negotiate a settlement? Questions that the two of you are both secretly and silently thinking, probably simultaneously.

A small sip of water upon the parched throat as the clock ticks around to the time of the hearing. Cometh the moment and cometh……… nothing but silence. The clock ticks on and on before a sudden burst of activity as the court usher swoops upon the two of you as if from no-where. Then the least expected words fall from the usher’s lips: “I’m sorry but the court cannot hear your case today”.

The reason? “The Judge has realised that he is a customer of the Defendant’s garage”.

A recent, true story. The case had to be relisted for another Judge probably in 2016. But it made me think. Whoever would get to determine a case whereby, say (for illustration purposes only!) a party to proceedings happened to be Tesco?!

Jason Williams

Legal Advisor

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