Monday, February 19, 2007

Intimidation by the barrister

During the Final Hearing I was not reacting quickly enough - that is immediately resuming my seat the moment the mother's barrister, Josephine Willis, stood up and interjected. After a couple of reminders, Josephine Willis turned to the me, and at a distance of approximately 50cm, shouted loudly in my face “WHEN I STAND YOU SIT ! YOU GOT THAT ?! WHEN I STAND YOU SIT !” I was speechless and I did not respond. Rather I later approached the barrister Josephine Willis and calmly explained that as I had never been in court before, much less self-represented, I would try to remember as best I could, but that I may forget again.

It was obvious that the behaviour of the barrister Josephine Willis was deliberately provocative, and was a form intimidation. It was like the provocative behaviour of the solicitor Eddy Lago. Justice Carmody witnessed this aggressive outburst but said nothing.

The truth is that it would not be unreasonable for a person to respond aggressively to such an outburst. Such provocative behaviour by solicitors and barristers (particularly toward self-representing litigants) should be condemned by the Court, rather than be accepted as a fair tactic.

Solicitor Eddy Lago was also present at the Final Hearing. During the barrister’s cross examination of me, he sat staring at me with a piercing look as if to say “how could you have done this ?” More psychological intimidation. Finally I remarked “What is this Eddy ? Is it a staring contest ?” He gave a half smile, turned his eyes away momentarily before resuming his piercing stare.

There were other examples of psychological intimidation which I will not go into here. Perhaps one should just shrug this off as courtroom theatrics? I say psychological intimidation is regarded as a form of Domestic Violence, and it should not be tolerated when solicitors and barristers do it also.


Barbara said...

I have just heard of another case of Josephine Willis, now a magistrate herself, where she literally screamed like a banshee at a woman who had just escaped with her life from a DV situation ordering her to return to her abusive partner with her children.
How can these people get be in these positions of power?
How can they be so unaccountable?
Perhaps now she has even more power, there will be opportunties for her to be reported to the proper authorities for her conduct. I believe there is such a board.

Lauryn said...

I like her...Josephine Willis was my Barrister and acted in a professional manner at all times. The best decisions were made in relation to my child.