While legal services may be about to decrease in cost in the next few years with the effects of the Legal Services Act 2007 beginning to be felt, it appears that some are tired of waiting and seeking to cut costs in another way. David Evans was arrested last week for impersonating a barrister and trying to argue his friend's case with no legal qualifications whatsover.
Passing the BVC and being given a tenancy with a Chambers is a monumental achievement and is widely acccepted as a valid means of deciphering those with the required advocacy skills to answer questions of law and those not. Mr Evans, clearly was not.
While he was in no doubt going to be unable to present a strong case with no legal education, he could at least have followed protocol by dressing correctly. Mr Evans apparently wore a solicitor's gown, but a barrister's wig and presented a legal argument based on what he had read in a book or seen on television. The judge, Stephen Wildblood then sought to question Mr Evans on his legal knowledge, before ordering a retrial based on the fact that the counsel for the defendant was not in fact a barrister.
It seems that the lesson to learn from this case is, while it may look easy on television, law is very difficult. The title of barrister, is not one that is handed out lightly. Mr Evans may have thought that he was helping his friend, but if anything his presence was a major hindrance. My only advice to Mr Evans, is to make sure that he gets a good lawyer for his own trial!