Guest post: Jennifer Eady QC

Jennifer Eady QC

Try to retain your good humour.

Litigation is stressful for most people and bad tempered advocates raise the stakes and make life more tiring for all concerned. All Judges (in the Employment Tribunal or elsewhere) dislike advocates who are quarrelsome and engage in petty spats during the hearing. We all know issues regarding disclosure or late exchange of witness statements etc etc can be really annoying but try to keep it professional.

If the point is serious enough, make the appropriate application. If not, move on. Don’t lose your temper.

Jennifer Eady QC is a barrister specialising in employment law at Old Square Chambers. She also sits as a County Court Recorder, and sat for several years as Part-Time Employment Judge.

3 Replies to “Guest post: Jennifer Eady QC”

  1. Any thoughts on what to do when your opponent interrupts you more than once (and adds little) during a submission and is not pulled up by the Judge?

  2. I think advocates tend to find their own way of dealing with these things but, for my part, I usually find it helpful to stop my submission, turn to look at my opponent (hopefully in a withering way) and, after s/he has finished, say something along the lines “I wonder if my learned friend/friend/Mr/Ms X [delete as applicable/depending on how polite you wish to be] would do me and the Tribunal the courtesy of waiting until I have finished my submission rather than interrupting in future.” That usually seems to work.

  3. But bear in mind that Jenny Eady has the kind of depth of experience that allows her to read at a glance whether an interruption is helpful or merely discourteous – and how the tribunal is taking her opponent’s behaviour. Most readers of this blog should probably be more cautious about tackling interruptions head on. If the judge is doing nothing, one possibility is that the interruptions are justified. Another is that the judge is finding the interruptions irritating, but hasn’t quite yet got to the point of restraining them. In either of those cases, it will probably be better to remain silent and put up with it: at best, you’ll be scoring points for patience while the other side carries on annoying everyone.

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