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With all due respect? Is that one lump or two, boss?

Every Issue

Cite as: (2003) 77(3) LIJ, p.68

The Law Institute’s Young Lawyers’ Section will soon release guidelines for articled clerks and principals to follow to make their year together a much smoother one.

However, it seems Scottish Law Online ( ) has beaten our young lawyers to the punch. The website recently ran a guide to dealing with trainees that may be useful.

Among its long list of sage advice was:

  • Never give trainees work in the morning. Always wait until 4pm and then bring it in. The challenge of a deadline is refreshing. If it’s a rush job, run in and interrupt every 10 minutes to inquire how they are doing. That helps. Or even better, hover behind them advising at every keystroke.
  • Always leave without telling anyone where you are going. It gives the trainee a chance to be creative when someone asks where you are.
  • If you give them more than one job to do don’t tell them which is the priority. They are psychic.
  • Do your best to keep trainees late. They adore the office and really have nowhere to go or anything to do. They have no life beyond work.
  • If a job they do pleases you, keep it a secret. If it gets out it may do them some good. If you don’t like their work, tell everyone. They like their name to be popular in conversation.
  • If you have special instructions for a job, don’t write them down. In fact, save them until the job is almost done. No use confusing them with useful information.
  • Wait until their appraisal and then tell them what their goal should have been and what their weaknesses were.
  • Tell them all your little problems. No one else has any and it’s nice to know someone is less fortunate. They especially like the stories about having to pay so much income tax on your recent salary uplift.

WADR is not sure whether this constitutes an exhaustive list, so further contributions would be much appreciated.

For years, lawyers have been the butt of jokes and snide observations by comedians. Now lawyers are hitting back. The Law Institute’s Young Lawyers’ Section is running the Legal Comedy Debate as part of this year’s Melbourne Comedy Festival. The participants will debate a legal topic in the hope of creating maximum laughs and minimal intellectual impact – basically the opposite of a court hearing.
The debate will take place at The Forum Theatre on Monday, 31 March from 6pm. Tickets are available from Ticketek on 13 28 49 or at However, before you go scrambling to buy tickets, WADR is proud to announce it has three double passes up for grabs. To win one of these tickets, you must email WADR – via the contact details provided at the top of this page – your best joke about another profession. Entries close 15 March.
This is your golden opportunity to publicly lampoon another profession and get something free in return. So get to it!

A publication titled JD Jungle has recently published the winners for 2002 of its OJ Awards, which highlight the year’s most interesting legal moments in the US.

The awards are named after former gridiron star and B-grade actor OJ Simpson, whose trial for the murder of his ex-wife and another male received world-wide attention.

Among the winners for 2002 were:

  • a quadriplegic man from Florida who sued a local strip club for violating disabilities laws because its lap-dance room did not have wheelchair access;
  • the Pennsylvania Supreme Court that ruled expert medical testimony was not needed to prove “emotional damages” in a case where a surgical patient awoke with an unwanted penile prosthesis;
  • the jury that found accounting giant Arthur Andersen guilty of obstructing justice in the multi-billion dollar Enron collapse included one juror who asked if the government’s star witness was the man on trial, another who inquired if NASA was somehow involved and two others who were caught sleeping;
  • a Canadian court sentenced a man to six years jail for having an affair with a juror at his murder trial (at which he was acquitted). The juror, who got three months jail, testified that the defendant flirted with her during the presentation of evidence.

A big WADR thank you to the people at Chadwicks – The Law Firm for bringing to its attention an amusing article that appeared in the Sunday Herald Sun on 12 January.

The article, headlined “Killer of an alibi”, tells the tale of Mafia hitman Salvatore Torre, 33, who is already behind bars for murder and was on trial over two other “whackings”.

The trial in Sicily was going swimmingly until Mr Torre got up from his chair to tell the judge: “Your Honour, I have an alibi. It was not me who killed those two men because that night I was shooting two other men.”

Don Corleone would be proud.

Enjoy laughing at the failings, foibles and faux pas of others? Of course you do. Then why not contribute to WADR ?

By email to, by fax on 9607 9451 or by mail C/- The LIJ, 470 Bourke Street, Melbourne 3000.


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