Observant little ...

I don't understand the answer, but I may have some ideas on the question...

random ramblings

The interview

I had my interview for the other PO4 position yesterday. Talking to one of the other interviewees afterwards, I said that I'd felt like a wanker and she said she'd felt like a dickhead, so that gives you some idea of the interview.

Some of the questions were:

1(a) Without breaching client confidentiality, please outline to the panel the most significant single advice that you have provided to a client with particular reference to its strategic significance for that client or that client's operations?

1(b) In retrospect, would your advice have been different or been presented differently?

2. What does it mean to you to be part of a team?

3. What makes a good communicator with respect to interaction with members of the public, professional colleagues and work colleagues?

Part of my problem with the first question is that the nature of my work is that I don't tend to give one single advice for a matter. I give an initial advice, then further advices as the matter progresses. So trying to think of a significant single advice was actually quite difficult.

We had 10 minutes to prepare and then 45 to talk about it. 10 minutes was nowhere near long enough to prepare. I ended up doing the last question with no preparation at all, but it had the least weighting, so hopefully it won't be a problem.

I doubt I'll get the job though. My written application wasn't particularly good and I was up against people who've actually done that job.

The play

I went to see "Wit" by Margaret Edson with the Nymph last night. It was a nice night - we had dinner and beer at Verve first - the food was really good and we both had expensive imported beer, which was quite tasty *licks lips while remembering*.

The play was brilliant - funny, yet confronting. The guy who played Dr Jason Posner did that annoying doctor role to a tee - I remember dealing with doctors like him when my uncle was dying of cancer. The actress playing the nurse, Susie, also did a fantastic job - she did that look that nurses give you when they're writing up their charts, where they don't really look at you, they evaluate you. And the main character, Dr Vivian Bearing, was played to perfection. She reminded me a lot of one of my aunts with that slightly bitter wit and obvious intelligence and education that comes out in every comment. I would recommend it to anyone.

Something I found interesting is that there's a listing for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama winners in the front of the program (Margaret Edson won the prize for this play in 1999) and there are a number of years that there was no award. Why was this? Do they not give an award if they think there has been no play worthy of it that year? But surely in all of the plays in all of the world, there must be one worthy of a Pulitzer each year? If you know the answer, please let me know in the comments.


I have been reading this article in the December 2003 Qld Bar News (p16 & 17) on juries and what they think of the barristers who appear in the trials they are on.

Being from a civil litigation/quasi-criminal* trial background, I have never participated in a jury trial, as they are only used in Australia for limited criminal trials. So I've been fascinated by the account of The Uncivil Litigator in his first jury trial.

Anyway, this article was based on the research of a PhD student, who interviewed 19 jurors about being on the jury. The comment which seemed to go throughout the article was how much juries disliked the theatrics which barristers (especially criminal barristers) so often engage in.

This is part of the reason why I didn't become a barrister - barristers are generally larger-than-life to some degree. They like to be the centre of attention and love being on their feet and "performing" to the Magistrate or Judge. On the other hand, I am what I refer to as a social introvert. I'm perfectly friendly and generally meet people easily, but I hate being the centre of attention and usually spend more time listening to people in a social context that talking. I'm often the person who sits in the corner at a party being overly amused by the antics of those around me, but just talking to one or two people. I'm definitely the audience, not the performer.

I have always done a certain degree of court work as a solicitor. In my first job, as an article clerk, any matter on the callover was generally left to me because of the delays that are usually experienced in appearing in the Magistrates Court. I also tend to do the interlocutory applications for civil matters or the initial mention and pleas of guilty for quasi-criminal matters. I have never been the advocate on a matter through to trial, but have often instructed Counsel (a barrister) at trial. I enjoy instructing Counsel, but I don't really enjoy doing court appearances myself.

Another adverse comment was that the barrister didn't really seem to be involved in the outcome, that it was all a "big game" to them. I actually think that this is not a problem, but a good thing - you really don't want a lawyer who is personally involved to be running your case, you need their objectivity. Sure you want someone who will fight for you, but not someone who is going to feel personally slighted by a bad result or a settlement offer. If a lawyer becomes too personally involved in a case, then they are only doing half their job. Being able to look at the evidence objectively is part of giving good legal advice.

But then, I'm a negotiator at heart, so possibly that skews my perspective to some degree.

*quasi-criminal matters are the prosecution of an offence for which the maximum penalty is a fine - sometimes a hefty fine, but there is no possibility of jail time if found guilty. Most criminal law in Queensland is governed by the Criminal Code, but quasi-criminal offences are offences under some other piece of legislation. They are heard in the Magistrates Court, which is the lowest court in Queensland, and there is no right to a jury.

Listening to: Ben Kweller - On My Way


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, Jack Bradford here, Director of "Wit". Thanks for your comments.

10:48 am  

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