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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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A family member requires legal representation at a magistrates

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A family member requires legal representation at a magistrates court. The problem is no solicitors in Hull are taking legal aid cases at present, what is your recommendation please?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
I am not sure what you wanted to know about this?
There is a strike that solicitors in some areas of the country are involved in but not others. If that area is affected then it is quite unlikely you will find anybody to cover. There are usually some firms that will but they are inundated with work. The London bar certainly will not encroach.
The strike has been sporadic and has only really just begun but what happened last time is that defendants just went to court and asked for an adjournment because they had not been able to secure representation which was allowed.
it is possible to have the first appearance dealt with by the duty solicitor but that only gets over that hurdle rather subsequent hearings.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The pre sentencing reports hearing is on 6 August, will an adjournment be possible then in the hope that solicitors will be starting to take legal aid cases again, if not, what is the best avenue to take?

Thank you

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Well, they are not going to be happy about it but it isn't your fault. You are entitled to legal representation and you can't secure it so the Magistrates can have as many tantrums as they like but they will have to put up with it.
The whole point of these actions is to cause the court inconvenience.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for that. What is the nicest way to put this to the court without sounding flippant or disrespectful? My relative has asked if I can speak for them, is this also allowed, as I am a law student but was a little hesitant, if so do I have to introduce myself etc?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
You don't have rights of audience but the truth is that nobody ever really knows what will be allowed to happen at the Magistrates Court. I don't go very much any more but it is a very DIY court. I have seen them allow people with no rights of audience to address them and they quite regularly do pass unlawful sentences and convict when they should acquit.
If there is a strike in the area though then they should be aware of it and he certainly won't be the only one in this position.
It should be a simple matter of explaining that he can't secure representation and asking for the matter to be adjourned. It is not his fault. They are just not taking cases so he cannot instruct a solicitor. It isn't that he hasn't dealt with the matter.
If they do insist on sentencing then he should appeal and that would succeed.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you, ***** ***** been most helpful.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
No problem and all the best.
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