WHAT’S IN THE BAG? ADVICE ON WHAT TO TAKE TO COURT: HANDKERCHIEFS, PENS AND … TUNNOCKS

As part of the series where contributions are invited from Twitter I asked what advice on what advocates should take to court with them.  What essentials should be in the bag? Not all the contributions should be taken too seriously, but there are plenty of words of wisdom here.

THE SEMI-SERIOUS ADVICE

 

Sticky flags (of various sizes) & a pen that writes on the flags you have with you.

Tape measure (no really!!), calculator, the names of every usher in each court you visit and for the junior advocate the Bar Council ethics hotline number

Definitely a calculator. I had to stop at a service station to buy one once. A WWF British Bulldog one. Which I had to lend to the High Court judge. 🤦‍♀️

A blank USB memory stick with decent capacity. When (inevitably) someone attends with a large PDF, video etc that can’t be emailed between the parties you will suddenly become very popular.

Pencil case. Spare pen. Small post its for flagging docs. Big post its for clients and sols to pass notes to me! A small hand mirror can be good to check wig on straight. Wig. Gown. Spare bands. Cash for lunch/coffee. Phone ON SILENT. Credit cards etc.

– Tissues for teary clients, partners/parents of clients – Charging block of mobile phone – highlighters/sticky flags (as to the latter, I have a preference for a panda variety sold by WHSmith – Mini stapler – Snack ( protein bites in particular) – Spare change

Can’t believe no one has yet said A pen. And A spare pen. And then A third pen for when the first two run out or your opponent borrowed one!

1. Low GI snacks / fruit 2. Hand gel 3. Battery pack for your phone 4. Many, many pens 5. A non work book 6. Deodorant / aftershave / hair care products 7. A silk or senior junior who knows all the answers or means of contacting them. 8. A scarf 9. Spare shoelaces 10. A Sherpa

Sticky tabs 2 spare pens Phone charger A book

I am guessing the criminal law fraternity have a better handle on the answer to your post … my only observation is that the metal detectors may scupper things … personally I’d say a 🍌 and a 🖊 but I’m but a boring commercial litigator

From the early days of doing RTA small claims every day, I still carry a pair of toy cars with me everywhere.

Change, for parking and for the coffee run, cigarettes always go down well with lay clients, spare tights/stockings, more post-its of various sizes (flags and notes), tissues (court loos are grim and also, tears), phone chargers.

One entirely spare copy of the bundle

Calculator you are familiar with Notepad Pens Double then triple check you have them. They disappear worse than train tickets. If you have the luxury to do so, take a person who can pass you docs and take notes.

Paper, spare pens, post-it notes, paperclips, paper bundle, phone charger or at least the lead, change (I use a 35mm film canister which probably shows my age)..folding bag for life…

Plenty of notebooks, post-its, holepunch & black marker for inserts into bundles, mints, tissues, paper/pens so anxious client can pass note rather than whisper comments!!

Counsel’s notebook(s); pens, highlighters and post-its in various colours; hole punch for the inevitable documents added late to bundles; stapler and spare staples; change for coffee machine; sandwiches; not too out of date edition of White Book.

Hand gel

Also bags of change for that pesky parking meter

A spare notebook. FAS forms, lots of FAS forms. Legal Aid forms.

Seconded! Spare forms for whatever you’re doing. Also more pens and stationery than you think you need.

Tissues, hand gel, charger, battery and then noise cancelling headphones and other work to do on my laptop.

Apart from the obvious: cash, proper snack bars, spare tights, hand gel, compact mirror, deodorant (if it doesn’t get confiscated!) battery charger for iPhone & big battery pack for old laptop.

Laptop/tablet Charger Spare phone charger Hand gel Moisturiser Tissues Headphones Deodorant Water bottle Portable charger Decent rucksack Cash (because some Court cafés don’t accept card!) Snacks

After first experience in the RCJ as a trainee, always advise compact overnight kit just in case, half day application turned into full 2 days & I was woefully unprepared, cue late night scramble for essentials post post-hearing con. Now never travel without spare makeup!

Kiby grips (or bobby pins as we seem to sometimes now be calling them) will also do for a missing cufflink in a pinch

Shortest treasury tags for when you lose a cuff link and your studs breaks.

Hardly anyone ever brings a mobile printer. I often take one, as much handier/faster than relying on court for tweaks and amends. Often asked to draft because of this. The hand that rocks the cradle…

Based on the appalling treatment of a fellow advocate by Cpurt staff in Feb … what ever you do, avoid sanitary products!

Definitely tissues. I have a habit of making my clients cry. Then give them Kleenex pocket tissues with Elsa or Ironman or Spiderman on them. Goes down a real treat

Me. Some days I feel just arriving at court is an achievement. And on a good day, my client.

I would add a magnifying glass to the list for looking at maps & phone schedules.

Neurofen

FOOD

Food was a common theme

Doughnuts for the ushers. They may get shared………

FOOD. At the minimum some nuts and dried fruit. You will think you’ll have time to run out for lunch but you won’t. Also water, as that is in short supply in courts these days.

I now force protein flapjacks on my poor roommate when he’s in court. He always protests and is then relieved

Me too! The lemon and blueberry squares are

Nooo! This day and age you never know who is allergic to nuts. One usher in Maidstone was hospitalised after an advocate ate something with nuts. She only had to touch the door handle of the advocates’ room

Chocolate for emergencies.

Kendal mint cake…

 

Indigestion tablets

TUNNOCKS

CONTRIBUTIONS NOT TO BE TAKEN TOO LITERALLY

9mm Glock, spare rounds, balaclava, crampons and some rope