Yesterday, as is normal for a Friday morning, there was a packed courtroom in Glasgow Sheriff Court. This court was scheduled to deal with around 100 miscellaneous civil cases, including a number where parties were attending the court themselves as they did not have lawyers.
The Sheriff progressed quickly and efficiently through the morning’s business, taking care to explain to the unrepresented parties what was happening and working to, as the rules require, “secure the expeditious progress of the case”.
Early on came a lovely moment, which could only have occurred in the West of Scotland (and for those who point out it could have happened elsewhere, I disagree, so there!)
The Sheriff was being asked to schedule a legal hearing for a later date. The Sheriff Clerk suggested that the hearing should be on the 12th July.
Then came the moment…
The Sheriff said, “I don’t know where the agents in this case are from, so I don’t know if they are aware of what the 12th July is …”
From some of the members of the public there was an audible gasp…
What relevance would the 12th July have for the scheduling of a court hearing?
Was the court action connected to large numbers of people marching in their colourful outfits, playing their party tunes, to celebrate historical events across the sea some time ago?
Was the Sheriff suggesting that the lawyers might be wearing their finery and thus unavailable to attend court?
After a short pause, which was a masterpiece of comic timing (almost certainly unconscious, as I would not suggest that the Sheriff was making a joke about this matter, especially in Glasgow), he spoke again.
“If you are not from here, you may not realise that 12th July is Glasgow Fair Friday…does it suit for the case to be on that day?”
The crowded courtroom sighed in relief. Thankfully we had avoided the risk of a “Sheriff in Boyne-related Outburst” headline.
And the court continued on its merry way thereafter…
Posted by Paul McConville