Top positive review
A Solicitor's Tale
8 July 2015
This is an amusing and highly informative account of the professional life of a solicitor with wide experience of different aspects of the law. Stuart Duncan, during his career, acted in almost all branches of litigation including accident claims, aircraft travel, boundary disputes, commercial contracts, employment rights, intellectual property and family matters. Some readers will be particularly fascinated by his accounts of divorce cases in which he represented the interests of one of the disputing parties. Others will find his recollections of his time in criminal law to be even more interesting.
The variety of work in which he was involved is indeed astonishing ranging from matters arising from the collision of cargo vessels in the Mediterranean to compensation for an unfortunate individual who died (presumably of anthrax) after breathing in the dust from a bag of bonemeal with which he was dressing his garden. Some of his clients, apparently addicted to litigation, repeatedly brought cases that were clearly vexatious and had to be discouraged by court verdict from proceeding further. One which sticks in my mind was the client who sued an airline because he was seriously alarmed when the aircraft in which he was travelling banked very steeply on its approach to Rio de Janeiro thus affecting his psychology and ruining the work which he had intended to do in that city. It is well known that aircraft seeking to land safely at Rio have to make this manoeuvre in order to avoid catastrophe.
In the latter years of his career Stuart Duncan became a judge at Industrial Tribunals. To the layman, of whom I am one, it seems that many of those bringing the cases which appeared before him in this role were apt to be as varied and eccentric as the litigants of his earlier
life. Of note was the postman who hid his bag of mail in a bush on Hampstead Heath because he had suddenly remembered he had a tryst with his girl friend.
Human life is here in all its extraordinary facets, pathetic, funny and unbearably tragic. Duncan has seen it all and describes it in this cool, amused,entertaining and often compassionate account which I believe will be of great interest to those with or without a knowledge of law courts and legal procedures. It is more than worth the download.