Judge rebukes lawyer for 'dressing like something out of Harry Potter'

REPRIMAND: Alan Blacker appeared at Cardiff Crown Court

REPRIMAND: Alan Blacker appeared at Cardiff Crown Court

First published in News
Last updated

A JUDGE rebuked the defence lawyer in the trial of a Blackwood dangerous driver for dressing “like something out of Harry Potter”.

After the defendant was taken down, the judge asked Andreiz Wojcicki’s lawyer why he was wearing ribbons on his gown and calling himself Lord Harley of Counsel.

Lord Harley, whose LinkedIn profile gives the name Alan Blacker, said he inherited his title from his father in Ireland. He said he had earned the colourful medals on his gown during voluntary service with St John’s Ambulance.

He represented Andrzej Wojcicki, 45, who was found guilty on Thursday of causing the death of 30-year-old cyclist Owain James, from Oakdale, last year and sentenced to five years in prison.

But Judge David Wynn Morgan told him: “If you want to come into court looking like something out of Harry Potter, you can forget coming to this court ever again.”

Turning to prosecuting barrister Nicholas Gareth Jones at Cardiff Crown Court he asked: “Have you ever seen a barrister or solicitor appear before the courts wearing a medal or badges sewn on his robes?”

Mr Jones replied he had not.

Judge Morgan said: “Here in South Wales we had a barrister, who later became a judge, who had won during the Battle of Normandy the highest order of gallantry the Victoria Cross.”

Again turning to Mr Jones he asked, “Did you ever see him wearing a medal?”

Mr Jones again replied no.

Judge Morgan said: “He would have considered it the height of vulgarity for such a thing to be done. If you ever appear before this court again dressed as you are, I shall exercise my right to decline to hear you.

“I didn’t raise any of these matters during the trial because I am mindful of the fact a young man has died and I did not want to interfere with the dignity of the proceedings.”

Alan Blacker, or Lord Harley, said he had been told by Lord Chief Justice Thompson that it was appropriate to wear the medals on his robes.

But Judge Morgan said: “To my certain knowledge, since I started practicing there has been no Lord Chief Justice in England, Scotland or Wales called Thompson.”

He said the lawyer had sent an email to the court signed ‘Doctor The Right Honourable Lord Harley of Counsel’.

But he suggested it was inappropriate for the lawyer to style himself ‘of counsel’ if he was a solicitor advocate and not a barrister.

Judge Morgan retired from the courtroom before the lawyer could protest.

Lord Harley asked the clerk to pass him a message saying: “I am very, very disappointed by his closing remarks.”

He said he was regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and a member of The Solicitors’ Association of Higher Courts Advocates.

Comments (17)

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1:21pm Fri 29 Aug 14

Katie Re-Registered says...

"But Judge David Wynn Morgan told him: “If you want to come into court looking like something out of Harry Potter, you can forget coming to this court ever again.” "

Just out of curiosity; did Judge Wynn-Morgan say that to him whilst wearing a powdered wig, breeches and stockings, looking not too dissimilar to something out of the 'Madness of King George', by any chance?;)
"But Judge David Wynn Morgan told him: “If you want to come into court looking like something out of Harry Potter, you can forget coming to this court ever again.” " Just out of curiosity; did Judge Wynn-Morgan say that to him whilst wearing a powdered wig, breeches and stockings, looking not too dissimilar to something out of the 'Madness of King George', by any chance?;) Katie Re-Registered
  • Score: 21

1:24pm Fri 29 Aug 14

myopinion1988 says...

this is hysterical!!!
this is hysterical!!! myopinion1988
  • Score: 29

2:03pm Fri 29 Aug 14

bobbajob says...

Can't say I'd want this chap defending me in such a serious matter.
Can't say I'd want this chap defending me in such a serious matter. bobbajob
  • Score: 40

3:05pm Fri 29 Aug 14

jimmysmith says...

The judge should have shown some respect and dignity and spoken to him in private .not used his chum the prosecution barrister to publicly ridicule him .i personally think your a very ignorant and pompous man your honour and should publicly apologise to this man
The judge should have shown some respect and dignity and spoken to him in private .not used his chum the prosecution barrister to publicly ridicule him .i personally think your a very ignorant and pompous man your honour and should publicly apologise to this man jimmysmith
  • Score: 4

3:33pm Fri 29 Aug 14

Woodgnome says...

Both characters eccentrics. Jimmy smith spot on - the Judge was undignified himself and misused his position in public.
Both characters eccentrics. Jimmy smith spot on - the Judge was undignified himself and misused his position in public. Woodgnome
  • Score: 6

3:41pm Fri 29 Aug 14

AB says...

It may have been easier for Judge Morgan to direct Lord Harley to the document where it clearly states how defence lawyers should dress in Court. It is assumed of course that this document is fully accessible and extant, however, I could not possibly comment!
It may have been easier for Judge Morgan to direct Lord Harley to the document where it clearly states how defence lawyers should dress in Court. It is assumed of course that this document is fully accessible and extant, however, I could not possibly comment! AB
  • Score: 13

3:47pm Fri 29 Aug 14

davidcp says...

Katie Re-Registered wrote:
"But Judge David Wynn Morgan told him: “If you want to come into court looking like something out of Harry Potter, you can forget coming to this court ever again.” "

Just out of curiosity; did Judge Wynn-Morgan say that to him whilst wearing a powdered wig, breeches and stockings, looking not too dissimilar to something out of the 'Madness of King George', by any chance?;)
Touché!

But in fairness, while you may agree that the dress is a little archaic, it's a lot better than the solicitors I've seen turning up with boyband haircuts, unbuttoned collars and pixie shoes. The one thing about people in professions is they should look professional, not like they've just got out of bed, the pub (careful....) or are going out on the lash.

Ditto police officers turning up in unbuttoned tunics and walking into court like that, the slovenly *****.
[quote][p][bold]Katie Re-Registered[/bold] wrote: "But Judge David Wynn Morgan told him: “If you want to come into court looking like something out of Harry Potter, you can forget coming to this court ever again.” " Just out of curiosity; did Judge Wynn-Morgan say that to him whilst wearing a powdered wig, breeches and stockings, looking not too dissimilar to something out of the 'Madness of King George', by any chance?;)[/p][/quote]Touché! But in fairness, while you may agree that the dress is a little archaic, it's a lot better than the solicitors I've seen turning up with boyband haircuts, unbuttoned collars and pixie shoes. The one thing about people in professions is they should look professional, not like they've just got out of bed, the pub (careful....) or are going out on the lash. Ditto police officers turning up in unbuttoned tunics and walking into court like that, the slovenly *****. davidcp
  • Score: 22

4:05pm Fri 29 Aug 14

NakedDancer says...

It would be interesting to know if there is an official and mandatory dress code. If not then the judge saying "you can forget coming to this court ever again" and "I shall exercise my right to decline to hear you" is totally out of order 1. suggesting he could ban the solicitor from doing his job of work and 2. possible bias against the defence case based on purely personal and subjective opinion of the defence solicitor.
It would be interesting to know if there is an official and mandatory dress code. If not then the judge saying "you can forget coming to this court ever again" and "I shall exercise my right to decline to hear you" is totally out of order 1. suggesting he could ban the solicitor from doing his job of work and 2. possible bias against the defence case based on purely personal and subjective opinion of the defence solicitor. NakedDancer
  • Score: 4

7:05pm Fri 29 Aug 14

Strider says...

So he's got glasses like Harry Potter so he must be dressing like him.. Besides I thought all those Goblins dressed up like the Judge
So he's got glasses like Harry Potter so he must be dressing like him.. Besides I thought all those Goblins dressed up like the Judge Strider
  • Score: 2

8:22pm Fri 29 Aug 14

33daverave says...

The practice direction on Court dress entitles a solicitor advocate to wear a short wig in circumstances where junior counsel would. That is the case here. The Judge got it wrong.
The practice direction on Court dress entitles a solicitor advocate to wear a short wig in circumstances where junior counsel would. That is the case here. The Judge got it wrong. 33daverave
  • Score: 4

9:59pm Fri 29 Aug 14

corpardguy says...

The pot calling the kettle.........!!!
The dress codes of the law "profession " were designed in the 17th century to be imposing and instill a sense of order and even dread into the court where most of the defendants could not even afford shoes or rudimentary 'fashion'. It was to show how much in charge they were.
Totally inappropriate today and actually quite ridiculous.
Still its a traditional aspect so no one in authority in this profession is going to change it, as the whole boiling lot is bathed in claptrap and current sentencing for violent crimes is way out of line with what is required. Lets get that right first shall we?
The pot calling the kettle.........!!! The dress codes of the law "profession " were designed in the 17th century to be imposing and instill a sense of order and even dread into the court where most of the defendants could not even afford shoes or rudimentary 'fashion'. It was to show how much in charge they were. Totally inappropriate today and actually quite ridiculous. Still its a traditional aspect so no one in authority in this profession is going to change it, as the whole boiling lot is bathed in claptrap and current sentencing for violent crimes is way out of line with what is required. Lets get that right first shall we? corpardguy
  • Score: 3

10:12pm Fri 29 Aug 14

DGee123 says...

It's gone national...

http://www.bbc.co.uk
/news/uk-wales-28979
459
It's gone national... http://www.bbc.co.uk /news/uk-wales-28979 459 DGee123
  • Score: 0

8:57am Sat 30 Aug 14

Evil Flanker says...

And theres me thinking the important thing in a court is justice. Silly me!
And theres me thinking the important thing in a court is justice. Silly me! Evil Flanker
  • Score: 8

9:26am Sat 30 Aug 14

paddyparry says...

jimmysmith wrote:
The judge should have shown some respect and dignity and spoken to him in private .not used his chum the prosecution barrister to publicly ridicule him .i personally think your a very ignorant and pompous man your honour and should publicly apologise to this man
Jimmy, the judge is within his rights to do this. He can publicly criticise the performance, conduct and behaviour of any legal representative who appears in his court. I think you'll find that the defence council is the pompous person in that courtroom.
[quote][p][bold]jimmysmith[/bold] wrote: The judge should have shown some respect and dignity and spoken to him in private .not used his chum the prosecution barrister to publicly ridicule him .i personally think your a very ignorant and pompous man your honour and should publicly apologise to this man[/p][/quote]Jimmy, the judge is within his rights to do this. He can publicly criticise the performance, conduct and behaviour of any legal representative who appears in his court. I think you'll find that the defence council is the pompous person in that courtroom. paddyparry
  • Score: -16

9:30am Sat 30 Aug 14

Lastpost says...

Never see a thin one do you?
Never see a thin one do you? Lastpost
  • Score: 1

9:49am Sat 30 Aug 14

NakedDancer says...

paddyparry wrote:
jimmysmith wrote:
The judge should have shown some respect and dignity and spoken to him in private .not used his chum the prosecution barrister to publicly ridicule him .i personally think your a very ignorant and pompous man your honour and should publicly apologise to this man
Jimmy, the judge is within his rights to do this. He can publicly criticise the performance, conduct and behaviour of any legal representative who appears in his court. I think you'll find that the defence council is the pompous person in that courtroom.
It's stretching the point quite a bit to say a persons dress sense is encompassed under 'performance, conduct and behaviour' on the personal opinion of the judge. Sounds more like bullying. Having said that, I wouldn't want to be represented by someone who seems more interested in advertising himself as a clown.
[quote][p][bold]paddyparry[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jimmysmith[/bold] wrote: The judge should have shown some respect and dignity and spoken to him in private .not used his chum the prosecution barrister to publicly ridicule him .i personally think your a very ignorant and pompous man your honour and should publicly apologise to this man[/p][/quote]Jimmy, the judge is within his rights to do this. He can publicly criticise the performance, conduct and behaviour of any legal representative who appears in his court. I think you'll find that the defence council is the pompous person in that courtroom.[/p][/quote]It's stretching the point quite a bit to say a persons dress sense is encompassed under 'performance, conduct and behaviour' on the personal opinion of the judge. Sounds more like bullying. Having said that, I wouldn't want to be represented by someone who seems more interested in advertising himself as a clown. NakedDancer
  • Score: 4

4:01pm Sat 30 Aug 14

jimmysmith says...

paddyparry wrote:
jimmysmith wrote:
The judge should have shown some respect and dignity and spoken to him in private .not used his chum the prosecution barrister to publicly ridicule him .i personally think your a very ignorant and pompous man your honour and should publicly apologise to this man
Jimmy, the judge is within his rights to do this. He can publicly criticise the performance, conduct and behaviour of any legal representative who appears in his court. I think you'll find that the defence council is the pompous person in that courtroom.
yes paddy i agree and his honour can also show his ignorance as well .and this judge showed his in abundance as well .His outburst is most probably going to cost the tax payer tens of thousands as well ,because it will be the basis of an appeal .Manners and respect costs nothing .you please point out ,when and how was the defence council was pompous .are you by any chance the prosecution or the judge ?
[quote][p][bold]paddyparry[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jimmysmith[/bold] wrote: The judge should have shown some respect and dignity and spoken to him in private .not used his chum the prosecution barrister to publicly ridicule him .i personally think your a very ignorant and pompous man your honour and should publicly apologise to this man[/p][/quote]Jimmy, the judge is within his rights to do this. He can publicly criticise the performance, conduct and behaviour of any legal representative who appears in his court. I think you'll find that the defence council is the pompous person in that courtroom.[/p][/quote]yes paddy i agree and his honour can also show his ignorance as well .and this judge showed his in abundance as well .His outburst is most probably going to cost the tax payer tens of thousands as well ,because it will be the basis of an appeal .Manners and respect costs nothing .you please point out ,when and how was the defence council was pompous .are you by any chance the prosecution or the judge ? jimmysmith
  • Score: 0

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