From Justinian, May 1997
No one was more distressed than myself to see barrister S. Littlemore QC being set upon in the High Court.
How can a busy man, with a large extramural career devoted to ridding society of the influences of an evil media, be expected to know all the trifling rules of court?
I ask you to bear those considerations in mind when you read the following excerpt from the transcript of the recent special leave application in the personal injuries matter of Wynbergen v Hoyts Corporation.
Justice McHugh: Mr Littlemore, before you continue there is something I have to draw your attention to and that is your summary of argument does not comply with the rules. It tells the court nothing as to what your argument is.
Littlemore: I apologise for that. I was unaware that it was not in compliance with the rules, your Honour.
McHugh: We want to know what your argument is. Your refer [to] ‘references to the argument in the court below’, and that is not the question that is posed by the rules. And there is a reference to Justice Clarke at 75.8 and 78.1. I have checked those references. It is impossible to determine what your argument is by reason of those references. I do not know whether it is line 8 of line 1 or point 8 on the page, but whichever of those alternatives it is, it does not assist us. I have drawn your attention to it and in future it ought to be known that it is not sufficient just to refer to passages in the judgments below. The rule requires the party’s argument, although briefly. I do not want to embarrass you in any way but I just draw your attention for the future.
Littlemore: I regret it did not meet with your Honour’s needs …
(Other contributions to Littlemore Watch are always received with interest.)