High Court Judge dresses-down an advocate in chambers


“Counsel, I was not impressed by your conduct today. And it’s not that I have a personal issue with you. Any sane adult will make just the very same observations.

Look, I have been in the legal profession for three decades now; ten years in private practice and twenty years as a judge. Never, in my professional life, have I ever seen an advocate make such careless comments as you did today.

I know you have won a few cases and perhaps made a few millions of money, but c’mon, this is not the right place to demonstrate either how much you hate the opposing counsel or how little you think he knows. I was shocked when I heard you refer to him as ‘an engineer of fabrications’ and his witness ‘a man intoxicated with fermented soup’.

I did not believe that was happening in my court. My nerves are yet to calm down. When I saw you rubbing your lips against each other and twisting your mouth like a cow chewing cud, I did not know you were lubricating your throat so the rough words could come out with little resistance.

From your hairstyle to the perfume you are wearing, I can tell you were admitted to the bar recently. Complaints have been made in all corners of the profession about young advocates behaving as if the world rotates on their feet, but I have never imagined a real case would unfold before my eyes.

Did you notice wrinkles of anger tearing the lotion I applied on my face? You didn’t. Did you realize your client, who was probably in court for the first time, looking utterly shocked and perhaps cursing the day he came across your beautifully designed business card? Again, I bet you didn’t because from the look of things you are yet to gather the mature pieces of your life to form a responsible advocate.

I called you to my chambers not because I am a coward who could not reprimand you in public but because I care about your career. I did not want to warn you in front of your client lest you lose the lucrative briefs – current and potential. I just wanted to correct you in private. I don’t believe in writing people’s folly in the skies for the entire world to read. We are not fighting over rain. Let’s leave that to the idle angels of death.

And look at your dress code! Nothing about the colour, but the flamboyance. There is a yellow lapel flower on your coat and a pocket square the colour of the very many political parties in Kenya combined. Last time I checked they specified colours to wear to court. My mind tells me this extends to colours of boutonnieres. In a nutshell, the law does not give you carte blanche to dress as you please.

I am annoyed that an advocate can walk into this sacred room looking like he is going for a wedding or a date. Do you know what your wardrobe did to my already damaged Monday mood? You transported me back to the littered museum of my past. I broke up with a man who loved to dress that way. And I need not be reminded of him.

You must either drop this showiness next time you appear before me or wrestle the fangs of the law. I am that petty.”

Jim Asudi

Making Good use of the Alphabet


Use Facebook to Comment on this Post


About Author

I am a lawyer by school and a writer by talent...God is omnipresent, Jesus is in heaven, Satan resides on earth, Literature lives in me.


  1. Reminds me to be humble when I begin my career
    I never took this issue seriously until today
    thank you counsel

Leave A Reply