On the morning of 7th October Nick Wright and Andy Cash addressed 50 plus members of the Magistrate's Courts Association meeting at Derby Magistrates Court. The Chairman, Barbara Richardson had responded to our request to give some insight into the work of Defence solicitors by inviting us to speak.
The meeting was very well attended with Magistrates from Chesterfield, Mansfield and Nottingham attending in addition to members of the Derby bench. Nick and Andy spoke first of how solicitors qualify, how they are paid,[or not], the tribulations of legal aid rates and the effects of reduced eligibility. Later Nick explained his input to the Criminal Justice Board, the solicitors role in court and the relationship with clients, while Andy dealt with private client work and the Duty Solicitor Regulations.
The event was well received and many of the audience reported that a valuable insight had been provided into an area of the judicial system where they had previously been ill informed. Hopefully the talk can be repeated, possibly to new magistrates on appointment.