Intern’s Diary (3)

Here at Regan Peggs Solicitors we are fortunate to be regularly joined by interns from Birmingham City University. This instalment of the Intern’s Diary is written by the firm’s latest intern, Maria Nogueira.

Read previous instalments of the Intern’s Diary here.

Week of 25 June 2018

Monday began with a visit to Birmingham Magistrates’ Court, to attend a hearing for a case in which we had been instructed by a housing association to oppose an application for a warrant to cut off power to a block of flats. We were able to ensure the withdrawal of the application so that vulnerable people living in the flats would not be affected.

The rest of the morning was spent back at the office, making calls and emails to clients and requesting some updates about a client’s case from a police officer.

In the afternoon, Regan and I had a meeting with a client who had been accused of several serious offences, for which he is facing a long prison sentence. The purpose of the meeting was for Regan to explain his careful preparation of the client’s mitigation ahead of the upcoming court hearing. My task was to take notes as Regan explained to the client what was going to happen in court, what he was going to claim in our client’s defence, and the potential outcomes.

This meeting was the most challenging part of the work I have done so far, as the offences of which the client was accused were very serious, and it was hard to listen to his account of the things he had done. It showed me that as lawyers, sometimes we have to be objective and ignore the moral aspects of what is being said, even if we know that our client is guilty. Despite my feelings about this case, I managed to stay calm and just listen to what was being said, both by Regan and by the client.

After the meeting I did some legal research for a case concerning a Fitness to Practice Investigation in which our client, a medical student, was facing disciplinary proceedings at university. The university had said that it was not possible for our client to be represented by a solicitor at an upcoming hearing, and my task was to see if this was indeed the case.

On Wednesday morning I went to the Crown Court to attend a hearing for a private prosecution case involving a large, well-known company. Regan was acting on behalf of the prosecution, for our client who had been defrauded by two directors of the company.

In the afternoon I made some phone calls to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and to Leamington Spa Court, as well as to the Security Industry Authority (SIA) to check if a letter we sent last week had been received and considered.

For the rest of the afternoon I worked on a case involving an injury a client had suffered in prison. My task was to organise all his medical records from his GP and the prison into a single document – a big task as some of the medical records were from before 1990.

On Friday, Regan was at court all day on an interesting motoring case. Our client had been banned from driving after receiving a number of convictions for motoring offences spanning more than a decade, including ones for which he had been to prison. He had been out of trouble for several years and was keen to build a career, however his driving ban was making it difficult for him to find work. Today, after a long process including a hearing at the Court of Appeal, the judge at Birmingham Crown Court was persuaded to end the client’s driving ban, allowing him to finally rebuild his life.

Whilst Regan was at court, I spent the day on a case I had previously been working on, drafting a letter before claim – a formal letter that is required to be issued before court proceedings are initiated. This was the first time I had written such a letter, so I spent some time researching what needed to be included and finding some templates as examples. It was a hard task and I was keen to get it right, so it was a relief when, after checking the letter, Regan said that I had indeed included all the important information.

Read more instalments from the Intern’s Diary

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