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Standing AccusedThe Organization and Practices of Criminal Defence Lawyers in Britain$
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Mike McConville, Jacqueline Hodgson, Lee Bridges, and Anita Pavlovic

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780198258681

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198258681.001.0001

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The Solicitor at Court: Client Management and Bail Hearings

The Solicitor at Court: Client Management and Bail Hearings

(p.161) 7 The Solicitor at Court: Client Management and Bail Hearings
Standing Accused

Mike McConville

Jacqueline Hodgson

Lee Bridges

Anita Pavlovic

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the solicitor's work in relation to dealing with clients, handling adjournments, and bail hearings. Before looking at the way in which solicitors carry out substantive tasks in court, it is necessary to give a brief account of what ‘court-room advocacy’ means: the settings in which solicitors operate, their caseload, the distribution of tasks between themselves and their non-qualified staff, and what implications this has for the solicitor-client relationship. Solicitors commit little or no time to the question of bail in most pre-hearing discussions with clients because they know that bail will be granted or renewed. The making of a good bail application in court is dependant upon familiarity with the allegations, the client's version of events, and the background and character of the defendant. Whilst bail hearings sometimes offer a veneer of adversariness and a forum in which solicitors can advertise their services to potential clients, they also point up the superficiality of many solicitor-client relationships, the lack of genuine commitment to the client's cause and the importance to the solicitor of retaining credibility and status with the court even at the client's expense.

Keywords:   solicitors, clients, client management, bail hearings, court, credibility

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