“You got a problem with [OldRuin]?” he asked in his usual arrogant and slightly bullying way.
“No”, I replied. “I think there’s a problem with one of your sets of papers.”
“Yeh, that they havn’t settled yet, I’m sure”, he chuckled to himself, clearly thinking himself very smart and witty. Quite the metropolitan, sophisticated cynic, I’m sure.
“I think you’ve missed limitation on one of your cases.”
“What do you mean? Which case? What have you been doing rifling through my cases anyway? What’s this all about?”
OldRuin then re-entered the room and I bowed my head. The Boss glared but said nothing more. Eventually, he very unsubtly suggested I might like to join him for coffee out on Chancery Lane. Old Ruin looked up conspiratorially. There was clearly something up as such a gesture was wholly out of character from the Boss.
Nevertheless, a few minutes later we were indeed headed off to a café down the main legal thoroughfare in London.
“So, what are you talking about?” he asked.
“Just what I said. Your papers for [Blogs] solicitors have passed limitation during the time that they have been sitting on your shelf. It’s an accident on a ship and you’ve only got two years.”
After a brief bout of Tourettes that shocked an old lady walking by, he started to think it through a little more clearly. True to form, his only form of defence was attack. “So what were you doing rifling through my private papers? You had no right.”
“I’m your pupil. That’s my job.”
“You were only to touch papers which I told you. There could be all sorts of confidential documents in there.”
“But you told me explicitly that I was to do as many of your sets of papers as I was able to do and that there was no need to ask you about them. Just to get on with it.”
“Well I didn’t mean go and cause this sort of trouble.”
By that point, I’d had enough. Even a pupil has a tipping point.
“I’m extremely sorry that you feel that way.” I said, raising my head and catching his stare. My sudden bout of confidence clearly unnerved him and he changed tack immediately.
“Well, anyway, I suppose I should also be grateful for you spotting it. What do you think we can do about it?”
“Well, we havn’t told the solicitors yet. That might be a start.”
“Who else knows exactly except you?”
“No-one.” I didn’t want to involve my friend from another Chambers and so left him out.
“Let’s sit on it today. I’ll try and think of a solution by tomorrow morning.”
And that was that.