Sunday, 8 June 2008

BURYING ONE'S HEAD IN THE SAND


It has been a glorious, balmy June weekend and regrettably I have spent the greater part of it indoors doing office work. I have various court hearings in the next two weeks and there is a mountain of paperwork and other preparations that have to be undertaken. I know that many of my clients will have been doing the same. Once a court application for financial relief is issued, there is a strict timetable to comply with for the production of various documents and fortunately, most of the time, everyone involved is able to comply.

Sometimes, however, we come across an ostrich. “This isn’t happening to me,” he or she says.

“I’m not ready; it’s unfair; I can’t be bothered; it wasn’t my fault,” he or she mumbles as they bury their head in the sand.

Unfortunately ostriches rarely believe that courts have teeth and that Judges are not afraid to bare them. Default in collating and producing documents or complying in other ways invariably ends up in a wasted costs order against the ostrich and can result in a short prison sentence for contempt too.

Although the victims of circumstance, it’s always hard to feel sorry for an ostrich. Reminiscent of picnics on the beach, sand must get in its eyes and mouth, but, nevertheless, it would be well advised to keep its neck stretched and alert once court proceedings are served on it.

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