Did I mention? Currently I am the uninvited guest of my former employer in his London flat. It was due to be empty during Lockdown III, and the ardent anti-globalist in me pushed for an occupation. In the empty hours I’ve been trying to get some value for money out of my law degree. When you live, without being invited, in another person’s house, have you stolen the rent from them? Even if a rent hasn’t been set? I get the case for stealing electricity and water – provided it’s measurable, but surely, they are but minor misdemeanours? The actual rent though, how can you steal what is not valued? I’m sure questions like that were covered in jurisprudence classes, but I didn’t often go to them – their being obviously irrelevant to the advancement of the career that didn’t happen and all that. Besides, I know as a matter of general knowledge quizzes that to trespass is to commit a civil wrong, not a criminal one, such that the maximum claim against me can be no more than a reasonable petition for rent, which, if I adopt the standard negotiating technique for those enveloped by the great panoply of the judicial system – to remind the plaintiff that to go to law for its recovery will cost at least half of what he should expect in way of damages – then a fair bargain in terms of settlement should be mine for the taking.
“Put the case, one workshy opportunist. Put the case, one benefactor – an unconscionable cove. Put the case that they are equally adept liars.”
“Put the case, for chancery, or for the criminal bar?”
And that’s before I launch any form of counteroffensive. This is the great beauty of the law: it does not do a great deal for compensating the wrongs done to innocent victims, but it’s an absolute boon to each and every rotten egg for its manifold spoiling tactics. I have decided to claim that Roger has granted me a fee simple absolute in possession of his property, by dint of an implied constructive trust. Evidence for this rash and capricious gift was when I was dating his lovely daughter, Big Tooth, and he’d said to me, albeit in drink, ‘I’ll do anything to see you happy and secure.’ It was the second lockdown, and we were lodging in said flat at the time. I’ll bump up the value of the evidence by lying about what he said, and leave justice to run its course.
That by the way, is the other beauty of the law. It has many principles, precedents, and rules, but they are all scuppered by a good liar who can make a convincing case that you or he, said something that they didn’t. That’s jurisprudence mate. You could teach the whole semester in thirty seconds.