Mr Rooster Pickings, a defence lawyer based in Massachusetts, has declared he will not accept another no win no fee client in Salem village again.

Mr Pickings had been representing nineteen locals against charges of witchcraft but has now concluded a defence which left everyone hanging.

“It was my first religiously motivated trial.” Pickings admitted, speaking after the trial.

“Everyone was happy for me to represent them but no one was prepared to pay upfront in anything but fresh linen and chickens. So I’ll told them, you pay me when I get you off the hook. I win temporal cases no sweat.”

It seems Rooster knew his potential profit was in doubt early on though.

“Not one of my clients would be quiet in court. And that was just day one. Soon the girls were hiding under tables or having seizures. And if they weren’t doing that they were accusing each other of devil possession or speaking in tongues.

How are you supposed to win a case like that when the judge is a raving lunatic who thinks the Earth is a few thousand years old and the bible is a science book?”

Rooster took the cases believing the local dispute between the Porter and Putnam families would be rich pickings now that it had escalated to full scale accusations of devil worship.

“Small towns are my bread and butter.” Pickings went on. “I keep a close eye on local papers to identify towns where the locals are falling out over silly things. Until now I’ve steered clear of both seventeenth century trials and superstitiously motivated cases, but I figured a dispute wherein half the people in the village think the other half are witches would be a straightforward win. It’s clearly bullshit. Get in there and represent the witches.”

But as the trial wore on and mass hysteria gripped the town it was destined to be no win no fee in reality.

“I’m very upset. This doesn’t seem fair. I did hours on this nonsense.” Rooster added. “I’d say my earnings went up in smoke, only that wouldn’t be accurate, as they hung my clients, all nineteen of them. The bums.”

Rooster Pickings wants it to be known he’s still available for religiously motivated, seventeenth century casework, but no win no fee has had its day. He will now be demanding a retainer of a minimum five hens and one clean tablecloth.