BORDEAUX (AFP) – A French lawyer and accordeon player who was suspended from the bar association for busking in the streets of southwestern France has successfully appealed against the decision.
Valerie Faure, from the town of Bergerac in the southwestern Dordogne region, was suspended in November after two colleagues spotted her playing accordeon to a street audience, with her case laid open on the floor for tips.
But the appeal court in southwestern Bordeaux overturned the decision on Tuesday, on the grounds that Faure was not wearing lawyer’s robes at the time and could not therefore have undermined the dignity of her profession.
“I am happy that outside the courtroom a lawyer is allowed to have an artistic life,” Faure told AFP after the appeal hearing.
“I was simply following my passion,” said the lawyer, who performs accompanied by her husband on the violin, adding: “It’s not the money that counts but the pleasure of performing.”
Faure, who had ignored a first warning about her musical pursuits in 1999, said the verdict was a step in the right direction.
In 1826, a French lawyer was disbarred for performing in the theatre, while another was booted out in 1841 for taking part in a workers’ meeting.
[A big shout-out to Dylan Adams for bringing my attention to this story. Thanks!]