Barrister Jack Pappas hates to lose

In a career spanning 40 years, Pappas has become known in the legal profession for his exacting approach to preparing a case - lazy solicitors need not bother briefing him - and for his tough cross-examination.

Just recently, he says, he arrived early to a case in the Supreme Court, and as he mingled outside the courtroom among police and witnesses, a police officer motioned to the four buckets lined up to catch the rain leaking through the roof during a storm.

These are for witnesses to vomit in after Mr Pappas has cross-examined them, the officer said, much to Pappas amusement.

Hes best-known for the many high-profile murder cases hes worked on, chief among them representing Anu Singh and former Australian Federal Police officer John Conway.

Canberra law student Singh was found guilty of manslaughter but not guilty of murder after giving her boyfriend a fatal heroin overdose in 1997, while Conway was sentenced to 24 years prison after he paid a pair of hit men to murder his wife, also in 1997.

He also represented one of Canberra infamous Massey clan - Rebecca, convicted of murdering Elizabeth Booshand at the Charnwood shops in 2008.

But back to the motto. As far as Pappas is concerned, he will often find himself dealing with opponents who are smarter and better than him - its all part of the human condition.

If you think otherwise, you're a fool, and very often they're much smarter, he says.

But it's about the combinations, and a little bit of cunning and understanding of life and ....

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