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Showing posts from February, 2010

Personal Injury Solicitors and Ironic Slips, Trips and Falls

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We went back to my university city for a shopping spree (again) this weekend. While rambling up one the main streets, I stumbled across a promo-van (kind of a caravan for promotions…. obviously) for a little-known firm of personal injury solicitors.The two workers (both sporting jackets in the colours of the law firm they represented) were wandering about in front of the promo van with little sense of purpose and looked thoroughly cold and fed-up. I guess different types of advertising works for different firms but this seemed entirely hopeless from a mile off!Then, at the end of the day, having sat through the monolithic film, Avatar, (yes, I finally got around to seeing it) we were walking back down the now darkened street when I tripped over the tow-bar of the injury lawyers’ promo-van.So now I know what it’s like to suffer an accident that wasn’t my fault. Just typical! :p

Law Actually Search Terms

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"burst llm 2008" - seriously, how can you burst an LLM? "llb law cheats" - Nothing like obtaining your degree on merit, is there?

"flying busicuit and lawsuits" - Oh please."what can i do with a lousy law degree" - hehe... don't be so defeatist. "advice on setting up personal injury firm" - How about don't?

"snuggie injury" - Well I guess you could trip on it, set fire to it, start choking on it... but you'd have to more or less try you hardest to do one of the above.

"highways agency problems" - too numerous to document I suspect.

"personal injury lawyers bite my butt" - wow.  Just hope they didn't bill you for it.

"how many ipods in washing machines" - Well just 1, personally.  I kind of learnt my lesson after that and I suspect that most other people do the same.

“are people who own fountain pens lawyers” - yeah, everybody else just rents them!  :-|

Legal Reality TV

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Just a few ideas for legally themed reality TV shows:Strictly Come AdvocacySo You Think You Can LitigateI'm a Solicitor.... Get Me Out of Here.Total Wipeout: Lawyer Edition (... I suspect this would give the general public no end of joy, seeing lawyers suffer a miserable and ignominious beating).Advocacy on Ice

Law IdolThe Law Factor ... hmm, good name for a blog there.Lawyer AcademyNegotiation: Deal or No DealAny others??

Happy Birthday Law Actually

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Yes, today marks the 3rd birthday of my blog.  It’s been a fairly tumultuous year in the ‘sphere and we’ve seen some blogging stalwarts disappear all together.Still, Law Actually has battled on and I hope I’ll be about for a while yet.  Here’s to another year, eh?

The verdict’s in on juries

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From the Law Society Gazette 19/02/10: Critics of the jury system often recite the argument that trial by jury equates to trial by the prejudiced and ignorant, suggesting that juries are all to [sic] often made up of the long-term unemployed because anyone clever enough can get out of jury service. They question whether jurors can be trusted to go beyond the defendant’s appearance and see through the obfuscation, confusion and clever arguments advanced by lawyers, to determine the truth.Research published this week by the Ministry of Justice does seem to vindicate the jury system. The report, Are Juries Fair, compiled by Cheryl Thomas of the University of London, concluded that juries are fair and do not discriminate on racial grounds, convicting in around 60% of cases.The research did show that many jurors did not fully understand their responsibilities or the legal directions given by the judge before they retire. The blame for this cannot be attributed to the juror system or the st…

Graduation

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I graduated on Wednesday (about 15.15 local time :p)!! It turned out to be a very nice ceremony, despite having our eardrums blasted to pieces by some slightly over-zealous organ playing.The weather was pretty crappy but I guess it was a good day on the whole – it’s certainly one that I’ll remember for a long time to come. Most importantly, it reminded me of a bunch of great memories and, as I said before, I’d go back and do the LL.M again like a shot.As so much time has passed between submitting my dissertation and graduating, I thought I’d put my LL.M experience all behind me.  But having been through the ceremony, I seems slightly surreal now to think it’s finally all over.And slightly sad, too.**Update** Also, I should have mentioned that the graduation goody bags we received were slightly disappointing but maybe I shouldn’t grumble.   :-)

The life expectancy of a blawg

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From Drug and Device Law 24/08/2009:Talking about the high attrition rate of academic law blogs written by those in academia, the drug and device law came to some startling conclusions about blawgs.  In essence: we're all doomed!Even the academics can't do it! The professors can't feed their blogs; it's too much work.
And those guys spend their lives wearing tweed jackets, smoking pipes, and thinking great thoughts!
So today's question was this: How long does the average practitioner-blogger last?
...
Four months.

So, the life expectancy of many of the blawgs out there doesn’t look too great.  What I've witnessed in the UK student/graduate blawgsophere certainly bears that out. This brings out a number of other issues – such as why different people keep a blog.When I first started my legal blog back in February 2007, I’d had an F1 blog for 3 years though I had only been posting frequently in the last few months of that.  I was finding that my F1 bl…

First comparison site for legal services soon to break cover

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From the Law Society Gazette 21/01/10:
CompareLegalSolutions [dot] com, to be launched in March, claims it will allow consumers to compare firms on price across 90 areas of law.Prices will be displayed as fixed fees where applicable; otherwise, each firm’s average hourly rate for the chosen field of work will be shown. The website will charge law firms a monthly fee to access leads to civil legal aid work and a set fee per lead for private work such as wills and conveyancing. Managing director Thomas Dunlop said: ‘The prospect of accessing legal services as easily as buying a tin of beans will make the market a lot more price- conscious.’I guess it was only a matter of time before the comparison site fever spread to the legal profession.  As far back as two years ago, there was a well-acknowledged joke that there were so many new comparison sites bursting onto the scene, you needed a comparison site for comparison sites.On the face of it, giving consumers greater access to a means of …

Windows 7 Battery Woes Completely Disproved

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From Paul Thurrott (SuperSite for Windows) 09/02/10:
Microsoft on Monday issued a lengthy statement about the recent Windows 7 battery controversy, echoing my assessment from earlier in the day but backing it up with cold, hard evidence. Put simply, Windows 7 is not responsible for any battery life issues that customers have reported via its support forums."Windows 7 is correctly warning [about] batteries that are in fact failing and Windows 7 is neither incorrectly reporting on battery status nor in any way whatsoever causing batteries to reach this state," Microsoft president Steven Sinofsky wrote in the Engineering Windows 7 Blog. "We are seeing nothing more than the normal course of battery degradation over time ... In every case we have been able to identify the battery being reported on was in fact in need of recommended replacement." I can’t say I’ve noticed any negative effects with using Windows 7 on a laptop (that previously ran XP) battery-related or…

Judicial Conservatism

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From the Solicitors Journal 03/02/10: A man who admitted deceiving a council by building on green belt land in Hertfordshire a ‘barn’ containing a three-bedroom house and a gym, has won his battle for planning permission at the Court of Appeal.Lord Justice Mummery said that decent law-abiding citizens would find the unanimous ruling “incomprehensible” but, on the basis of legal arguments, Alan Beesley’s appeal had to be allowed.Mummery LJ said it was a “surprising outcome” that “a public authority, deceived into granting planning permission by a dishonest planning application, can be required by law to issue an official certificate to the culprit consolidating the fruits of the fraud”.He went on: “If a public authority behaved in a deceitful way, its planning decisions would rightly be set aside by the court as an unlawful abuse of power.“If, however, the public authority has been deceived it seems that it can be required, at the end of the requisite four-year period, to provide the p…

Graduation Time

I've got my graduation for my LLM coming up next week which should be interesting.  Personally, I don't think that holding it in the depths of winter is a great idea – and is causing my GF no end of trouble when trying decide on her outfit.  

I remember graduation time last year and just what disruption it caused: my competition seminar had to decamp over to the maths faculty at the far-flung reaches of the campus as our usual room had been suddenly made-over as a photo studio.  There were people milling about every which way and getting anywhere within the law school was a huge struggle.

It seems strange to have the ceremony so long after the degree was, to all intents and purposes, done and dusted. Things have moved on considerably since I submitted my dissertation last September: we've moved house, I've a new job, am thoroughly out of 'student mode' and, well, my LLM seems like a distant memory.  But a very pleasant one.

We went back into my universi…

Left-handed ridicule

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Being a leftie myself, I’ve long had to suffer the ridiculous and trite comments that people make when they see you’re left handed.  So I can certainly relate to this graph which I stumbled across on Digg but, for me, the most frequent response I hear is:“oh, so you’re a leftie/left-handed, then?”To which I usually reply something like:“There’s no getting past you, is there?” or “only on Tuesdays and Thursdays” or something equally ridiculous.I’ve never considered myself a fully-fledged leftie, though.  I write with my left hand, am a left handed sportsman (except when I try and pick a fight because the game didn’t go my way) but I’ve always used scissors in my right hand and a computer mouse.Of course, this doesn’t make me ambidextrous – just a bit mixed-up and awkward, I guess.  As my music-come-cricket teacher used to describe me, “right handed musician, left handed bat".  I wasn’t much use at either though.  Perhaps I should have swapped around!!

What’s wrong with age-restriction training in retail

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From the Telegraph 02/02/10:Christine Cuddihy, 24, was stunned when a checkout assistant refused to sell her the 51p piece of cheese and onion tart because “she looked under 21”.In the end Miss Cuddihy, who was hungry, produced her driving licence in order to make the purchase.She said: “The girl told me: 'You don't look over 21. I need to see some proof of age.'''I told her I was certain the proof of age laws do not apply to quiche but she just said: 'We have to be really strict now and this applies to quiche bought over the counter.'I know this one has been doing the rounds a lot in the last couple of days. I first read about it in the trusty Metro on my way to work on Wednesday and I know a couple of other blawgers have picked up on it. For me, this story highlights everything that’s wrong with age-restricted goods training ran by companies.  Employees are typically given a 5 second blast of ‘you can’t do this or else…’  in which employers try and put th…

Solicitors From Hell -- Real life experience

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A curious little matter dropped onto my desk last week - one of many at the moment, actually; there just don't seem enough working hours in the day.Essentially, it seems that we provided communication services to firm of solicitors who are now subject to an Intervention under s35 and Schedule 1 of the Solicitors Act 1974.  We were approached by the firm who are acting as Intervention Agents on behalf of the Solicitors Regulation Authority to confirm detailed information about our client and re-direct their phone lines to the offices of the Intervention Agents. Initially, I found out, these requests were made via a phone call to the support dept. and then, when information was not forthcoming from that member of staff, a firmly word fax hinting that they were on the cusp of applying for a court order to compel us to provide the information required.

Being the most cautious of all risk-averse people, my data protection spiny senses were initially sent into overdrive at the mere t…