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Showing posts from March, 2011

Handshake 101 for Lawyers

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Given that I’m prone to pointless over-analysis (just get a load of this!!) here’s my take on that black art of handshaking for lawyers (or anyone meeting and greeting in a professional context). I know lots of people don’t like shaking hands and only fall in line with convention because they feel obliged to. I certainly fall into that category.Firstly, a few obvious, trite points – just for the hell of it. If you’re away from the office for the meeting, ensure you’re carrying your briefcase in your left hand so your right is free to shake hands like a trooper. Solicitors meeting clients in their offices shake an awful lot of hands, so that discrete bottle of alcohol-based cleansing gel is an absolute must.The majority of the time you’re aiming for a balanced, neutral handshake that’s like a well-chosen peach: dry, smooth and firm.Types of handshakeThe Bone-Crusher Handshake – You’re revealing more than you thought by opting for the bone-crusher; your overdosed macho grip is to cover …

The farmyard fetishist strikes again

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Photo from FlickrFrom the Metro 24/03/11:
Truscott was found in a field, covered in manure and mud and naked apart from a single sock, by a Cornish farmer’s 16-year-old son on February 26.Strange that Truscott opted to keep just one sock on. Let’s hope it wasn’t a white one, else he’s going to have a tough time getting the stains out.
Truro crown court heard that the 41-year-old, of Camborne, Cornwall, was already jailed for an arson attack at the farm belonging to Clive Roth in Redruth, in which one cow was killed.He had terrorised farmer Mr Roth and his family for six years with his fetish for manure.He had also been involved in a number of other offences related to his sexual thrill for rolling in slurry.Truscott was jailed for breaching a restraining order and harassment.His defence lawyer said he was ‘sad, socially inadequate and vulnerable.’Hmm, yes I noticed that the solicitor acting for Truscott in 2005 stated his client was a “sad, isolated, peculiar man with peculiar h…

Claimant hopes he is inching towards justice

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From the Consumerist 10/01/11:
What with all that free healthcare and those easygoing natures up north in Canada, there's not much to get upset about. So why not sue over a penis enlarger to stir stuff up? A Quebec man says that even though he used the penis enlarger in question for 500 hours total, it never worked. Imagine spending that much time with something that is doing absolutely nothing!500 hours?! That’s dedication for you. But really – was there no (ahem) change whatsoever?  If not, surely there was a point along the way before the claimant had amassed a whopping 500 hours of use that made him think, “maybe this isn’t working”.
He's going before small claims court, trying to get $762 in moral and punitive damages and to cover the cost of the tool [snicker snicker] in question, the $262 X4 Extender Deluxe Edition, says the Chronicle Herald.At least he didn’t suffer any kind of injury or otherwise do himself a mischief stretching himself seven ways to Sunday! I w…

Legal job hunters – the best file formats for CVs

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I’m a big fan of How to Geek with their varied, quirky and nicely-presented tech articles;  it never fails to keep me entertained.One of their quirkier articles - which will no doubt resonate well with legal job hunters – was dedicated (in part) to the best file formats for sending CVs.Lawyers are rather well known for being conservative creatures and the PR / recruitment side of law firms are no exception. I think the best advice is simple: just play it safe. That goes for fonts, styles and file types for CVs.Anyhow, here’s the low down on some of the options.The Good.pdfFonts are … embedded into PDF, so any formatting you’ve done to make your resume look nice should carry through to your prospective employer.Always a good choice and it’s dead easy these days to save files as a .pdf – either with a free downloadable virtual printer driver, a plugin for MS office or via Google Docs.How to Geek added that:…non-text based PDFs can’t be read by automated systems, [so] you may be safer of…

Going, Going, Wrong - Gavels & the English Legal System

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Image found here.From Legal Blog Watch:
No Gavels Allowed! Picking Better Stock Images for Your Law Firm WebsiteOn Lawyerist, Karin Conroy has an interesting post pointing out that, while certain types of stock images seem like likely fits for your law firm website, it is time to let some of the most clichéd images rest in peace. The wrong stock images, Conroy writes, "can ruin an otherwise great website by making it look generic, while creative and customized stock images can evoke emotion and support your messaging and branding."That’s an interesting marketing point, I guess, but as far as English law and gavels are concerned, there’s a much more crucial issue at play. As hard as it is for some people to grasp, the judiciary in the English legal system (at any level) simply do not use gavels, despite what you might have seen in Coronation Street etc.  
Heck, even the spam-linking ‘Manchester Solicitors’ commented on legalblogwatch that ‘judges aren’t auctioneers’.  (See, I …

Is it time for legal education to join the 21st Century?

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I still find it astounding that here we are, well into the 21st century, and Legal Practice Course (LPC) providers are still treating technology as an afterthought. For instance, why on earth are the core skills of writing and drafting on the LPC taught and examined through handwritten exercises instead of using computers? The same goes with research. The paper versions of Halsbury’s are cute and all that, but lawyers of the future shouldn’t groomed in becoming experts in carting those unwieldy tombs around. They should be embracing technology and the advantages it offers them.Netbooks are as cheap as chips and there’s no reason why exams which use computers rather than the traditional answer books offer any more potential for cheating than the current system which obsesses with pens and paper. If providers are worried about cheating they can block access to the internet, disable wireless functionality and superglue up USB ports if they’re so inclined.Skills on the Legal Practice Cour…

What kind of commenter are YOU?

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It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, so thought it was about time again.As before, I might be sailing quite close to the wind with the ‘most likely to be’ column, but I’m hoping the esteemed members of the ‘sphere take it on the chin with good humour! ;-) You’ll notice that I didn’t escape mention either.What it really meansWe SayTry Most likely to beThe Spasmodic Commenter You’ve a habit of going to ground every few months and then you spring up like you were there all the time.Please don’t treat our blogs like cheap whores – only going to them when you fancy a bit of a change.You know, that C-word... commitment! ;-)Lost London Law Student; Swiss TonyThe Skim Reading CommenterYou start off actually reading the post but you kind of run out of steam half way through.Watch out: your skim reading might get you in trouble one day! :pSorting out your attention span problemsAndroThe Verbose CommenterYou’ll happily throw up war and peace as a comment, without thinking about the po…

Solicitors from Hell drops deletion charge – deckchairs on the Titanic?

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From Solicitors Journal 22/02/11:
Solicitors from Hell, the website which has repeatedly been on the receiving end of libel actions for hosting defamatory attacks on lawyers, has dropped its £299 deletion fee.Rick Kordowski, owner of Solicitors from Hell, said the £299 fee for removing a critical comment was “no longer available” to law firms. It is not known how many firms paid the fee to avoid hostile comments.Kordowski said the fee was “initially a publicity stunt” which worked successfully and resulted in coverage in the legal press and some of the national media.Really? What a curious way of gaining publicity. And what a nice side effect it had!
The owner of Solicitors from Hell was responding to remarks from Jane Hickman, joint senior partner of criminal specialists Hickman & Rose, which settled a defamation action against the website last week.A statement from the firm said Kordowski had agreed never to publish anything more about the firm or its solicitors.The settlem…

Judge congratulates police dog after nipping defendant

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From: CPD Webinars 28/02/11 - Judge Julian Lambert exclaimed, "Good! I hope it hurt. Well done Zak!", when told that the 8 year old German Shepherd had sunk his teeth into a thief’s buttock. The judge spoke out, last month, against the current 'soft' sentencing guidelines which prevented him jailing a burglar in Bristol.However sitting at Gloucester Crown court the judge had no hesitation in locking up persistent thief John Davies for nine months. Davies, 35, of Evesham, admitted trying to steal a £3,000 bronze statue from a park in Cheltenham in August last year. He was spotted by a couple walking, who raised the alarm. Davies fled when he saw police arriving but Zak was unleashed and sent after him. Prosecutor George Threlfall said "The dog followed the scent to a nearby courtyard where the defendant was hiding. Zak detained him by biting his left buttock." Ouch! That’s one way of doing it I suppose. But why not the right buttock, I wonder? Maybe the defe…

Dad Report – too funny!

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I know it was technically World Maths Day yesterday, but this is just too funny not to post.Brilliant!