Worried About Care Home Negligence?

As life expectancy increases and NHS budgets become increasingly stretched, the care system will understandably experience mounting pressure. Choosing to enter our loved ones into care also means inherently placing significant trust in the system, the homes themselves and in those who work in them. Unfortunately accidents and illness can occur. In some cases, this is as a result of negligence; an inadequate standard of care or treatment; poor or inappropriate staff procedures; or even a lack of adherence to the proper health and safety guidelines. In such cases, affected residents and their families may be entitled to seek compensation for care home negligence.

 What to Look For?

 Those who have suffered as a result of care home negligence should seek specialist advice regarding making a claim. Indications of negligence may include:

 – Pressure sores

- Complications arising as a result of prescription errors

- Dehydration

- Inadequate supervision from staff

- Inadequate health and safety measures in place.

 The media has highlighted a number of high profile cases of negligence within care homes. It is clear that the most vulnerable members of society deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. Care homes have a responsibility to ensure that residents are engaged, feel safe and are given the most appropriate treatments. In addition, it is important that health and safety regulations are observed. Regrettably, this is not always the case.

 Care Home Negligence Compensation

 For those who have suffered abuse or neglect within the care home system, making a claim for compensation may help in a number of ways:

 – Aid in recovery following pain and suffering.

- Cover ongoing costs of medical and psychological treatment arising as a result of the negligence.

- Ensure that the care centre responsible is aware of its failings and is given the opportunity to make the necessary improvements.

 No-one should suffer in silence. Reporting incidents of care home negligence can ensure other residents do not suffer similar problems in the future.

 http://www.handleylaw.co.uk/

Rive Gauche: A few paintings…..

Here is a painting by my brother Stewart of his wife and one of her music students.

Unfortunately, my nonsense, while colourful, doesn’t really ‘cut it’ in the serious and sensible art world!

Mind you… I flog my paintings for £20… my brother charges a bit more!  If you fancy the pig painting above – selling for £20 today…. email me if you want it.

 

Guest Post: Is Your Legal Office Fit for Purpose in Today’s Environment?

Is Your Legal Office Fit for Purpose in Today’s Environment?

We all know the legal environment has changed drastically across a number of legal disciplines, over the last year. These changes have impacted the way operational and marketing processes are undertaken. But in achieving these processes effectively, the office and its layout is often an overlooked aspect.

Whether the office has maintained its authentic, yet potentially outdated appearance over the decades; or even as a result of the recent legal changes, diversifying into other legal disciplines has become a necessary option. Either way, regardless of office scenario, we know being sustainable is more challenging than ever before.

The Solution:

Without going into too much detail, this guide, produced by Opus-4 offers an interesting review of the impact an inspiring design can have on your firms success.

If you have already had an office refurbishment, we would love to hear from you and whether it has positively impacted your firm. Please share your thoughts in the below comment section.

Rive Gauche: Richard 111 – my hearse for a kingdom?

A bit of Shakespeare…

1.
A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!
(5.4.8), Richard

2.
Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York.
(1.1.1-2), Richard

3.
And thus I clothe my naked villany
With old odd ends stolen out of holy writ;
And seem a saint, when most I play the devil.
(1.3.343), Richard

The BBC has spent industrial amounts of time covering this – I suppose it saves having to actually make any TV programmes…so all good.  I had to tweet this after nearly another hour of BBC cutting edge TV burial action….

 

And on it went..

 So excited was I at all this burying Richard action…that I could not even type the tweet above accurately…mea culpa…. BBC wasn’t ‘buying’ Richard III…they were ‘burying’ him with the help of some God botherers… to add a bit of solemnity action to the surreal proceedings.

Rive Gauche: UK Nutters Party

BBC News reports: UKIP in turmoil over general election candidates

“UKIP is facing claims it is in disarray after two election candidates were suspended and a third stood down.

MEP and general election candidate Janice Atkinson was suspended over allegations that a member of her staff tried to overcharge EU expenses.

Stephen Howd was suspended after harassment allegations were made against him, which he denies.

Jonathan Stanley quit claiming there was “open racism and sanctimonious bullying” within the party.

Mr Stanley, who was due to stand for UKIP in Westmorland and Lonsdale at the general election, told his local newspaper: “I have given my full resignation to the party because of issues happening in Scotland: open racism and sanctimonious bullying within the party.

“This sectarian racist filth in Scotland needs cleaning up. It is a great threat to the Eurosceptic cause and civil society.”

‘Astonished’

A UKIP spokesman said: “We are treating Mr Stanley’s comments with the incredulity they deserve….. ‘

 

Well…there we are… it can only get better on the UKIP amusement front…

Back on the morrow.

‘Revenge porn’

‘Revenge porn’, the term coined for the unauthorised sharing of private sexual photographs or videos, often carried out by spurned lovers over the medium of the Internet, has been criminalised in England and Wales under the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 (‘the Act’) which received Royal Assent on 12 February 2015.

When the provisions come into force it will be an offence, under section 33(1) of the Act to ‘disclose a private sexual photograph or film if the disclosure is made (a) without the consent of the individual who appears, and (b) with the intention of causing that individual distress’.

A person discloses the photograph or film if they make it available to another person ‘by any means’ (section 34(2)). The Act therefore covers the use of email, text and instant message services such as WhatsApp and SnapChat, social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and wider publication on the Internet, together with traditional ‘offline’ dissemination. ‘Private’ is defined in this context by section 35 as of a kind that is not ordinarily seen by the public, whilst ‘sexual’ includes not only exposure of the genitals, but anything that a reasonable person would consider to be sexual because of its nature or context. ‘Photograph or film’ includes images that have been doctored (section 34(5)).

Examples of the kinds of alterations that perpetrators sometimes make are adding supposedly humorous features, distorting body parts, and making it look as though a person is engaged in pornography. However, the image will not be sexual if it is only rendered such by virtue of the alteration (section 35(5)). Those convicted could face a sentence of up to two years imprisonment (section 33(9)).

The intention to cause distress will have to be proven, and it will not be assumed merely because that was a natural or probable consequence of the disclosure (section 33(8)). In addition, the Act provides that a person will have a defence if he or she can show one of the following specific circumstances: -

  • that it was reasonably necessary to disclose the image for the purposes of preventing, detecting or investigating crime (section 33(3)).
  • that the disclosure was made with a view to publication of journalistic material and that he or she reasonably believed that the publication would be in the public interest (section 33(4)).
  • that he or she reasonably believed that the photograph or film had previously been disclosed for reward either by the individual depicted or by another, and he or she had no reason to believe that the disclosure was made without the consent of the depicted individual (section 33(5)).

Brett Wilson says:

Whilst a number of existing offences have previously been used to prosecute ‘revenge porn’, none were specific or broad enough to cover the multitude of different circumstances in which victims found themselves. Further, it is apparent that this type of behaviour has been on the rise, particularly amongst teenagers and young adults, and it must be hoped that the creation of a specific offence may bring greater public awareness and some deterrent effect (the Ministry of Justice has also launched the#NoToRevengePorn / BewareB4YouShare campaigns).  For both those reasons, the creation of this new offence (amongst the proliferation of new criminal offences over the past two decades), must surely be welcomed.

Looking beyond that, the mental element of the offence and the specific defences available, both warrant some consideration.

The mental element

The mental element of the offence as drafted as specific intent – the defendant must intend to cause distress or be “subjectively reckless” (being aware that distress would be caused but not caring and going ahead anyway).  It is not enough to prove “objective recklessness” – where the defendant “ought to have known” the likely effect of the disclosure.

Whilst many incidents of ‘revenge porn’ are doubtless intended to embarrass and humiliate the victim, some may arise because the perpetrator believes it to be amusing or is trying to impress their friends, without giving any thought to the potential impact on the person concerned.  Are such individuals to escape punishment?

As drafted, the law may also restrict the ability to prosecute ‘onward’ publishers, whether commercial entities or lay individuals.  It appears that this issue was at least partially considered in the parliamentary debates, but that the drafting reflects the Government’s desire to tackle the specific mischief of ‘revenge’, hence the mental element and the focus on the initial disclosure.

Defences

The defence concerning the prevention, detection or investigation of crime may at first seem incongruous, but is presumably intended to protect those cooperating with law enforcement officials (for example, a person accused or witness to a crime offering images to the police) or the officials themselves.

The ‘journalists’ defence’ is more interesting. As lawyers know, the question of what is in the ‘public interest’, as opposed to being of interest to the public, is a thorny one.  There is no statutory definition of the term. This law might give pause for thought to individual journalists who might be about to publish photographs of, for example, a celebrity.  Whilst their employers may be able to indemnify them against privacy claims, it cannot insulate them from criminal charges.  In anticipation of this fear, the Act states at section 33(6) that a person need only provide sufficient evidence towards this defence to raise an issue, and the Crown must then prove the contrary beyond reasonable doubt.  It was stated in the Lords debate of 20 October 2014 that this ‘stringent test’ was necessary to ensure that the offence did not inappropriately interfere with press freedom, although on close examination, it is difficult to see how this alters the usual balance of proof in criminal proceedings.

The reasonable belief that material was previously published for reward is presumably designed to protect those distributing what they believe to be commercial pornography. In the explanatory notes that accompanied the Lords amendments, an example was given of an individual who held a reasonable belief that the photograph had previously been published on a commercial basis because he or she had seen it in a magazine. However, whilst it might seem entirely appropriate that an individual sharing a video that he or she believes to be ‘legitimate’ pornography, be protected by the Act, surely that individual would be spared prosecution in any event, as they could not have been intending to cause distress to the person concerned.

To view Brett Wilson’s eBook Cyberbullying, Online Harassment & Twibel -The State of Play in 2015 click here

Have your say:

https://www.facebook.com/BrettWilsonllp

@brettwilsonllp

Guest Post: Buying a New Property? Make Sure All Your Finances Are Covered!

Buying a New Property? Make Sure All Your Finances Are Covered!

Even for the most legally savvy, purchasing a property can be a stressful time. Whether you’re a first time buyer, or a veteran investor, there’s always the chance of unexpected hurdles getting in the way during the buying process that can throw you off track.

The most common issues that surround prospective buyers will usually revolved around miscalculations with finances and unexpected fees. With careful planning, much of this can be avoided, ensuring a smooth journey from the original offer, right through to the final completion.

To help you on your property journey, the conveyancing team at Gorvins Solicitors have developed a number of useful tools to help guide buyers through the process, including our comprehensive Stamp Duty Calculator.

Although Stamp Duty is an unavoidable fee, many buyers find themselves underestimating, or missing this fee out of their budget calculations altogether, particularly when purchasing their first home. Our calculator has taken the guess work out of calculating your fees, so you no longer have speculate over Stamp Duty rates.

If you are planning on buying a property in the UK, that reaches a certain price, you will be required to Stamp Duty Land Tax. This includes the all purchase of all properties, including; houses, flats, buildings and other land.

The stamp duty rate depends on; the price of the property at the time of purchase, and whether it is a residential property. Stamp Duty can also be charged against some leased properties.

Previous to December 2014, stamp duty was charged at a blanket rate across the entire property. However, this is now charged at increasing rates for each tier of the price.

To help with any confusion, this handy calculator tells you the amount of Stamp Duty payable, based on the current value of your property. You just have to simply enter the value and click ‘calculate’, and receive your Stamp Duty fees in just a few seconds.

To find out more information on residential conveyancing, or to use the stamp duty calculator, contact a member of the Gorvins team today. 

Rive Gauche: Three judges have been removed from office…and other matters of law…

Three judges have been removed from office and a fourth has resigned after allegations they “viewed pornographic material on judicial IT equipment in their offices”, the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office has announced.
Read the news report

  • n Latitat (O. Eng. Law) A writ based upon the presumption that the person summoned was hiding.

The BBC report: Judges sacked for watching porn

I was fascinated by this old writ when I was a student – the thought of someone lurking and running about’ came to mind – latitat et discurrit

The case being simple in English, the Bench
Resorted, of course, to their old Norman French;
But the Bar being frightened, thought best to defer it,
And pray out the writ latitat et discurrit.

“Scire Facias” by John Gardiner Calkins Brainard
Back later….

Charon paintings found in storage bunker!

A number of my ‘paintings’ – ‘wot I done’ a few years ago – have surfaced – found in a storage bunker.  I am not entirely sure that the world benefits in any way from ‘this find’…but here they are…

***

Well..there we are… if you would like to buy one make me an offer no higher than £20 + postage. Email Charon

(The painting directly above is a banker.  We had a banker caused banking crisis at the time.)

 

Rive Gauche: Ephemera

I like the word ‘ephemera’ – it suits my mood tonight.

But there is nothing ephemeral about the posts I cover below from the law bloggers…

It is worth repeating: Carl Gardner on his Head of Legal Blog:Britain’s got it way its way on prisoners’ votes – so why withdraw from the ECHR?

Law and Lawyers - The blog of Obiter J: “Court fees will rise as a result of approval by Parliament of a Statutory Instrument imposing the increases – Law Society Gazette 5th March.  For many people in need of the law, access to justice will now be a forlorn hope….”

Lucy Reed on her Pink Tape blog: Bundle of hyperbole – “Legal Cheek has done a good job of upping the ante in relation to my “bundle rage” post last week. Lashings of phrases like “Top Judge”, and “rows”, “ranting” and “slamming”. I’d characterise it as more of a pitiful howl of frustration than some kind of legal punch up. But hey. That’s Legal Cheek for you – everything is a story not a conversation….”

Anya Proops of 11 KBW on Panopticon blog writes: Facing justice: judgment against Facebook in privacy/data protection case

UK Human Rights Blog: Public protest, private rights

John Bolch on his Family Lore blog: Replacing the old with the new

I remember doing The Observer moot when I was at University way back in the 1970s when my co-mooter – now a well regarded Family QC –  opened his part as follows: “My Lord, murder is a grave offence.’  The moot judge, a barrister from Birmingham – Rex Tedd from memory – burst out laughing, as did most of the audience.

Have a good weekend… I will be back – and I may even manage to write about “Law” – this being a “Law” blog etc etc…