Pageflakes is down…

Yet again Pageflakes is down, and has been since yesterday.  Some say it will come back.  I hope so.

I have, however, re-done (and expanded considerably) the page for UK legal news and Law Blogs using Netvibes, which I prefer.  I will gradually replace the US, Canadian, Australian and other Pageflake pages I did.  Unfortunately, this means I will have to visit about 500 blogs.  If Pageflakes comes back – great – but I will, in any event, replace all my blog feeder pages.

Have a look at the new Netvibes page for all the major UK Blawgs I have been able to find + news and a few journals (I am still searching for Uk law journal feeds). There are tabs on the Netvibes page for Law news and journal pages.  The URL is to the main Law blogs section. It takes a bit of time to load.  There are a lot of UK blogs coming through now and I had not picked some of these up on my Pageflake page.

Podcast 94: US lawyer Victoria Pynchon on ADR, mediation and settlement in the USA

Today I am talking to Victoria Pynchon, a US lawyer based in Los Angeles, California. She was a commercial litigator and trial attorney for 24 years before shifting her practice from representing clients in court to helping lawyers settle lawsuits hat involve greater risk, expense or time than their clients wish to expend.  She this work through Judicate West Dispute Resolution Services, serves as a private judge (arbitrator) for the American Arbitration Association is an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University and blogs at

IP ADR and Settle it now.

Interestingly Vicky also acts as a sherpa for Blawg Review the international rolling carnival of law bloggers and is on Twitter

Listen to Podcast 94: US lawyer Victoria Pynchon on ADR, mediation and settlement in the USA

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Podcast version for iTunes

Professor R.D. Charon guests…

I despair of my brother Charon QC sometimes. I sit down to a glass of vodka and lime the other morning to read The Lawyer online and find that he is wasting yet more time (quite apart from the time he wastes on Twitter) by writing asinine captions to a picture of fellow academic, Peter Crisp, Dean and CEO of BPP Law School.

Be that as it may… I have spent much of my life in obfuscation; writing books, articles and monographs designed to challenge and baffle.   Generations of law students have left my charge with little understanding of the law, let alone its subtleties and complexities.

Turning to matters of greater importance. The law students of Cambridge University, privileged and assured of a place at the top of the bottom rung of the legal profession when they graduate, have been protesting, quite reasonably, about the conflict in Gaza and Israel.  The only problem is, instead of travelling to London to protest or protest using the power of Twitter or the blawgospehere, they decided to occupy the Law Faculty and this has led to a few problems with the University authorities.

They have a blog – and you may, therefore, consider whether their arguments are reasonable or unreasonable according to your political persuasion and taste. For my part, I make no comment save to say that protest is always good, but the methodology is important for it to have some effect. And if that is not an example of ‘obfuscation’ I do not know what is.

Linklaters to shed 120 associates

The City continues its relentless drive to ensure long term profitability for the partners by facing the stark reality that the credit-crunch has affected the the flow of work and fees.  Linklaters joined other Magic Circle and large City firms by announcing today that it is to shed 120 associates.  Partners are also going to be asked to leave.  Trainees are not affected.  Their training contracts are regulated by the SRA and SRA permission, as I understand it, is required before a trainee can be given the chop.  I stand to be corrected if I have the wrong end of the stick on this latter point.

My brother, yet again demonstrating his ability to reduce everything to a ridiculous joke, commented on the very serious matter of Lords allegedly misusing their position and allegedly taking backhanders by writing a frivolous parody Lord a Leaping. The fact of the matter is that this is a serious matter and it would appear that we don’t have any serious powers to deal with the eventuality of a peer succumbing to mammon and taking cash for inappropriate behaviour.  The Times reports that the sanction appears to be limited to ‘naming and shaming’ – which is all very well, but Lord Archer still hangs onto his ermine after serving a prison sentence and if these four peers are found to have acted inappropriately by the Star Chamber being convened, then it appears that they will also hold onto the ermine trimmed dressing gowns.

Well… as Charon QC would say.. there we are and…  on that note… it is goodnight from me.

29th January: Daily Legal news podcast

The daily legal news and news podcast is now up on Insite Law

FREE NEWSWIRE FROM INSITE LAW.

I am planning to write a weekly newswire covering legal news, interesting posts from law blogs, podcasts, law reports and other useful information for lawyers each weekend covering the events of the preceding week.  It will be short, sharp and to the point – no frills, no pics… just hard, useful information.
Please click here to sign up…

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If you would like to see what the Newswires will look like – click here for the first issue. Subscribers will receive the Newswire each Weekend – and the newswires will be archived on Insite Law during the folowing week.

Weekly email newswire from Insite Law – short, sharp and to the point.

I am planning to write a weekly newswire covering legal news, interesting posts from law blogs, podcasts, law reports and other useful information for lawyers each weekend covering the events of the preceding week.  It will be short, sharp and to the point – no frills, no pics… just hard, useful information.

This will, I hope, help you to keep abreast of legal news, reports and info at a quick glance

If you would like to receive a weekly newswire please sign up.  Your email details will, of course, be confidential and will not be sold to spammers or, indeed, anyone else.

Please click here to sign up…

Podcast 93: US District Judge, John L. Kane on The War on Drugs

Today I am talking to John L. Kane , a senior District Judge in Denver, Colorado, United States.  John has very robust views on the War on drugs and the antiquated Rules of Civil Procedure and the extent to which judges have stopped adjudicating in courts in order to meet the Tsunami of data generated in this information age.

Listen to Podcast 93: John L. Kane on The War on Drugs

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Link for ITunes

Podcast 92: The Rt Hon Lord Hunt of Wirral – Call for Evidence


The Law Society of England & Wales has decided to initiate an  independent Review of the regulation of lawyers and law firms.
Today I am talking to The Rt Hon Lord Hunt of Wirral who has been invited to head the review. Lord Hunt is calling for evidence from the entire legal profession as part of his Law Society-commissioned review of regulation. Lord Hunt has launched his evidence gathering process by publishing a formal Call for Evidence document . The publication inaugurates a three month initial consultation period which will end on Thursday 9 April 2009.

Listen to Podcast 92: The Rt Hon Lord Hunt of Wirral – Call for Evidence

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Direct link to Podcast 92 for iTunes

Materials:

Call for Evidence Website | Review of the Regulation of Law Firms: Call for Evidence (pdf)

Before his elevation to the peerage, David Hunt was the MP for Wirral (and Wirral West) from 1976 – 1997 and served with distinction as Secretary of State for Wales, Secretary of State for Employment and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. Lord Hunt was senior partner at his national law firm – Beachcroft Wansbroughs (now Beachcroft LLP) – between 1996-2005. He is now chairman of the firm’s financial services division and is regarded as a major figure in the world of insurance and financial services.

Podcast 91: City Unslicker on the current financial crisis…

Today I am talking to one of the authors of the influential Captalists@Work blog. There are three contributors. City Unslicker, Nick Drew and Bill Quango MP.  This blog is, in my view, a must read for any lawyer who is interested in the City and who works in the corporate-commerical sector.  In fact.. I would go further and say that all lawyers will benefit from reading it.

I’m talking to City Unslicker. We look at an overview of the current financial crisis and the reasons for it – Toxic assets and why the banks lent so much to people with so little – The Role of The Bank of England and whether reduction in interest rates is working – The possibility of Deflation – Short selling of bank shares – The World shedding 70,000 + jobs a day – Madoff  –  How long the recession is likely to last.

Listen to Podcast 91: City Unslicker on the current financial crisis.

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Direct link to Podcast for iTunes

I’ve been *Podcasted*…!

Rather like TV crews waiting for events to happen who start interviewing each other… tonight I was the first guest on John Bolch’s (Family Lore)  new series of Podcasts. While John plans to focus on Family Law and related matters, he asked me (given that he has been a guest on my podcasts on many occasions) if I would like to be his first guest.  I put my *vermin in ermine kit* on, brushed my absurd new *mustache* and waited by the telephone;  Rioja to my right, a woodbine to my left.  I enjoyed the experience and I wish John every success with his series of podcasts – which, I am assured, will be on matters legal in future….

Listen to the Podcast… John Bolch interviews *Moi*…

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Direct link to podcast for iTunes feed

Charon reports from The House of Lords: Lord a leaping….

I report tonight, from outside the House of Lords, the upper chamber of Parliament to a nation with a long, proud, but not always entirely honourable history.   The Sunday Times claimed yesterday that four Labour peers, including Lord Taylor of Blackburn, were prepared to change the law for cash. In a statement to the House of Lords earlier, Lady Royall called the claims “deeply shocking”. She pointed out that they were only allegations at this stage but said the claims had been “damaging not just to this House but to Parliament and politics”. She said the matter had been referred to the Lords Interests sub committee, which had already met and investigations were underway.

I met up with Lord CashnCarry, who, clearly, does not read newspapers or watch television, to see if he might be up for a bit of ‘bending the rules’.  Our conversation, which I recorded, went as follows.

Transcript of conversation between Charon and Lord CashnCarry, 26th January 2009

Charon: Psssst…. Lord CashnCarry?

Lord CashnCarry: Yes….

Charon: Thanks for coming… anyone following you?

Lord CashnCarry: No… not that I am aware of.

Charon: Good….  I’ve got a client who is very interested in the Prawn, Pike and Salmon Restriction on Fishing Bill 2009 being proposed by the government.

Lord CashnCarry: Oh yes… very interesting Bill this. I’m a bit of an angler myself  and not just the fishing type… if you get my drift.

Charon: Indeed… your reputation precedes you.

Lord CashnCarry: So… what can I do for you… a spot of adjusting?  A bit of derogation? Perhaps even a full scale revision of the Bill?

Charon: I gather you have had some success recently in… shall we say… delaying a bill?

Lord CashnCarry: Absolutely.  Yes… put in a small amendment here, another small one there…. you do it quietly behind the scenes you see

Charon: Do you put these amendements yourself?

Lord CashnCarry: No no no no no. You don’t do things like that. That’s stupid. What you do is you talk to the parliamentary team who drafts the statute as it goes through and you point out to them the difficulty the ‘interested party’ would be having on this…

Charon: Do you talk directly to the Minister?

Lord CashnCarry: No no no no no. You don’t do things like that. No no no…. far too many people at the meeting…. things being written down… Oh no… It’s some little chappie half way down…It’s about identifying the decision makers. It’s about identifying the people that make the recommendations…..

Charon: Obviously, from our point of view, this would be something we would remunerate you for. Money is no object on this one.

Lord CashnCarry: Money no object you say?… This is absolutely difficult, this is very difficult for me because some companies that I work for will pay me £100,000 a year.”

Charon: £100,000? Really? Astonishing…

Lord CashnCarry: Oh yes. That’s cheap for what I do for them. One firm gave me a yacht. Another gave me a car to ‘use’… if you get my drift. It all depends on what you are trying to do and how much time I think I am going to spend on it. These are the sort of fees I get. I am being absolutely honest with you. I am not exaggerating. It’s whether I want to do it or not. You’ve got to whet my appetite to get me on board.”

Charon: Well thank you Lord CashnCarry…. I’ll need to consult with the ‘interested party’ and get back to you.

Lord CashnCarry: Right Oh…. don’t take too long.. fortune favours the bold… my own in this case… Ha ha ha….. early bird catches the worm, as they say in the House.

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I made my excuses and left.

With apologies to The Sunday Times transcript… you really couldn’t make it up.


Snapshots 25th January: Lords and Commons in the shit and talking it?….

Sunday 25th January
Lord and Commons in the shit and talking it?….

Another interesting week in the law, quite apart from the Inauguration of President Obama, with a few constitutional issues thrown in. Gordon Brown has yet to be invited to visit the new President but may already have had an opportunity to tell Obama about his plans to save the world and enjoy a post-Obamagasm coffee after the call. Who knows? Charon interviewed the Prime Mentalist?

Gordon Brown was taken by surprise this week, believing he had secured Tory support for suppressing information on MP expenses, only to discover that this was not so during prime minister’s questions. Now we shall be able to enjoy looking at 1.2 million receipts from greedy MPs who have lined their pockets and furnished their homes courtesy of the taxpayer. I have little doubt that the newspapers will be providing us with their analysis in due course.

Petulance is always amusing to watch
and I have to admit to laughing out loud as I enjoyed coffee and a woodbine this morning when I read this from The Telegraph:

Supreme Court judges complain about the name of their website.

“Judges at the new Supreme Court of the United Kingdom have already voiced their displeasure at their postal address, Little George Street, which they complained was “diminutive” and not befitting “the creature being created”. They are now complaining about the name of their website.”

The Telegraph goes on to enjoy this moment of schadenfreude by noting… “We wanted supremecourt.uk, but we were told we couldn’t have it,” says Lord Hope, who will be the deputy president of the court when it opens in October. “It is now supremecourt.gsi.gov.uk, which is not particularly attractive.”

I am baffled by this petulance. The building their lordships are moving into seems to be a rather good one, designed to let the public see justice being done and, quite separate from Parliament… something, one would have thought, which would have appealed to their lordships’ sense of independence. Hopefully, their lordships will have better things to occupy their brilliant legal minds soon. The prospect of a senior member of the judiciary coming out with some other nonsense to slavering journalists, while amusing, would not be in the interests of credibility and the dignity of the new supreme court.

See also: John Bolch, Family Lore – who has a different take on the same story

It would seem that our political and legal masters are going for three YES votes on X Factor this week… or, if you prefer an Olympian metaphor.. they are going for GOLD!

The BBC reports: ‘Concern’ over peers cash claims

The leader of the House of Lords says she is “deeply concerned” over allegations four peers were prepared to accept money to put down amendments.

The Sunday Times claims they offered to help make amendments to legislation in return for up to £120,000. Lady Royall told the BBC she had spoken to the four Labour peers concerned and would be “pursuing the matter with utmost vigour”.

The BBC reports: ” The former energy minister Lord Truscott did admit to having had “discussions” with the reporter, but told the BBC that “to suggest I would offer to put down amendments for money is a lie”.

The second ‘Lord a leaping’ is Lord Moonie, a former defence minister.  He is reported as saying.. “… that he had been suspicious of the people who had approached him”. The BBC notes…. “He acknowledged discussing a fee of £30,000 with the undercover reporters but said: “I am not aware of having offered to do anything for these people that was outside the rules.”

Stepping up to the plate to represent his country is  Lord Taylor of Blackburn, who said “two people approached him claiming to work for a lobbying firm and looking for help with a bill they wanted amending. He said they suggested paying him £5,000 to £10,000 a month as an adviser but he never said he would accept, no contract was signed and no money changed hands. Asked about his alleged suggestion that the rules could be “bent”, he said: “‘Bent’ to me means you will try to persuade the bureaucracy of the House to change them.”

Finally, the BBC states:

Lady Royall went on to say that if it emerged the peers had broken the rules, they would be “named and shamed” but they could not be thrown out of the House of Lords.

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg told Andrew Marr that people would be very angry reading about the “allegations of total corruption”… If anyone needed any reminder of how threadbare and weak the creditability of the way we do politics has become, they just need to look at today’s headlines,” he said.

So… there we are.  Not a bad haul for a wet, grey, rainy morning. Perhaps, next week, we shall see an MP, a peer, or even a senior member of the judiciary auditioning for ‘X’ Factor or “Britain’s Got Talent’  with a dancing dog.  I do hope not.

So… where does one start?…

After the BBC broke the news about the separation of Prince Harry and Chelsy to a distraught and credit-crunch battered nation last night, The News of The Screws reported, without the crass solemnity of the BBC:  “Harry, 24, is believed to have told his father about the split a few days ago. Both Charles and Camilla were said to be sad for the couple, but respected his decision. The Queen was also informed. “She does not like surprises,” said an aide.

Chelsy has, however, changed her Facebook status to “Not in a relationship”.

No… HM The Queen doesn’t like surprises. I can’t say I blame her.  She has had quite a few surprises in her time. Apart from a burglar turning up in her Buckingham Palace bedroom many years ago, she has woken several times in her long reign to stories in The Press about her children and now… her grandchildren.

Digressing for a moment to reflect on the painting by Lucian Freud of Her Majesty…  I thought it may interest readers to know this….

“The chief art critic of The Times, Richard Cork, describes the image as “painful, brave, honest, stoical and, above all, clear sighted”. But in the same paper, Richard Morrison says: “The chin has what can only be described as a six-o’clock shadow, and the neck would not disgrace a rugby prop forward.”The expression is of a sovereign who has endured not one annus horribilis but an entire reign of them. The Merry Monarch it isn’t.”

The Sun, at the time (2001), called the portrait “a travesty”. The paper’s royal photographer, Arthur Edwards, says: “They should hang it in the kharzi. “Freud should be locked in the Tower for this.”

Back to 25th January 2009…. The News of The Screws is having a field day today. Not only is there the grave news that Harry Pothead flirts with women and has been kicked into touch by Chelsy – NOTW journos are hyperventilating and beside themselves at the shock revelation that Jonathan Ross (just returned to broadcasting on our airwaves after being suspended for insulting national treasure Manuel from Fawlty Towers)  has DISGRACED himself and the nation…. and has given blazer and cravat wearers from middle England something to do, other than hack around a golf course 30 over par, by being able to complain about his  Saturday Radio show…

Britain wakes this morning to the news… ROSS DOES SICK OAP SEX GAG on his BBC radio 2 show.

The News of The World reports…

“THE FOUL mouth of shamed Jonathan Ross put his BBC career on a new knife-edge yesterday—just minutes after he returned to Radio 2 from his three-month suspension.

The mega-bucks star’s crude joke about sex with an 80-year-old woman infuriated listeners.”  I’ll leave discerning readers the delights of reading this story for themselves and merely extract a few choice comments from the great and the good who run our sceptred isle and who gave up their leisure time on a Saturday to do a bit of hyperventilating with NOTW journos…

First up is former visa fast tracking and  libertarian Home Secretary David Blunkett, the man who helped to transform Britain into a surveillance state while shagging a comely young married woman from a well known political journal, –  edited, at the time, by national Mayor treasure, Boris Johnson.

David Blunkett’s contribution to this story of national importance is this… ““It’s time for Ross to donate some of his salary to charity.”

Next, we turn to the reaction by the man who committed political suicide by taking a stand on 42 days and who has now been overlooked again by David Cameron… the best leader of the Conservatives that never was… David Davies…

The NOTW reports with a straight face: “Tory MP David Davies was listening to the show with his young children and demanded the BBC immediately sack Ross. He raged: “On Radio 2 you don’t expected X-rated references to sex, and especially sex with an 80-year-old, during the day”

THE BBC OFFICIAL RESPONSE?

As reported by the NOTW: ” But Sir Michael Lyons, chairman of the BBC Trust, refused to condemn Ross. He even declined to listen to a transcript of the crass comments and said: “You’re not going to expect me to make any comment on this, are you?”

BBC Director-General Mark Thompson — on £816,000 a year of licence-payers money — REFUSED to discuss the incident and hung up on us.

Later the corporation defended Ross in a statement which said: “Regular listeners will be familiar with Jonathan’s irreverence and innuendo.”

It is 04:52 am in Britain as I write this… a quick visit to the BBC website confirmed….

“A joke by Jonathan Ross on his first radio show after having been banned had “clearly no intention to offend anyone”, the BBC has said.”

BBC website, 25th January 2009

Well… there we are… news of a different type. Back later in the day.. and now for a spot of breakfast… fried egg, bacon, toast, beans…. and, of course, I shall turn the plate around so that the egg is conveniently placed to the right….

Brigadier Grappa returns….

It is some time since I have been on the internet in this alter ego, but there was a time when I was a regular poster on RollonFriday;  wasting industrial amounts of time along with City lawyers, many of whom were senior associates (with a sprinkling of partners)  – and generally enjoying the pleasures of ribald commentary, drunken RoF drinks and meeting some very amusing people.

I have returned to the fray *Qua Brigadier Grappa* after seeing my other alter ego’s report (below)  on the tragic break up of the relationship between Prince Harry Pothead and his girlfriend, Chelsea and seeing the hyperventilation of the BBC journos who think this information merits front page coverage on the BBC website.  I have been spending a fair bit of time with my wine cellar and consuming of the distilled drink of the gods after which I named myself.  It has been an absence too long….

It seems to me that the BBC is dumbing down. I am not alone, of course, in this view but having seen endless amounts of waffle on Obama Day (Even David Milliband mocked John Sopel who was covering the Inauguration by apologising for interrupting Sopel’s stream of cliches when they cut to him for a *reaction*) I am beginning to wonder if politically correct BBC is catering to morons as part of a bit of * binge inclusiving*.

I watched BBC Breakfast the other morning. It was horrific. I expect GMTV to be happy clappy and full of primary colours. I know what goes on on that channel.  This is why I don’t watch it. With the BBC…  I wasn’t expecting reporters to be wearing dinner jackets but I did think we might be served up some fairly tight analysis given the various crises around the world.  The presenters, reading from their autocues, smiling manically (and, at times, inappropriately) served up the news of the world’s events as if  the people of Britain all had hangovers or had collectively been diagnosed with severe learning difficulties.

There is nothing wrong with being a moron. I would be the first to defend to the death the right of morons to be morons, win the lottery and then drive fast cars around their back gardens, but I do think, given that we now have 24/7 TV, the Dave TV Channel and various other state sponsored opiates for the work shy, that the rest of us could be given serious coverage in a reasonably adult and serious way.   Back to Radio 4 I think…. but not back to Royal Tonbridge Wells… oh no… I’m back… and as they say down my old manor…. laters….!

NEWSFLASH…

We interrupt your lives to announce that Prince Harry and his girlfriend Chelsy Davy have ended their relationship.

The BBC, having run out of Labour politicans to kowtow to, has rekindled its interest in The Monarch and matters Royal. Clarence House has not made any official comment other than to say …”Bugger Orf!”

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BBC News 24 and  their highly trained cadre of autocuties , now with absolutely nothing to do following their return from the Inauguration and Ascension of Barack Obama to the Office of The People’s President,  will now go into an orgy of completely pointless coverage, angst ridden speculation and much wringing of hands.  That is all.  Nicholas Witchell is in make up and will, no doubt, be on a TV screen near you… soon. Aaaaarrrrrgggghhhh.

Podcast 90: Mark Bennett, a criminal defense lawyer from Texas on the jury and the art of advocacy

Today I am talking to Mark Bennett, a lawyer from Houston, Texas who specializes in Criminal defense work. Mark is also the author of the  Defending People blog – the art and science of criminal defense trial lawyering. His blog won the ABA Journal best criminal blog award in a hard won fight with Scott Greenfield’s blog, Simple Justice – more of which later.

This is the fourth podcast with US lawyers  on the theme of Criminal Law  and complements the podcasts I have done with Scott Greenfield, Gideon and Brian Tannebaum.

Today, we paint a picture of trial advocacy, start with defendants talking too much, move on to  the importance of jury selection and then look at how US trial lawyers deal with examination in chief (direct) and cross-examination.

Listen to Podcast 90: Mark Bennett, a criminal defense lawyer from Texas on the jury and the art of advocacy

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Blog references:

Worst Jury Selection Advice Ever: Don’t Listen

J’Accuse (War on Drugs)

Direct link to Podcast 90 with Mark Bennett

Snapshot 23 January: To err is human and other matters….

Charon Reports Podcast version: To err is human and other matters

There is a certain irony that two men holding high political office, one from the UK and one from the US, should suffer from  minor memory loss. The Independent reports this morning:

“Mr Straw came in for criticism for failing to declare a £3,000 donation for four years. The committee said it was “surprised and disappointed” that someone as experienced as Mr Straw had broken the rules. He accepted the gift from Canatxx Energy in 2004 to pay for a dinner to celebrate his 25 years as MP for Blackburn. The committee said Mr Straw was “negligent” and should have known better because as Home Secretary, he had brought in a 2001 law to reform the rules on political funding. The gift was only declared formally last month, following allegations that it might have raised a conflict of interest because the company sought planning permission near Mr Straw’s constituency.”

In the United States, awaiting confirmation by the Senate, is US Treasury Secretary designate Timothy Geithner who, it would appear, forgot to pay some $34,000 in taxes between 2001 and 2004. President Obama stated that this was “embarrassing” but added that Geithner’s “innocent mistake” shouldn’t keep him from taking the helm of the new administration’s urgent efforts to revive the economy.

Prime Mentalist Gordon Brown, our revered leader who is leading Britain PLC on a long march to financial ruin, has been criticised by fresh faced Mr Pilsbury lookalike David Cameron.

“Britain risks bankruptcy and a humiliating bailout by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) because of Gordon Brown’s borrowing, David Cameron said yesterday….. If we continue on Labour’s path of fiscal irresponsibility, at some point – and it could be very soon – the money will simply run out.”

The man who would be King went on to insist he was not predicting a date by which the Government would “end up back at the IMF”. But he added: “What I am saying is that we are running the risk of those things happening and those are risks that no government should responsibly run.” The Independent 23 January 2009

But it is not all doom and gloom. Following the removal of restrictions on short selling of Bank stocks (It appears the Chancellor was only given a few hours notice by the FSA and was ‘furious’)… “one of London’s most successful hedge funds has made £12m in just four days by betting on a fall in the Barclays share price, a move that will heighten the controversy over so-called short-selling strategies. Lansdowne Partners, which also profited from the fall in the share price of Northern Rock at the height of its problems, sold Barclays shares last Friday – when the bank lost almost a quarter of its value in frenzied trading – and bought them back again on Wednesday after they had fallen by almost £1.” The Guardian

Well… there we are.  The weekend is almost upon us.  Have a good one.

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Charon Reports Podcast version: To err is human and other matters

Podcast 89: In conversation with US attorney Cathy Gellis…

Today I’m talking to Cathy Gellis,  a US attorney from California, author of the Statements of Interest blog and who is also exploring the delights of twitter.

Who is Cathy Gellis? Well…. I quote from her website … She’s a lawyer licensed in New York, New Jersey, and California … She graduated from Boston University School of Law with a JD and holds a BA from UC Berkeley … She also studied for a semester at Bucerius Law School in Hamburg, Germany … Her interests include high tech civil liberties, intellectual property, international law and human rights. On a recent trip to London –  she saw Hamlet several times and, clearly, has a passion for literature and English actors…. We’ll find out later about Edward Fox…

Listen to Podcast 89: In conversation with Cathy Gellis

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Direct link to podcast

Latest news and a news podcast up on Insite Law – 22 January

Each day, as dawn breaks over London, I read all the major news sources for legal stories, including newspapers and our revered Ministry of Justice.  I then go to my Pageflakes page for UK Blawgs and root out the latest stories from the blawgs. My news and blog selections are then carefully inserted onto the front page of Insite Law for your delectation, delight and pleasure.  After several cups of coffee, a few woodbines, I change into a black dinner jacket and, in the style of a BBC newsreader from the 1950s, I read the news – recording it as a podcast.

All this is done without opening a bottle of Rioja – so it seems to make sense. Have a look at the daily news, the latest from the UK Blawgs (Tomorrow, I am doing a US, Canada, Australia  – Blog update) and sit back and have a coffee while listening to the news podcast?

Hopefully, Insite Law and the various Pageflake pages I have put together (You may access these from the blogroll to the right) are of some use to you.

1.  Visit Insite Law for the latest news, the podcast and reports from the blawgs

2.  Try the Pageflake pages if you haven’t already – here is the UK Blawgs page

3. Have a good day!

Upcoming Blawg Review…

Peter Black of the  Freedom to Differ blog in Australia is hosting next week’s Blawg Review.  Last year he released his Blawg Review on Twitter… 140 characters at a time!.  This year?  Who knows. I talk to Peter about his Blawg Review, a bit of cricket, why I am wearing a stetson and wine…

Watch the movie?