Blawg Review # 193

Welcome…. BienvenueWillkommen … London Calling….

I have the pleasure of opening the batting for the series of 2009 Blawg Reviews. I did my first Blawg Review exactly a year ago.  I cannot quite believe that a year has gone by so rapidly and that I am one step closer to my own (free) trip across the River Styx.

I would like to thank the mysterious Ed of Blawg Review (who is on Twitter)  for the opportunity to play the part, albeit for a brief time, of The Lord of Misrule.  I shall explain all… in time…..

My thanks also to Victoria Pynchon (infra), BR sherpa, for her links.

I would also like to thank Colin Samuels of the Infamy and Praise blog, sherpa to Blawg Review writers (providing useful links to pursue)  and author of a remarkable, literary and entertaining series of  award winning Blawg Reviews over the past four years. Colin has posted a list of 100 things he didn’t know – fascinating.  I now know 100 more things than I did before reading it.

We are on the eve of Twelfth Night, The Epiphany to some, but not for me… for I follow no gods… apart from one…. Bacchus. The theme of Twelfth Night is most convenient for it relieves me of the need to be too serious, licences me to a degree of anarchy which I shall not resist and excuses the relative frivolity of this first Blawg Review of 2009. Rather than using a literary structure based on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, I take the theme and role of The Lord of Misrule or…  as he is known in Scotland, The Abbott of Unreason …  in France,  Le Prince des Sots.  Briefly, for you may look up the detail in Wikipedia, The Lord of Misrule is rooted in many cultures and beliefs.  I am no mere trifle, but thankfully, as US attorney Ron Coleman, author of the Likelihood of Confusion blog, will attest…  there may be “No copyright in the fact of your existence”.

“Twelfth Night marked the end of a winter festival that started on All Hallows Eve — now more commonly known as Halloween. The Lord of Misrule symbolizes the world turning upside down. On this day the King and all those who were high would become the peasants and vice versa. This Lord of Misrule tradition can be traced back to pre-Christian European festivals such as the Celtic festival of Samhain and the Ancient Roman festival of Saturnalia.

Interestingly (I am, after all, supposed to be a law blogger), there is a tradition of The Lord of Misrule at The Inns of Court –  the spiritual home of all barristers in England & Wales. I count myself fortunate in having stumbled across an online encyclopaedia from 1911.

And so my rule shall begin…. with a remarkable story pointed out to me by @Geeklawyer on Twitter, a fellow blogger who… some say… takes on the role of The Lord of Misrule every day. His blog may provide some support and evidence for this proposition. His latest post Internet Donkey of The Year is a fitting start to my survey of bloggers and their writings.

It would appear that a lawyer from a respected law firm in Scotland may have been revealing too much while revelling… revolting bystanders…  but, one can only assume, giving some pleasure to himself and his dining companion.  I don’t always believe what I read in newspapers, but this story is worth linking to.

Some things are best left hidden from public gaze...
“A MILLIONAIRE lawyer has been fined after he was frog-marched out of a top restaurant following a saucy clinch with his girlfriend…. Property tycoon Philip Anderson was arrested after diners in a restaurant at the five-star Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire complained that they could see his private parts….  The pair had been drinking and shocked guests with increasingly explicit sexual antics…Witnesses gave statements describing the unsavoury scene they had witnessed.”

It seems to me that those tempted to engage in these unusual antics in public may well need the services of a quartet of US Attorneys, specialists in criminal defence work, who I have had the pleasure of ‘meeting’ on Twitter.  Gideon, Public Defender | Scott Greenfield, Simple Justice | Brian Tannebaum, Criminal Defence | Mark Bennett, Defending People.  I have had the pleasure, also, of doing podcasts with three of these learned gentlemen. [Gideon | Greenfield | Tannebaum]

If these attorneys had been asked to defend ‘Mr Membrum Virilis’,  a mythical miscreant who engaged in similar ‘unsavoury activities in public': Would Brian Tannebaum have said ” Go find another ‘Second’ Lawyer”?   Perhaps Gideon would have asked Mr Membrum Virilis “When does police coercion make a confession involuntary?”.  I’m fairly certain Scott Greenfield would have said “Just how much moral turpitude is too much?”. Mark Bennett, with the precision of  an old hand, may well have had only one word of advice… “Ethos”.

Let’s just hope that anyone tempted to these *unusual antics* does not come across fellow Twitterer @Joelrosenberg.  He has a gun.  In fact, he has lots of guns. He does the business.

***

TO THEME OR NOT TO THEME?…. THAT WAS MY QUESTION

I could have taken the entirely reasonably unreasonable line (appropriate behaviour for an absolute Lord of Misrule) and structured the entire Blawg Review in a random… surreal and mad way.  Dan Hull, my good friend from WhatAboutClients? has already used the phrase “half in the bag” about me. I don’t need to give him  any further evidence… so… structured it shall be…

I am, however, pleased to report that Dan, who is not into work-life balance, is exercised about “Getting America back to work”.

I thought about having The Ten Commandments as a theme

But then… I came across this quotation: “Concerning the Ten Commandments in courthouses and legislatures: You cannot post Thou Shalt Not Steal, Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery, and Thou Shall Not Lie in a building full of lawyers, judges and politicians…It creates a hostile work environment.”

So, instead, I have decided, as I may – with my absolute power to corrupt (United Nations mandate in place) to structure my Blawg Review along the lines of The Seven Deadly Sins. I like a bit of Latin, so I shall use the Latin, with a translation… of course.

Ladies und gentlemen… the Cabaret is soon to begin… but first… may I present  an English barrister I have known for many years…. The Fat Bigot Opines… who enjoyed 2008. His blog is a fascinating daily read with a sharp analysis of topical events, beautifully reasoned,  and a pleasure to peruse with coffee and a woodbine each morning.

It is at this point that I remind readers - “You are reading this review of your own free will.  I cannot accept any liability, legal or moral, for what follows.  If you are referred to as a blogger in any of the Seven Deadly Sin categories below this does NOT connote, represent,  or imply that you are guilty of such deadly sin. It merely indicates that I, with my absolute powers on this eve of Twelfth Night, feel it appropriate that you should be linked to the theme of the stories therein, thereunder etc etc etc.” All clear?

I am delighted, being a moderate and casual drinker of the drink of the gods, to have found a set of Seven Deadly Sins wine glasses.

***

I  LUXURIA – LUST

Although she is  not a law blogger, I am a fan of the writing and attitude of Ms R, a Woman of Experience.  I’m sure that she will not mind my saying that she knows a bit about lust.  Her blog… intelligent, funny and thoughtful… is well worth a read.  She has some good advice.  Sometimes it is good for us all, lawyers particularly, to act by the watchword “Don’t Speak”.

Sarah Palin comes to mind when I think about LUST… not, of course, because I have inappropriate thoughts about a woman who ran for the office of Vice President of the United States, but…  I understand there are some who do.  For my part?….  I am just pleased that her knowledge of Geography is limited.

On the issue of lust… Eric Turkewitz discusses a distasteful case which explored just how far an attorney can fall, morally speaking, without losing his license to practice.  Scott Greenfield adds his thoughts as well: “So we now have our answer.  Lawyers will be summarily disbarred for messing with escrow funds, but 13 year old girls, not so much.”

On the other hand…  Sweet Hot Justice asks “Do I really need to go to work this week?”.  But Dan McLaughlin breaks the bad news: a court has ruled that just because a girl claims to be 18 on sexsearch.com, on your head be it if she isn’t yet.

And… while we are on the topic of LUST… Conrad Saam offers a round-up of the best and worst in legal marketing in the States this year.  These guys, also from the States, are well worth a look. They are in a class of their own.  We lag behind our american cousins when it comes to advertising.

Lust is a very complex sin, covering many aspects of our lives. Gone is my interest in material things.  I now lust after information and literature, knowledge, humour and, of course a bit of red wine. One of my current *lusts* is water… not drinking the damn stuff, but living on or near it. So… it is always a pleasure to visit my friend Tim Kevan’s Barrister Blog (He really has gone surfing) to nourish the spirit with a bit of surf.  There are added benefits to visiting Tim’s website.  Recently he got a birthday card from a dog.  The dog was wearing a barrister’s wig.

Another *lust* in my life is knowing what is going on – hence the Pageflakes project (Later).  Canadian blogger Jordan Furlong’s Law21.ca blog is a treasure chest of gems. Regeneration, a recent post talks about regeneration and hope…

Another Canadian blog to satisfy lust for knowledge across the pond is the excellent Slaw blog. While I dwell on Canada – there are many good blogs there.  I am adding to the list regularly – but here, on a Pageflake of Canadian blogs, is a snapshot of the blogs I have found so far.  On the subject of Canadian blogs it would be impossible not to mention the tireless Steve Matthews who really does know what is going on with his Stem Legal and Vancouver Law Librarian blogs. It was a pleasure to receive a *Clawbie* this year and here is a full list of Clawbie winners.

And yet another Canadian blog that does *serious information providing*.  Fellow blogger and Twitterer Erik Magraken produces a serious resource for Canadian lawyers on personal injury law.  I am interested in Torts (Thank you for your next email *Advocatus Diaboli* - HNY to you) and Erik’s ICBC Law blog is a useful resource.

And… on a different type of *lust*…. David Mill’s daily “Courtoons” will raise a smile to start your day.  I enjoyed *Supremacy Claus*

In terms of *Lust* for Knowledge – Susan Cartier Liebel over at Build a Solo Practice has a new initiative: Solo Practice University.

Nostradamus I am not, but I do enjoy looking at *predictions* from fellow bloggers in law and finance. Massachusetts lawyer Robert Ambrogi’s website is a mine of information and on a recent Lawyer2lawyer podcast he looks to the future and back at their track record for 2008.

And.. finally… we must not forget about Virginity. A quick shout out for  non lawyer, but good friend, Kate and her Virginity Project blog.  I was a virgin once. I understand that Victoria Pynchon was interviewed by Kate… you’ll have to look for yourselves… I am, this day, after all, the Lord of Misrule!

OK… I can’t resist… it was a good blog post.

***

II  GULA – GLUTTONY

Democracy is a fine thing… and so is being an elected Member of Parliament, it would seem. 2008 saw a spate of greedy politicans snuffling their noses in the trough of the public purse, claiming expenses and buying white goods and other luxuries from the Government approved list at John Lewis… like there was no tomorrow.  Guido Fawkes is a leading political blogger – well worth a visit even if you are  from across the Pond.  Guido has a regular “Pigs in Shit” post chronicling the activities of our political masters. Guido’s New Year Blog Highlights will give you a flavour of how we live in modern Britain.

Former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott admitted in 2008 that he ‘ate all the pies’ and then, astonishingly,  admitted that he was bulimic.   I’ve always liked John Prescott – he may have done a few pies, shagged his appointments diary secretary on the desk at Admiralty House, or wherever he had his “Office of The Deputy Prime Minister”, but you have to hand it to him – he did the business.

Forgive the play on words…. but it does seem that young men and women considering a career at The Bar may be gluttons for punishment.  Simon Myerson QC continues to provide  superb advice to prospective barristers on his blog “Pupillage and how to get it.” Meanwhile, Geeklawyer reviewed the BBC2 programme “The Barristers” in his own unique way.

Carl Gardner, barrister, author of The Head of Legal blog and formerly an adviser to Tony Blair’s government, keeps us abreast of government excess; particularly when it comes to the continuing erosion of civil liberties in Britain. His recent post about Lord Lester’s resignation as a government adviser on human rights is worth a look (Supra).

Work is the curse of the drinking classes and although I am never knowingly under-refreshed I tend to enjoy my wine rather than feel the need, as many yobs did in Britain this New Year,  to binge, riot, afray, vomit, stab or punch people, and then pass out in sub zero temperatures on the street. Kevin Underhill of Lowering the Bar discusses a strange case wherein a man alleges that excessive beverage service on a flight caused him to punch his wife in the face in the terminal upon landing. Both the husband are wife are suing… United Airlines!

Gluttony is, of course, a Christmas tradition. I rather liked Barmaid’s take on thanking people for Christmas presents:  M is for mendacity Mendacity – n - the tendency to be untruthful…. “Yes, the present was just perfect, exactly what I wanted, Barmaid uttered mendaciously”.

I’m delighted to see that Bar Boy, a prospective barrister, is keeping Christmas going with his Partridge in a Pear Tree series and was on a roll on 2nd January with his Drummers Drumming post.

Turning to gluttony of a very different kind… the musical gluttony when one cannot get enough of a new song or piece of music.  Lacklustre Lawyer has an amusing post : “There’s no-one as Irish as Barack Obama”.

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III  AVARITIA – GREED

Well… the big story of 2008 just has to be those masters of the universe… The Bankers… who brought the world to the edge of financial armageddon and gave us the credit-crunch.  I confess to a degree of amusement that Northern Wreck is probably the safest bank in Britain now and to a degree of schadenfreude in knowing that *We the People* now own Bank of Scotland and Royal Bank of Scotland with possibly more to come.  The American people also own a fair few banks now, some with unusual names… Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.  Lehman, however, is not one of them.  Lehman went from Wall St to the wall.

On the premise that lawyers should take a professional interest in greed… allow me to present an excellent blog called Capitalists@Work – a good read for those who want an insight into what is actually happening with our economy. The Pound isn’t doing too well at the moment…. but Capitalists@Work has the story “No government target for the pound”.

Another must read for lawyers involved in the business world, particularly, and in the management of law firms is Adam Smith Esq, written by Bruce MacEwen. Bruce MacEwen predicts for 2009…

Greed and divorce often go together and, of course, 2008 was the year when Sir Paul McCartney finally jettisoned his wife “Mucca” .  My friend and fellow blogger John Bolch is usually on the money with his excellent blog Family Lore, supplemented now by Family Lore Focus. John, however, is not a greedy man.  In fact, selfless to a point.  He is even helping those who, for whatever reason cannot bear the sight of each other, need to divorce each other…  with his new book “Do your own divorce” – a snip at £9.99.  Sadly, I won’t be buying this book…..   I wouldn’t want, in my case, to make it Four Weddings and a Funeral.  Anyway, I’ve got an ASBO.  I am not permitted to enter churches or Register Offices for the purpose of engaging in matrimony.

Pink Tape, another entertaining Family Law blog… this one written by a barrister,  has this contribution:  “Your Cheatin Heart”

Perhaps this would have been better in the Lust category… but David Giacalone of f/k/a had a sparklingly Savage year in 2008

Greedy for good news… Best of Deliberations had a good year in 2008… “Against the real news of the year — an African-American president in our lifetimes on the one hand, and most of us significantly poorer on the other — Deliberations‘ 2008 accomplishments are small.  But it was a good year here.”

And… if you are greedy for info… Nick Holmes of infolaw and author of Binary Law is a must. He has a few “Predictions for 2009″.   To call 2008 a year of change is an understatement: Thus spake John Wallbillich of WiredGC in his post “This year can fly away” –  an interesting take on sucess and Apple’s Steve Jobs.

Greedy for coffee? I am very partial to coffee…  so when a lawyer says they are about to have a coffee fix in a blog post I’m intrigued.  Jay Shepherd of The Client Revolution writes.. “So it’s another gray New England winter afternoon, which means it’s time for my caffeine fix.”  An  enjoyable “Coffee Parable”.

Anonymous Assistant, a blog drama written by a City Lawyer is always worth popping into for the latest instalment.   The latest post, a Nightmare before Christmas Part 1 will give you a taste: “Lawyers traditionally possess characteristics which help them in their profession: combativeness, aggression, ruthlessness and guile.  All very useful skills for dealing with wiley opponents but not so useful when dealing with each other………”


And so we move to sin # 4 – SLOTH…

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IV  ACEDIA – SLOTH

It just has to be Twitter… the *app* of 2008 and no finer way in the world of wasting industrial strength amounts of time. Also, it has to be said – while obtaining a great deal of pleasure.

Am I obsessed by Twitter? I am on Twitter. As at 21.27 on Friday 2nd Jan, as I write these words, I have done 10,867 updates. I must be in @kevinokeefe territory here? :-)

I wrote a ‘sensible’ post on Twitter some weeks ago (On Twitter: Are you going to put some skin in the game?)  and then… finally… I lost the plot on New Year’s Eve and wrote a *Tweeplay* with the help of other obsessed Tweeps… it was a strange tale, to be sure… ” We sailed against the French”.

I am not alone in my mania. Adrian Lurssen of JDScoop reports that there are over 567 lawyers on Twitter! and… this is the big one… Peter Black, a law lecturer at QUT in Australia and author of Freedom to Differ actually *Tweeted* his entire Blawg Review #178 in the Autumn.

I won’t rehearse the events described in my *sensible* post about Twitter (See: Are you going to put some skin in the game?) but I do have to give an honourable mention to a woman who has over 20,000 tweets to her name…. Ladies und gentlemen… I give you @infobunny.  A virtual bottle of Rioja for her excellent *#bumsngin* theme with pics of bums and gin bottles  and  for her Piratical Christmas Advent calendar – revealed each day on… Twitter.

I have enjoyed some mildly sardonic exchanges about Twitter and authority, influence and  ranking with Victoria Pynchon.  Victoria Pynchon has a lot of sense to impart on her blog Settle it Now“You can’t obtain a favourable settlement if you’re not a formidable adversary”.

A man not touched by *Sloth* is Jonathan D. Frieden of E-Commerce Law.  I enjoyed his latest post “Most popular E-Commerce posts of 2008″.

Another blogger untouched by *Sloth*… who has a good take on many topical issues is Daithí Mac Sithigh, author of  cyberlaw & media law blog Lex Ferenda. He has a “Taxing case on Data Protection and Privacy” for you this week.

I just could not resist this from a fellow *Tweeter*leecomms Real law firm name:(no kidding) Real Lawyers at Affordable Prices, Fresno http://tinyurl.com/a7m4ar (truth in advertising)

And this RT (ReTweet) just had to go in… kevinokeefe Email your confessions to to iFather @ confessional@twittermail.com for anonymous confessions to the twitterverse. http://is.gd/erzO.

Kevin O’Keefe, who also has a blog – Real lawyers have blogs –  is tireless in his quest to promote Twitter as a business tool for lawyers – and came up with this gem: kevinokeefe Law firms use good looking models on their websites, not pics of own lawyers, on websites http://is.gd/esBq

UK Housing law solicitor and blogger, Nearly Legal, is in fact fully legal now with an excellent blog on housing law.  He is a stalwart of the  UK Blawging community and has opened his blog to other specialists in housing law who contribute to a growing resource.  I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about housing law – but NL’s site is always on my list to have  look at.  He is far from *slothful* – a prodigious appetite for blogging.   The same is true of Martin George who set up the superb resource for lawyers interested in Conflict of Law.  The blog?  Well… it is called Confict of Laws.net sponsored by CC – a serious resource.

Our friends over at Reductio ad absurdum do, however, admit to a degree of *sloth* … “Merry Christmas to all dedicated bloggers (and the erm…not so dedicated) … and a happy New Year!”

US lawyer, Cathy Gellis, author of Statements of Interest, has the final word in this section with Law and technology, the disconnect“.

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V  IRA – WRATH

Where does one start? I won’t mention the various wars going on around the world, the conflicts between human beings, the misery caused by poverty – for these are serious topics best left to a different time and place.

In keeping with the theme of this Blawg Review… *Misrule*… it just has to be the Banks again. It would appear that neither The Bank of England nor the authorities in the United States were fully aware of what bankers (investment and retail) or hedge funds and others were up to.

This morning, a sunny but very cold morning in Bloomsbury, I sat outside smoking a cigarette or two, sipping an ‘americano’ coffee from Starbucks and read The Guardian.  The front page had the headline “BANKS DEFY BROWN CALL TO FREE UP CREDIT – Loans for business increasingly scarce and outlook bleak, says report”.

Journalists (particularly those who write for tabloids) know that there is one subject guaranteed to irritate their readers, the British electorate.  That subject is BANKERS… and their refusal to lend money… our money, now that we seem to own most of the banks operating in Britain. Gordon Brown knows this as well.  This is why he is often pictured looking grim, Moses like, getting on with the job, leading us through the desert to the promised land of plasma screens, nannies and foreign holidays.

So… on the subject of wrath generally…. what do bloggers have to say when it comes to *Wrath*?….

To kick off… on the Social Services for Feral Children blog (Yes… there is such a blog)… there is a wonderful post entitled “We convict, you decide”.  Here is a taste for you… “In a sign that British fascination with reality tv is even worse than that of America, the United Kingdom is considering whether to allow the public to vote on how to punish low level criminals…. The public may be able to vote for what form of punishment is handed out to convicted criminals in their neighbourhood under plans being drawn up by ministers.”

Another half baked idea from our hapless Home Secretary?

Scott Greenfield, Simple Justice: “Susan Kuo at PrawfsBlawg asks an interesting question.  If someone harms another person in self-defense, do they then have a duty to save the person?

John Hirst over at the Jailhouse lawyer’s blog notes:“Britain should be prepared to accept prisoners from Guantanamo Bay if it would help the Americans close the camp, Lord Goldsmith has said.”

Not quite so simple a proposition as it may seem, attractive though the idea is.  Our laws tend not to permit the government to bang people up without charge for too long… 28 days, at the moment.  Fortunately, the plan to detain people without charge for 42 days appears to have been kicked to death (rightly so) in the Lords.

*Wrath* may not be quite the word for it. Pissed off, seriously pissed off… is probably a more British way of looking at the matter of Madoff and his $50 billion Ponzi scam.  The financial press and blogs are awash with stories on this – but it seems appropriate, for reasons of misrule, to have at least one reference to Madoff in this Blawg Review. The Hedge Fund Law Blog covers the matter in “Hedge Funds, Congress and Madoff.”

We also have a bit more Madoff from Pragmatist… ” Madoff Unleashes the Counter-Veblen Effect” – a very subtle and reasoned analysis. I quote from the post: “So welcome, I suggest, to a new world of battered Bentleys, frayed collars and housecoats in Knightsbridge, where cheaper is better and champagne is for wimps.”

WAC? doesn’t waste time with wrath.  They want solutions. “In Salon, see Andrew Leonard’s excellent “The Economy Crumbled” – but then let’s get busy cleaning up our mess. WAC? prefers Pollyannas who like to solve problems.”

Solicitor, Justin Patten of Human Law takes wrath in his stride. He is an enthusiastic supporter of mediation and has been around in the blogging community in the UK since 1189. His most recent post is appropriate for inclusion in this section…“Picking the right solution for conflicts at work”.

Cearta.ie, the Irish rights blog reports “Mark Twain exercises the Privilege of the Grave.”

Usefully Employed considers a different type of wrath…Islington successfully appeals Ladele – religious beliefs do not trump social equality”

Professor Jonathan Turley of the Res Ipsa Loquitur blog (and voted #1 in the recent ABA Journal Awards under the Law Profs and Legal Theory blogs category) has an interesting post about the acceptability of framing murder charges in unusual cases.  His post is a subtle one about  a homeless man who started a fire to keep warm being charged with murder after a firefighter was run over by the firetruck accidentally.  Well worth a read for a view on a complex issue.

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VI   INVIDIA – ENVY

Obama is good news for the States, we hope... and over here in the UK he is certainly popular.  The fact that he is a smoker, quite apart from his stated policies and optimistic, yet realistic, outlook… does it for me.  Yes…. he can’t smoke at The White House and I wish him luck with his plan to cut down, give up… have the odd crafty puff.  Do we envy the States?  I don’t know.  I can’t speak for anyone but myself.  It is good that the new US president has been elected.  It is good that the new president is a superb communicator and has a great deal of support with, presumably, not too much political baggage for journos and political bloggers to hurl at him as he starts his presidency. I’ll miss Dubya though and his stand up comedy routines. [Thanks to Nicole Black of Sui Generis for tipping me off on Twitter to the list of  Bushisms]

We have Gordon Brown… who is “getting on with the job” and who  is not keen on elections… or referendums.  For those of you who are not familiar with Gordon Brown’s searching technique, here is a popular film of him searching his nose. The technique is good, enviable even, but a rather bizarre thing to do at Prime Minister’s Questions in The Commons? … but there we are.

We may once have envied the lifestyles of rich lawyers, rich bankers, rich estate agents and rich plumbers…. but for 2009…  schadenfreude is the new schadenfreude.  Not so well paid members of the legal profession and even clients of  law firms in the States, the UK and elsewhere, can now have the satisfaction of sitting down in front of their computers and read the tales of woe in many law rags about uncertainty, salary cuts, redundancies, re-structuring and the like.  Unfortunately, as I am interested in the legal profession, this gives me little pleasure…. really.   Above the Law is always good for a laugh.  Here they consider a DLA Piper pay freeze


I will admit to wandering slowly down the high street, looking at estate agents shop windows, and marvelling at the tumbling house prices.
It is quite fun to hover in the doorway until some gelled up, mini driving “chop-chop”  spiv comes over, face wreathed in an unctuous smile, hands wringing faster even than Uriah Heap could manage. “Buying or selling, Sir?”  ….. “Neither….. just seeing how you are getting on and marvelling that you are still here” is the reply.  But… of course I don’t do that… or do I?

Let’s see how the bloggers cover envy…

Concurring opinions writes: “British financial historian Niall Ferguson recently coined the term “Chimerica” to describe the growing economic interdependence between the United States and China, a relationship that he calls the key to understanding the world economy over the past decade.” It seems they may be “Hollow Men”.

Feminist Law Professors - direct and to the point:

More About Rick Warren: Sexist As Well As Homophobic

His homophobia has been widely discussed, but his sexism not as much. Bring yourself up to date here.

JD Bliss reports: “Michelle Obama Puts the Spotlight on Work-life Balance for Lawyer-moms.”

IPKat, a must for UK IP fanatics, writes...”Artist’s resale right derogation – the IPKat was wrong”.

China Law  blog, often on the money, warns… “Employment In China Is Job One. Make This Your Business.”

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VII   SUPERBIA – PRIDE

This was a difficult one.  I’m proud to be British. I’m proud of our country – not everything we do, but in general I like living here.  Like most Brits, I have a healthy disregard for the utterings and mutterings of the megalomaniacs who seek high office to govern, to strip away our vaunted freedoms, to reduce habeas corpus to dust and generally ignore Magna Carta. So, it was difficult to come up with something to suit the sardonic and, perhaps, cruel gaze of a Lord of Misrule without sounding like a historic home guide or Simon Schama.

How did I do it? I sat down… cracked open a bottle of Rioja and drank a mind nourishing glass of the stuff.  Then I drank another glass.  Noting that only a third of a bottle remained, I drank that too.  It would have been rude not to have done. It was then that I had my Eureka moment… my light on the road to Damascus.  “I’ve got it”…  I shouted at my computer.

I’m proud that we have the richest living artist in the world…. DAMIEN HIRST.

Say what you like about the guy… but anyone who can persuade rich people to part with lunatic amounts of money by stuffing a Noah’s Ark of dead animals into glass cases filled with preservatives and then go and sell a human skull encrusted with diamonds for £50 million quid deserves, if you will forgive the awful and intended pun, to makeoff with the money.

Can You Fire An Employee Because You Just Don’t Get Along: It would seem so.  John Phillips of The Employment Law Post writes: “Yep. Most of the time. Sometimes, it’s called insubordination if you disagree with the boss too often. Sometimes, it’s called failure to meet expectations if you’re not doing what the boss tells you to do. The end result is the same. You’re fired. The latest example is the firing of the dean of Duquesne University Law School by the president of Duquesne University. It’s caused quite a stir. Students are holding protests. Alums are withholding contributions.”

Something to be proud about…
Fellow Twitterer @Jaffne and blogger has good news indeed to report: The State Papers Domestic of Henry VIII to Elizabeth I, covering the period from 1509 to 1603 are now available online for anyone who’s interested to rummage though, at State Papers Online.

And something not to be proud about… Fellow Twitterer and blogger Disillusioned Discordian notes: Private Bailiffs to be given power to use force and violence to reclaim debts. “As Christmas comes the Government has a present for all the debt ridden British people. If you don’t pay your debts, the Bailiffs can kick down your door and use reasonable force to pin you down if you resist.”

And this… from Balkinization :

Can The Senate Refuse to Seat Roland Burris? Quite Possibly

*

Celebrity Big Brother is back on our TV screens!

Guido Fawkes, naturally….. has his own take on the matter. I quote:Celebrity Big Brother is back with freaks and celebs for all. Lucy Pinder has attracted attention because of her natural 32G chest and because she is according to the Sun, “posh totty”, a “bit of a Tory” and “admires Margaret Thatcher for being the first female PM”. The 25-year-old is coulrophobic — she is scared of clowns – which may also explain her antipathy to Gordon Brown.”

BREAKING NEWS…

Robert Amrogi reports from the USA…

Polling ended yesterday for the readers’ choice awards in the ABA Journal Blawg 100. The ABA Journal has yet to release the official results, but based on the numbers of votes showing on the site, here is my unofficial tally of the winners in each category

News: Above the Law.

Crime: Simple Justice.

Professors: Jonathan Turley.

Niche: Patently-O. | Technology: FutureLawyer. | Quirky: Living the Dream Blog. | Careers: Temporary Attorney. | Students: Thank You Ma’am. | Podcasts: Lawyer2Lawyer. | Regional: China Law Blog.

PAGEFLAKES : It has been fun to be Lord of Misrule for this brief time. I visited a great many blogs.  The exigencies of my, perhaps, bizarre structure dictated that some posts I read and enjoyed had to be left out.  Mea culpa.  I have, however, now created Pageflake pages for UK, US, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, Irish and Scots blogs… with more Pageflake pages to follow.  Each pageflake contains a great many blogs on one scrollable page and gives a snapshot of the latest posts for each blog.
US Law Blogs Page Flake
| Canada Law Blogs Pageflakes | Australia, New Zealand, Scotland and Ireland law blogs Pageflake | UK Blawgs

Just a bit more to go… not much more… I promise :-)

EPILOGUE

Although he is not a law blogger, I would like to include James Higham, an enthusiastic blogger, writer and supporter of all things blog.  James has, inter alia,  a very good blog called Nourishing Obscurity.  Res ipsa loquitur.  There is also a band of bloggers *Bloghounds* who are keen to promote the art and style of blogging.  I am putting together a Pageflakes page of Bloghounds blogs for my blogroll and this will be available fairly soon.

***

I shall now go and tap dance on The Thames, turn a bit of water into wine, and see if The Archbishop of Canterbury will be impressed with my latest stunt.  He was, I can report qua Lord of Misrule, entirely unimpressed when I arrived at Lambeth Palace on New Year’s Eve with 5000 people who were hungry and thirsty.  Have a great New Year and, as the late great Irish comedian Dave Allen used to say… “May your gods go with you”.

I’m sorry it is so long… but as we say down at the old Dog and Duck pub… “Je ne regret rien, Cobber!”

I have just one final statement….for titled people need to stick together.  It is a message for Scott Greenfield at Simple JusticeAs one Lord to another… I got that Earldom for you on ebay... on the way! Sadly, my ‘Lordship’ expires at midnight…. enoblement is such a transient thing… a phantasm.

***

I’ll leave Scott Greenfield with the final word… and I agree..  Twitter is fine… but I prefer blogs… adieu


To which my reply just had to be…  I prefer to be a *Blogger*…


Personal statement… you may like to watch this short *movie*

Blawg Review has information about next week’s host, and instructions how to get your blawg posts reviewed in upcoming issues.

***

It would appear that there is, in fact, an EIGHTH Deadly Sin…. *Prolixity*…. (from Latin prolixus) ….  guilty as charged, mate.  I’ll do the business in court on this charge myself and be a fool for a lawyer!  Have a good year.


32 thoughts on “Blawg Review # 193

  1. Brilliant – a redefinition of the term ‘tour de force’. A very appropriate theme, and so many links to follow (so little time…).

    I must now repair to my bed to recover.

    [Oh - and grazie for the mention.]

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  4. Ah Charon, the joy that comes from knowing I have now charged my laptop full of internet, and tomorrow will be able to sneakily read this opus whilst looking like I’m paying attention.

    Thank you for the mention but please man, get some sleep.

  5. An AMAZING Review, Charon – others will be put to SHAME! You have most definately upped the ante with respect to all matters blawgle!
    A Belated Happy New Year to you! :)

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  9. Cracking review (as ever) Charon and thanks for the mention. I can be slightly more slothful with the aid of my lovely band of volunteers.

    Even fueled by the powers of Misrule, this review must have taken many hours of labour. The wings of Rioja are fleet and strong indeed.

  10. Blimey, that’s a long one – as the actreess said to the bishop. As regards this Fat Bigot bloke, can you still get Woodbines? I thought they’d gone up in smoke – as it were – years ago…

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  15. I agree!!

    Emma… this is ‘Naughty’… if you want to promote your SEO service don’t do it by plastering idiotic comments on my blog. You also did it, I understand, to John Bolch – not clever. You are lucky, this time, that I have not re-directed the URL you gave to your website to something less desirable. This time, I have removed the link… next time you get re-directed to a SPAMMER site…. or I may link to an absurd picture I find on the net.

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