Postcard from the Staterooms: No sh*t Sherlock edition

Dear Reader,

It being the bank holiday weekend, a festival to mark the end of the British summer and a transition from torpor back to realities of work, I thought I would have a wander about the online law magazines , a few law blogs and the press to find out what is happening.  I don’t, of course, need to cover or comment on Libya.

Did you know, in office slang, that Adhocracy - is a department with little to no process or organisational ability? Perhaps you are unfortunate enough to work in an office with Agenda Benders - a co-worker who is easily side-tracked in meetings.? Perhaps you are prone to a bit of Cybernating – snoozing at your computer? Or… perhaps you suffer from Flashturbation – self-congratulatory and excessive use of animation in Powerpoint?

I came across a most amusing website where office slang terms have been collated. Well worth a look. – if you are to avoid attending a Goat Rodeo… an embarrassing meeting.

Oooops:  The Lawyer has been called out by RollonFriday: Excitement as The Lawyer magazine offers law firm “Kite Mark” (for £495)

RollonFriday reports…” The legal profession fell over itself in its hurry to get its chequebook out this week, after being offered the chance to purchase a “Kite Mark” from The Lawyer magazine. For a bargain £495 plus VAT. PR departments of law firms across the country received an email from the Lawyer magazine about its “eagerly awaited UK200 supplement”. And, it revealed, each firm which makes the list (and that’s 200 of ‘em – the clue’s in the name) would be offered the chance to purchase a finely crafted Kite Mark which will, apparently, be ”regarded as the industry stamp of approval”. So if they all sign up that’s, err, £99,000 for a little graphic.?

RollonFriday are now offering their own award (Pictured)

The BBC reports: Thousands ‘ripped off’ by unregulated will-writers: “Thousands of people are being ripped off by companies providing unregulated services such as will writing, claims the first Legal Ombudsman. In his first report, Chief Ombudsman for England and Wales Adam Sampson said the most complaints he saw concerned conveyancing, family law and wills. He called for action to be taken to ensure consumers were not left vulnerable by unregulated services.”

Meanwhile, over at The Law Society:  Chief Executive Des Hudson stoked the flames…“The gap in regulation which allows unregulated cowboys to operate in areas like will writing does not just cause unfair competition to solicitors, who provide a regulated, professional service.”

Interestingly, The Law Society Gazette is getting in on the action with this report about a wills fraudster: Will-writing fraudster jailed

I had the pleasure of lunching last Sunday with the White Rabbit.  He told me that he was hopping orf to t’cricket on the Monday.  Here is his report.

And a little bit of analysis from Babybarista to assist you with your client care: Keep the client in his place

And this little bit of No Sh*t Sherlockery from Sir Alan Beith MP, late of the Institute of the Bleedin’ Obvious…

Peter Glover writes in The Law Society Gazette: More litigants in person will threaten the county courts with additional delays

“The House of Commons’ justice committee, chaired by Sir Alan Beith MP, predicts an increasing number of litigants in person by reason of the government’s curtailment of legal aid. We are told courts must make ‘adjustments’ to cope with this influx ‘in what are often emotionally charged cases’.

Wisely, the parliamentarians offer no suggestions as to the nature of the adjustments. It is possible some of them are sufficiently well informed to recognise that, in the context of the county court, this is just wishful thinking. To a far greater extent – and for far longer – than any other judges, district judges in the county courts have been ‘adjusting’ the management and conduct of cases to accommodate litigants in person.

Nobody has more experience in dealing with them than we do and, if we are nearing the limits of our capacity and inventiveness, there is no hope that the county court can survive the withdrawal of publicly funded legal assistance without significant increases in delay for other court users. If you agree that justice delayed is often justice denied, the county court and its users face a bleak future….”

A good article and worth a read.  Peter Glover has been a district judge at Dartford County Court since 1995.

There are big problems ahead for access to justice with the present government’s policy on legal aid and closure of courts.  It was, however, good to See Deputy Prime Minister Clegg warning about weakening our Human Rights – a view not shared by some of the Beserkers  in the Tory party. Cynics say that Clegg can say these things safely, knowing that it will not be a coalition-buster if PM Camcorderdirect continues with his rants about the Human Rights Act and comes up with / makes a hash of his much vaunted British Bill of Rights.

Obiter J continues to analyse and reflect with this excellent post: (1) The August Disorder – more sentencing …. (2) A seriously disturbing family case

“Sentencing remarks by His Honour Judge Milmo QC for the case of R v Ahmed Pelle at the Crown Court Nottingham are now available.  Pelle pleaded guilty to incitement of violent disorder.  Amongst other things he put on Facebook the remark – “Kill one black youth; we’ll kill a million Fedz: riot until we own the cities.”  Judge Milmo’s remarks are a concise model of a sentencing announcement which meets the various legal requirements – please see earlier Law and Lawyers post “Recent Disorder: Bail and Sentencing.”  Allowing for his guilty plea, Pelle was sentenced to 2 years and 9 months imprisonment….”

And this from The Guardian is worth reading…

Naming young offenders should remain a rarity

The Guardian: Revealing identity of 16-year-old who admitted inciting rioting will achieve nothing but a short-lived burst of media exaltation

If you haven’t listened to my podcast on the riots and the law applied to riot cases with John Cooper QCthe podcast is here.  John does a very thorough job of analysing the law and his comments are well worth listening to.

I think that is enough for this edition… I may do another Postcard on Sunday.  I shall leave you with this good news…

Government backs away from plan to close social media sites during riots

The Independent: “Threats to close down Twitter and other social media during civil disturbances, raised in the heat of this month’s riots, have been abandoned. The subject was not even discussed during an hour-long meeting between senior ministers, the police, and representatives of Facebook, Twitter and Blackberry yesterday.

The Government has executed a rapid climbdown after being alerted to the pitfalls of a policy put forward “in the heat of the moment”. Whitehall sources privately admitted they were not now seeking any new powers to censor the internet….”

Have a good bank holiday weekend.  I shall be at my post…

best, as always

Charon

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