UK Blawg Review #10 – Part 4

HUNT THE DRINKING & SMOKING LOBSTER COMPETITION

In Part 4 – the last of my reviews – I am hiding a picture of a  lobster that smokes and drinks in one of Parts 1-3 of UK Blawg Review #10 from earlier in the week. 

The challenge, for which there will be a prize of Professor Gary Slapper’s book -  More Weird Cases – is as follows:

1.  Locate the lobster and email it to me. The lobster wasn’t there when I published Part 1-3 – but it is now!

2.  Write in no more than 140 characters (as in tweets) – your opinion of the Justice system

3.  The best 140 ‘opinion’ on the Justice system will win

4.  Charon Rules – as per the Caption Competition in Part 1 – apply.  (PS There is still time to enter the Caption Competition as well)


I’d like to thank Michael Scutt, who set up the UK Blawg Roundup concept,  for giving me the opportunity to have a romp through a few UK Blawgs.  I can’t cover every blog – but as my Weekly Law Overviews  starts next week, bloggers can be sure that I will be highlighting a few UK law blog posts each week going forward.

So it seems appropriate, given that practising solicitor Michael Scutt also blogs, to start with this post from his Jobsworth blog: Vince Cable: In the Eye of the Storm

***

A barrister’s job is to put the case for the defense as effectively and clearly as would his client if he had an advocate’s skills. The barrister’s belief or disbelief in the truth of the story is irrelevant: it’s for the jury to decide this often difficult question. 

Sir John Mortimer QC

Since I still have ‘something of the random’ about me since I started writing UK Blawg Review #10 last Sunday – a post about coffee which keeps many lawyers at the grindstone,  written by Jon Bloor of Peninsulawyer, caught my eye: Coffee week

And so to more serious matters…

I like a bit of dirt… and while I am not a Property Lawyer (Although I defeated the Land Law examiner who said I would fail because I attended not a single of his Land Law lectures or tutorials by getting a First in the subject.  He was even more astonished than I was. I got lucky,  revising five subjects with all five coming up for the four questions required – not a technique I recommended to any of the many students I taught over 30 years!)…

I do read Jon Dickins’ Digging The Dirt from time to time: Apparently – Al-Jazeera to Become First Tenant of The Shard?

And since we are in this together – I thought a trip over to Bearwatch ( a blog I enjoy visiting) would cheer me up.  It didn’t!  UK debt far worse than USA’s

Milly Bancroft, a regular on our Without Prejudice series of podcasts (and short listed for The Orwell Prize this year),  has an amusing post from her Beneath The Wig blog which I just cannot resist: And I am not making this up…

Paul Bernal, an experienced academic, has a fascinating blog on human rights, privacy and the internet.  This latest piece gives a flavour: Who goes where???

Nick Holmes who runs the Infolaw websites, blogs from time to time:  I enjoyed this post: Scooping up work online with the “long tail”

I believe that most, if not all, lawyers need to be up to date on financial and economic matters.  I am a regular reader of  the excellent Capitalists@Work blog.  This post provides a very good taster: U-turns are healthy

Fill My Days in Legal London can provide amusing diversions in the day.  This post illustrates: Lately, I’ve been mainly reading erotic literature

And on that note… time to move on to my next semi-structured section….

***

Barristerman! (2009), Oil on Canvas
Charon

Charon read too many Marvel comics when he was a kid…and he likes Roy Lichtenstein also….nuff said.

If you are planning a career at the Bar – a good starting point would be visit a visit to Simon Myerson QC’s blog Pupillage and How to Get it blogFilled with top quality advice and guidance.

The Pupillage Blog is another ‘must read’ for intending barristers.

AND since we are talking about barristers… I am delighted to punt Tim Kevan’s Babybarista book.. Law and Peace currently just £1.19 on the Kindle for the Jubilee!

Family Law barrister Jacqui Gilliat continues to amuse with serious and odd snippets on her Bloody Relations blog: D.I.V.O.R.C.E: the mother of all separation songs

And we must not forget about the clerks… this from the energetic Jeremy Hopkins -  who has recently moved from 3VB to be Director of Operations at Riverview LawClerkingwell is a pleasure to read.  Try this for size: Psilkology

The Free Movement blog is written mainly by barristers in the immigration team at Renaissance Chambers. In a recent post they ask: Can the UK suspend free movement?

And.. an essential resource from Inner Temple’s Current Awareness Library team – a very good source of news, casenotes and other law materials

The Barrister Bard continues to analyse and provoke...The New Jerusalem

Come the New Jerusalem, when I am elected Divine Leader, I shall abolish all Public Inquiries as a complete waste of time and space.  They are excruciatingly boring, and for the most part, they tell us nothing we didn’t already know…..

Barrister James Vine on thebungblog – a lightheartedly serious look at the Bribery Act 2010: “A QUESTION OF INTERPRETATION”

I don’t usually write about my own cases, because I have never been a big believer in blowing my own trumpet. In addition to that, this blog is supposed to be about the Bribery Act, although with the caveat in the “About” section (which nobody reads) that I may wander off at a tangent from time to time. Well this is that time…

Read more…

In parts 1-3 you will find many examples of blogs written by barristers.

***

A lawyer without history or literature is a mechanic, a mere working mason; if he possesses some knowledge of these, he may venture to call himself an architect.
Walter Scott

A knowledge of what is happening in Europe - apart from irritating shield munching tory beserkers on the backbenches is always useful to a lawyer: IPrivacy4IT – Clarinette’s blog: French Presidential elections a successful story of divorce

International Conflict of Laws is an important subject for many lawyers. Conflict of Laws. net is a remarkable resource edited by Martin George and others.  The old cliche..”the devil is in the detail’ is a useful aphorism to remember.  This website is detailed: Folkman on International Judicial Assistance

Written by Jon Harman director of The College of Law Multi-media unit, – Digital Adventures is a delight to dip into: The Dinner Guardians

I read Law Actually most weeks.  Always incisive.  A recent post delivers a taste of the analysis provided: Fighting back against the PI claims scandal

 The personal injury niche generally comes in for a lot of bad press – deservedly so at times. As well as the infamous ambulance-chasing antics, sketchy client care and extortionate success fees, the dubious business of cross-referrals can badly impact the credibility of firms which work in this area.

Perhaps most pernicious of all is the practice of insurance companies selling potential claims to the firm of solicitors with the highest bid. (Think of it as exploiting claimants via e-Bay)…..

Law & Sexuality written by Chris Ashford, Reader in Law and Society in the Department of Law at the University of Sunderland in the UK, provides a clear and critical analysis of the application of law in this field: A Conspiracy of Silence

LawBore Future Lawyer, edited by Emily Albion is a most interesting and eclectic resource worth dipping into.

***

And so to a few blogs from the USA, Ireland and Canada – which I read and enjoy….in no particular order.

UK Blawg Roundup will be, I am sure,happy to tip a hat to Blawg Review, edited by the mysterious ‘Ed’.  I have had the pleasure of writing six Blawg Reviews over the years and will do so again if invited so to do.  It is an exceptional blog – hosted each week by a different lawyer (in the main from the US – but lawyers and academics from other countries  are often invited to host.)

WhatAboutClients? – which transmogrifies at weekends into WhatAboutParis? is written by good friend, US lawyer Dan Hull – an anglophile who claims roots in East Anglia, from the Normans and, like me I suspect – from whatever stock du jour it is which pleases him.  We are all, thankfully, mongrels at heart.

The client focused side of Dan’s blog is direct, blunt and to the point. The WhatAboutParis? side is thoughtful, suggestive, provocative, informative and, above all..an interesting read.  please do have a look:  a post from each side – 12 Rules of Client Service: You don’t get to have a “bad day” and Remembering: What do you remember about childhood? Does it matter?

And so to one of the most incisive and direct legal minds writing on law blogs anywhere in the world – Simple Justice.  Scott Greenfield does not mess about – except when accepting Earldoms from me or playing himself as a US defense lawyer representing the hapless George in West London Man (infra) – but that is another story.  He is direct..very direct… and he accepts criticism and takes it on.  Simple Justice is an excellent read – even if you know nothing about US (New York) law or criminal defense work. Scott Greenfield is wide ranging in critical analysis.  The post that follows will give you a very clear taster!

If You Say So

Some clients want to tell their lawyer everything under the sun, using tens of thousands of words to express thoughts that require maybe a dozen. Some answer questions posed to them succinctly and clearly.  Some don’t say much.  Some lie.

The liar isn’t malevolent. He’s manipulative.  Maybe he survived on the street by his wits, and can’t quite give up the tools that kept him alive thus far.  More likely, he believes, as many do, that if he convinces his lawyer that he’s an innocent man, his lawyer will love him more and represent him better.  It’s not that he views his lawyer as the enemy (though that often becomes the case as the lawyer is the messenger for a miserable system, and comes to personify all the client comes to hate), as much as he can’t quite bring himself to trust someone.

And so the lawyer asked the client questions, and the client responds.  The lawyer knows that the client isn’t being forthright with him, and pushes the client. Sometimes, he even tells the client that he’s lying, and that his lies won’t serve his cause.

Do you really want your lawyer to be the stupidest guy in the room?

They can’t help it. This isn’t an intellectual choice, but an emotional one. The believe they can beat the system, outwit it, by lying to their lawyer

Read more….

Colin Samuels, a good friend, has won five Blawg Review annual prizes for the exceptional quality of his writing.  I had the pleasure of doing an Unsilent Partners collaborative Blawg Review with him and we are now collaborating on the social atrocity satire of George aka West London Man.  (Episode 26 is here: West London Man (26): THE ADVENTURE OF THE FINAL PROBLEM)

Colin Samuels writes on his own blog Infamy or Praise. (The service was down this afternoon – hopefully a temporary glitch)

Finally in the US selection:  Gideon – A Public Defender

Another good friend and fellow blogger, Antonin Pribetic is an enthusiastic supporter of UK law blogs.  His Trial Warrior blog is thoughtful, analytical and incisive – a very enjoyable read. His recent Blawg Review #319 will also give you an insight into his views and thoughts.

And finally… a must read for all interested in Human Rights Law:  Cearta.ie (Irish for Rights) written by Dr Eoin O’Dell a Fellow and Senior Lecturer at the School of Law, Trinity College Dublin.

***

AND really finally… Chef Charon présente

Originally, I awarded myself 21 stars. But upon reflection and coming to the view that readers would find this preposterous ‘cheffery’ on an industrial scale – I have reduced the number of stars to a more credible 18.  Here is a recipe for my ‘famous’ Boeuf Buggerorf

Not that I need a reason for introducing complete nonsense into my UK Blawg Review #10 – but, as it happens, there is a reason…. Nicky Richmond, a property lawyer, writes a very amusing blog about Law and food… well… mainly food – Saying It Straight.  The reviews may assist you in deciding where to dine.  The writing is wonderful.  Most enjoyable.  Dip in and read… you won’t regret it: The Arts Club. Do you have to be a member to join?

Time to say goodbye for UK Blawg Review #10.  I leave you with two pieces of nonsense wot I knocked up some time back.

I have enjoyed reading and writing about the blogs in parts 1-54.  I’m only sorry I can’t cover every UK Blawg. Reading and writing  for all Blawg Reviews (US and now UK) I have done takes a fair bit of time.  (I often get asked how long blog reviews take. These four parts took just under 24 non-billable hours! -  for me – a pleasure.

A Bar & Dining Room
Somewhere in London
Meal for two with wine: £90
Nil points

Charon goes to a restaurant run by East European border guards?

“Have you booked?” asked the black silk shirted Maitre D’ guarding the entrance. The abruptness of the greeting took me by surprise.

“I have not booked. Do you have a table?” Blackshirt’s eyes narrowed as he flicked open the diary. The page had one entry. Blackshirt looked up, eyes darting. “How many of you are there?” It may seem to the casual observer that I suffer from dissociative identity disorder, but I was alone. I heard Sir Alec Guinness in the recess of my mind: “Charon” he said, “Use the Force….”

“I am one.”

The Maitre D’ surveyed the dining room. It was that sort of place… Not a restaurant, but a Bar and Dining Room. It was 12.30. Only two tables were occupied. “Do you smoke?” Blackshirt snapped.

“For England.” I replied.

I was escorted to a table in the corner of the room – a table for two. An East European border guard, dressed as a waitress, appeared with a menu. I selected a bottle of Claret and asked for two espressos and a glass of tap water, no ice. “You want espresso?” the waitress asked, unsmiling. “Now?”

“Yes please.” I watched her walk towards the bar. Well it was more of a march… more Red Square than Sandhurst. I was not invited to taste the wine when it arrived.

The menu was fairly typical of many gastros – a mix of “Confu**tion cooking” with a bit of thai/vietnamese nonsense thrown in. I enjoy reading Anthony Bourdain… but his books, do on occasion, get into the wrong hands… and so it was, today. Couscous and polenta featured heavily. One day I am sure that I will find a gastro pub with a dish called “Irish tagine”.

A couple were seated at a table nearby – both late twenties, both City professionals. I know this because they managed to tell me, indirectly, by relating events to each other of their successes during the week. They talked at each other; he admiring himself repeatedly in the mirrors lining the walls on our side of the restaurant. They obviously knew each other well – at least one assumes so, because, later, declining the offer of pudding, they started eating each other.

I have no idea why nutters on trains, tubes, buses and restaurants gravitate towards me – but it happend again today. The East European border guard escorted another customer to the adjacent table – a man in his early sixties, blazered, highly polished Oxford shoes, grey trousers, Turnbull & Asser shirt, silk tie and a traditional ‘British’ haircut. One could almost smell the George Trumper cologne.

“Good day to you.”

“And to you.” I replied.

“Writer?” the man asked, pointing at my laptop. I learned long ago not to answer that question.

“Just doing a bit of surfing.”

“Surfing Eh?…. yes… I used to surf when I was a junior partner with X&Y in Hong Kong…. on trips to Australia…. tied up a few M&A deals, I can tell you… out there…. those were the days…”

God in heaven. I know I drank a bottle of cider in Church once when I was at Prep school… but I had no idea, then, that I would continue to be punished for that sin nearly 40 odd years later on Easter Sunday 2007… in the form of a retired City lawyer, from the days of Tai Pan, sitting at the next table.

“Really…? good stuff.. ” I replied, affably, but with what I hoped was the correct tone to indicate that I wished ‘to be alone’. It was too late to pretend I was Bulgarian and could not speak English.

So there I was… a couple of young professionals, but a few tables away, talking at each other and Mr Drone, to my right.

“Been to Church?”

I was looking intently at my laptop screen. The words appeared to come from above. I looked at the ceiling. I looked at my bottle of Claret. I had only had one glass.

“The Vicar had a few of us back for a glass of sherry after the service”

“Really…?”

“Yes… quite a few actually. Have to splice the mainbrace after sitting through all that without being able to charge fees at the end of it! ” a statement which provoked so much laughter from the speaker that I was concerned I may have to do a Heimlich manoeuvre on him.

“Oh Yes… Vicar did us a good sermon today…”

Mr Drone told me at length that he would have been in New York to advise on a merger but the US firm had ‘cocked up’ on timing… adding that he liked to take on important cases on a consultancy basis from time to time…

“Ah….”

I drained my glass, re-filled and lit a cigarette.

“Smoker Eh?…yes… used to smoke until the Doc said to me ‘My dear chap, unless you pack in the gaspers now you won’t be able to get it up when you are 65′.” Another burst of self satisfied laughter, gave me the opportunity to wave at the waitress and explain to the gentleman seated at the next table that I needed to concentrate on my work. He made a curious signal, tapping his finger against his nose and said “Got it…Roger… mustn’t stop a chap from his work “

“You are ready with your orders?”

I smiled at the waitress, trying not to look as if I had something to declare, and ordered a main course. I justified my lack of a first course, when questioned, by explaining that I may have a pudding. She seemed satisfied with my explanation and marched off.

It takes a rare talent to cook roast lamb badly, but only inhalation of super strength cannabis would suggest beetroot risotto and chilli jam is a sensible, or even suitable, accompaniment to lamb. The waitress looked at my plate, barely touched. The lemon meringue pie had the merit of being bought in. The wine was more than drinkable and, after negotiating my release without the aid of the Foreign Office, I returned to familiar surroundings.

I often listen to The Shipping Forecast on Radio 4 before heading for sleep.  Here is my Drinking Forecast, complete with ‘Drinking By’

listen (3-4 mins)

Well.. there we are.  Fin.  Adios for now…

Part 1 of UK Blawg Review #10 is below and linked  here

Part 2 of UK Blawg Review #10 is here

Part 3 of UK Blawg Review #10 is here

I am delighted to be hosting #10 of the UK Blawg Review roundup

UK Blawg Review #10 – Part 3

Listen to the podcast

I start Part 3 of UK Blawg Review #10 with another podcast to highlight the value of podcasting as a medium for lawyers who may not have the time to blog.  Podcast or be a podcastee?

***

There are many things in life more worth while than money. One of these things is to be brought up in this our England, which is still “the envy of less happier lands”. I do not believe it is for the benefit of children to be uprooted from England and transported to another country simply to avoid tax… Many a child has been ruined by being given too much. The avoidance of tax may be lawful, but it is not yet a virtue.

Lord Denning MR
Re Weston’s Settlements
, [1969] 1 Ch 223

Practice Blogs from the profession

It is good to see practising lawyers providing high quality analysis and communicating their expertise through the use of blogs.  The UK Human Rights blog from 1 Crown Office Row, The UKSC blog which analyses all the Supreme Court decisions and now 4 Breams Buildings has a monthly digest of cases from the Court of Appeal – all free to view.

The Panopticon blog from 11 KBW’s Information Law Practice Group, led by Timothy Pitt-Payne QC, Anya Proops and Robin Hopkins, is a blog I visit often.  A recent post “Yo, Blair!” Bush/Blair conversations and the Iraq war is typical of the coverage as is..THE MINISTERIAL VETO STRIKES AGAIN – BUT THIS TIME NOT IN RESPECT OF CABINET MINUTES.  A useful resource and a good example of a set of Chambers raising their profile through the use of a practice oriented professional coverage blog.

But even solo practitioners are providing remarkable practice oriented blogs in their specialist field – some of which I note now and others in the various sections of this review.

Shireen Smith of Azrights heads her practice and produces a meaty blog on Intellectual Property law. New cookie law no longer an issue following an ICO backtrack? sheds light on the issue of cookies.

Another excellent blog on intellectual property law – Ipso Jure – is the brainchild of  solicitor Dr Peter Groves – author of a very fine dictionary on IP.

And Nearly Legal – a blog on Housing Law started many years ago by a lawyer who was then ‘nearly legal’ but is now fully qualified. The blog  has grown in size with additional contributors into a formidable resource on Housing Law. I found this recent post interesting: The Unbeatable Litigant in Person*

Solicitor Tessa Shepperson in her Landlord Law blog asks: Are you REALLY SURE you understand tenancy law properly?

More blogs from practitioners are highlighted in the various sections below…

***

Time for a bit of light relief?

So there was Mr. Jarvis, in the second week, in this hotel with no house party at all, and no one could speak English, except himself. He was very disappointed, too, with the skiing. [...] There were no ordinary length skis. There were only mini-skis about 3 ft. long. So he did not get his skiing as he wanted to. [...] He did not have the nice Swiss cakes which he was hoping for. The only cakes for tea were potato crisps and little dry nut cakes. The yodler evening consisted of one man from the locality who came in his working clothes for a little while, and sang four or five songs very quickly. [...] Mr. Jarvis has only a fortnight’s holiday in the year. He books it far ahead, and looks forward to it all that time. He ought to be compensated for the loss of it.

Lord Denning
Jarvis v. Swans Tours Ltd.
[1973] Q.B. 233 (C.A.)

Leveson continues to shed light and amusement on the nefarious deeds of press barons and the snivelling and craven behaviour of recent governments and politicians.  Former prime minister Tony Blair admitted that he did not wish to incur the wrath and vengeance of the press by taking them on – preferring instead to ‘manage the press’.  Prime minister, Police horse fancier and enthusiastic  ’teen texter’ (LOL) Camcorderdirect, presiding over an ubershambles of a coalition government,  is to to appear at Leveson soon.  I have already bought the popcorn.

I have been a fan of RollonFriday.com since the early days – wasting industrial amounts of time on the discussion board as ‘Brigadier Grappa’  and enjoying the pleasures of good company at RoF drinks sessions.  Their Friday news – not strictly a blog – is always amusing – and Laura and Frank have taken to blogging within the RoF site.

Frank, continuing a RoF tradition of some time, has taken a pop at my old mate Nigel Savage, CEO of the newly ‘private sector vulture capitalist owned College of Law’:  Slim pickings at the College of Law as Chief Exec takes £100k hit (You may have to scroll down)

And while Legal Cheek does serious – always worth a look for the more surreal and astonishing behaviour of lawyers: City Law Website RollOnFriday Finally Admits That It’s Edited By An Ashurst Partner  < Good stuff..amused me.

Time to hit the blogs and be serious again…

***

What is the argument on the other side? Only this, that no case has been found in which it has been done before. That argument does not appeal to me in the least. If we never do anything which has not been done before, we shall never get anywhere. The law will stand still whilst the rest of the world goes on; and that will be bad for both.

Lord Denning MR
Packer v. Packer
[1954]

Legal Bizzle, who has changed jobs recently, has returned to the blogging arena (fray?) with his usual style and panache: When is an alteration not an alteration?

Exciting news about public sector outsourcing (well, it’s relative) draws me back to the blog . This time it’s Serco, fingered by the Guardian (EXCLUSIVELY!) for alleged misconduct in the performance of a contract to supply out of hours GP services in Cornwall.

Tom Kilroy a solicitor turned GC and now acting CEO of a large public company provides insight into the commercial world of legal practice. In a recent post: Lies, damn lies and … metrics

Tom considers the definition of the word ‘metrics’ and concludes:

“The word “metrics” is so commonly used in modern business life that nobody thinks they need a definition of the term. It hardly occurred to me to look it up before starting this blog. But we probably ought to, because there’s a fair bit of groupthink on this topic. If you open the Oxford English Dictionary, once you’ve made it past the definition of the “metric system”, which remains a surprisingly lively political topic, you’ll find “metrics (in business)” defined as: “a set of figures or statistics that measure results”. That’s short, but it will probably do.”

In-house GC at the FT,  LegalBrat has moved his black look blog to a cleaner white look.  There is a great deal  of analysis on his old blog of great value and he continues to entertain on his new blog with: 5.15 k/o – what a FArce

‘Serial’ tweeter (in a good way), highly educated and well qualified, Dr Shibley Rahman runs the Legal Aware blog and is a keen supporter of all things blogging.  In a recent post he considers: Any successful company ignores the value of its workers and employees perilously

While some counted the cost in billable hours of all those judges and lawyers hiking around London recently ( I indulged in a bit of speculation on the matter myself as I sipped my cuppa)   – Louise Restell gives a flavour of what the recent London Legal Walk was like: Team Justice Gap on the London Legal Walk

I am a fan of the sardonic eye and voice  of John Busby, legal-two,  who is @legaltwo on twitter  I particularly liked the picture : Good Fucking Design Advice. You may have to scroll down as I couldn’t find a permalink to that pic on the blog – but it is worth scrolling down anyway – there are some remarkable images collected together in the blog

Good to see British academic Carole McCartney doing Blawg Review – The US original carnival of law blogs which I have had the pleasure of writing for six times so far: Blawg Review #323 – Memorial Day, the Rule of Law, & Human Rights. Dr Carole McCartney is a Senior Lecturer, School of Law, University of Leeds; Founder, University of Leeds Innocence Project < Powerful stuff.  A ‘must read’ for anyone interested in human rights, Amnesty and wrongful convictions.

***

“We intend to lead a government of purpose and direction so that we can offer the people of this nation the opportunity to move forward to independence, democracy and equality.”

Alex Salmond

Time for a trip across the border to the land of my ancestors… Scotland.

My parents were Scots.  I was educated in Scotland – extraordinarily rendited at the age of seven from Singapore (My father worked for Dunlop) and detained first at a very strange prep school run by seriously odd people and thence to Trinity College Glenalmond (As it was then known), founded by that wonderful rogue Sir William Ewart Gladstone,  which I enjoyed – but also delight in describing as a detention centre (The Headmaster is called ‘Warden’) I was consigned to – using the famous John Mortimer QC aphorism – “For a crime I did not commit”.

I am not convinced that it is a great idea for Scotland to go independent.  It would seem that the majority of Scots (thus far) don’t think it is a ‘brilliant’ idea either.  Devo Max seems the better proposition – best of all worlds?  My Nat friends will be writing to me, I suspect, to correct the ‘error of my ways’

And here’s a taste of Scots blogger thinking…

Lallands Peat Worrier sheds light on how those political Scots get off with this post on Langside, recounted…

But he is a fine writer and does some very serious law.  This post was most interesting: Can Holyrood repudiate the UK Supreme Court’s civil jurisdiction?

LoveandGarbage veers  between the sane and surreal – writing in depth about serious issues and then going off piste on the SNOW. Occupying his mind in recent weeks: Possibly the finest legal news story of the year so far: Fitba players, eh? Bloody hell – “‘Out of breath’ footballer Garry O’Connor caught by police after 300m dash”

SCOTS LAW NEWS is a very good starting point to be kept abreast of law issues and topical matters… from Edinburgh University.

See: Death of Megrahi, Hector MacQueen

Ian Hamilton QC  – ‘a drunk man looks at the thistle’ is always worth a read even if you know nothing about law….
Read.. you’ll be amused and informed

The Lockerbie Case

And if you really want to get to grips with The Lockerbie case…and it may be a good idea for US Senators to do so… then you can’t do much better than this… blog by Robert Black QC FRSE who became Professor of Scots Law in the University of Edinburgh in 1981 having previously been in practice at the Scots Bar.

Technollama asks: Should jailed convicts have access to social media?

The Firm (Scots law magazine) focuses on topical issues and news. The place to go for news on Scots Law.

 Gavin Ward is a serious blogger…Wardblog: great stuff

Legaleaglemhm’s Blog Does what it says on the tin…. and she is a keen and enthusiastic supporter of blogging: T minus 9 Days and Counting – I would walk 6000 miles ( not a song by the Proclaimers) though we are Scottish

And a few more excellent blogs for you to read from Scotland…

Alan Tench Public Law and Devolution: The Queen’s speech and the UK Government’s legislative programme for 2012-13

Legal History blog: Packed with Scots and other legal history

Eric Clive’s European Private Law News: Rome conference on “The Making of European Private Law: Why, How, What, Who”

Edinburgh Commercial Law blog: Thoughts on frustration of contract in Scots law

***

Shagger is right.  And… no.. I don’t have any plans to swim across The Thames. Part 4 tomorrow / Thursday.

I’m or for a walk and coffee in the sun.

Part 1 UK Blawg Review #10

Part 2 UK Blawg Review #10

Part 4 UK Blawg Review # 10

And don’t forget.. you can win a prize in the ‘Caption Competition’ – details in Part 1

I am delighted to be hosting #10 of the UK Blawg Review roundup

(Albeit in 3ish parts!)

UK Blawg Review #10 – Part 2

Lawcast 203:  Kristen Heimark – From serving on the USS Lexington to practising as a London lawyer

Today I am talking to Kristen Heimark, a practising lawyer in London  who started her working life serving with the United States Navy on the USS Lexington.  It is a fascinating story.

Kristen talks about her career in the US Navy an her posting to London which eventually led on to her doing a law degree at SOAS and an LLM at The LSE before she qualified as barrister and cross-qualified as a solicitor.  Kris now practices mainly in the field of Landlord & tenant as a solicitor-advocate.

Kris is also an enthusiastic law blogger and user of twitter as @stokenewington

Listen to the podcast

I’ve been podcasting since 2006 and it seems that I have done over 450 podcasts ranging from the serious Charon Lawcasts and Without Prejudice series to the, being frank, insane and surreal.

I’ve started Part 2 of UK Blawg Review #10 with a podcast because I wanted to highlight that blogging is not the only medium lawyers may use to put their views across.

Pleasingly there are some excellent podcasters on law about.  I select two for you to have a look at: NorthpodLaw and Alex Aldridge and Kevin Poulter’s Legal Cheek podcasts.  I particularly enjoyed #RoundMyKitchenTable: Orwell Prize Shortlisted Law Blogger Milly Bancroft On The Rise Of The New Media Set

***

The High Court is unable to agree on Twitter Joke Trial appeal

A fresh appeal hearing is ordered before three appeal judges as the case goes on.
David Allen Green at The New Statesman

***

Alimony is like buying hay for a dead horse.
Groucho Marx

Groucho’s aphorism seems entirely appropriate to introduce a few posts from the leading family law bloggers I read.  First up is Lucy Reed of Pink Tape.  Two posts caught my eye: Lost in translation where Lucy considers the advantages of interpreters in court and Gold Band : Gold Standard?

Excessive Verbosity Warning. Do not go past this point unless you have at least two packs of kendall mint cake and a powerade about your person. 

[UPDATE : Office for Judicial Complaints now investigating Coleridge J - see end 5pm 15 May]

This weekend I listened to Coleridge J talk about his Marriage Foundation at the FLBA Cumberland Lodge weekend….

Read more

Natasha Phillips produces the Researching Reform blog – a fine resource with incisive, analytical and critical commentary on the family law justice system:  Her recent piece Single Fathers and the Economic Crisis caught my eye. AND… talking of using podcasts to communicate a message, as I was, Natasha is an enthusiastic podcaster and a good podcastee with John Bolch at Family Lore in his Lorecasts series.

John Bolch works tirelessly,  producing a remarkable treasure trove of analysis and coverage of topical Family Law issues – occasionally going orf piste with his Venal & Grabbit satires.  His Family Lore blog and Family Lore Focus really are ‘must reads’ for students and practitioners interested in family law issues.  AND.. if you are a lawyer manque and rise one morning with the thought that you would like to do your own divorce… his book on the topic is excellent!

Marilyn Stowe, practitioner and blogger considers: The cost of bankruptcy in family proceedings, by Danielle Day.

Jonathan James on Family Law blog writes: There is such a thing as common law marriage!

***

The freedom to make a fortune on the stock exchange has been made to sound more alluring than freedom of speech.
Sir John Mortimer QC

Given that I still have ‘something  of the random’ about me today… in this section I declare myself free to roam at will and select some recent blog posts I have enjoyed before returning with some vague idea of structure and taxonomy.  So.. orf we go into another realm…

Adam Manning of A Lawyer Muses… reflects interestingly on: Government Attack on Justice

If you have a compensation claim you might have hired a lawyer who, if they are any good, will be fighting with all their skill, experience and passion to get you as much money and medical treatment as they can after you have been injured. In some cases, particularly involving serious injuries, your case maybe of great importance to you and your future, especially if you have a family to provide for. Proposed changes by the government to the compensation system will attack the rights of injured people and add insult to injury just when they are at their most vulnerable…

Read more…

I have been reading Bystander JP’s excellent Magistrate’s Blog since ‘time immemorial’.  Always a pleasure to dip into and read.   A recent post gives a taste of this independent JP’s  views: Well Down To Standard

The Anna Raccoon blog is one of my favourite blogs – a blog to make one think – it is a mix of law, politics and social commentary.

Pheasant pluckers?….

will give you a taste of the genre

Babybarista and Anonymous Assistant always provide a wry smile and often laughter as the authors reveal their sharply observed, often sardonic eye, on the doings of the legal profession. The most recent post from Anonymous Assistant: Hen Dos and Hen Don’ts.

I did a podcast with the author of Anonymous Assistant way back in 2008.  She used a wonderful ‘Celia Johnson disguised voice’ and laughed a lot.  I decided to speak in the manner of Trevor Howard qua  Captain Bligh – a voice style which I often find useful in day to day life. Here it is if you wish to have a listen…. Still worth a listen – the author is a very amusing lady!  My obsession at the time was Judge Roger Connor who pulled a knife out in court – only to be asked by counsel if the knife was ‘legal’.  We discussed this surreal event and the podcast descended into nonsense thereafter – but in a good way!  A surreal podcast – which I thoroughly enjoyed doing.

It was interesting to hear discussion again in the podcast  of what law bloggers were doing in 2008 – nothing has changed… which is good..save that some bloggers have fallen away and many others have joined since.We came to the conclusion that many lawyers are frustrated actors or frustrated writers!

Tim Kevan, a good mate, has branched out with a new series of humorous law post on his Barrister blog: My new series of humourous legal posts

Professor John Flood’s RATs blog is another of my favourites – veering as it does between the serious and irreverent.  Here John considers The Return of “Silk” (Series 2)

***

Going to trial with a lawyer who considers your whole life-style a Crime in Progress is not a happy prospect.
Hunter S. Thompson

In this section, I thought I would give you a taste of the practical issues facing lawyers today from some bloggers at the very cutting edge of legal thinking across a range of legal topics!

Right at the forefront of developments which will impact on the future of the legal profession is the thorny issue of ‘Education and Training’.  I end Part 2 of UK Blawg Review #10 with a podcast I did with Diane Burleigh, CEO, Chartered Institute of Legal Executives where she explained the advantages of considering qualifying as a lawyer through the CILEx route.  (Infra)

I’ve been involved all my professional life in Education.  I am now in a position to run ‘rogue’ should I choose to do so.  I have some critical views on the new style of practice oriented degrees – but I have an open mind and I am open to persuasion through considered debate.

Professor Stephen Mayson, whose work I have known for many years, is always worth listening to.  In his eponymous blog he considers: Lifting the LETR from the doormat. It is an excellent blog post… I introduce the post with his own introduction…

This morning’s seminar on reforming legal education and training, hosted by Westminster Legal Policy Forum, provided a timely opportunity to reflect on the progress so far of the Legal Education & Training Review (LETR).

The lead for the LETR, Professor Julian Webb, rightly reminded us that the function of the Review is to address the question of how best to regulate legal education and training – specifically, the scope, reach and proportionality of that regulation. He said that, so far, responses to the LETR discussion papers had reflected vested interests, and had demonstrated limited consensus and offered little in the way of alternative vision….

Read more…

Why am I not surprised to read, in relation to the Legal Education Training Review (LETR),   of ‘vested interest’ limited consensus and offering  little in the way of alternative vision?  I am not surprised. Stephen Mayson’s blog post is worth reading.  I have found, discussing legal education with legal educators, the smell of vested interests  – in both commercial and public sectors – is so powerful at times that I need a pomander !

Right at the forefront of developments in the legal profession is the excellent Legal Futures online magazine.  Not strictly a blog – but who cares these days about categorisation?  Neil Rose, the editor, is always worth reading.  A post today gives a flavour of the current issues of the day: Ombudsman sees good and bad signs in lower-than-expected level of complaints against lawyers

Another prognosticator (such a good word?) and commentator on the legal profession is Professor Richard Moorhead, late of Cardiff University from September  and then at UCL.  His Lawyer Watch blog is a good read and an excellent source of critical analysis on the profession.

Richard Moorhead comments on the LETR with this sharp post: Activity Based Regulation versus Professional Identity: Some thoughts on the LSCPs thoughts on…

The Legal Services Consumer Panel has published its thoughts on the early stages of the Legal Education and Training Review. Their point of view can best be summed up in the following quote:

“The system is failing because it tries to train the typical lawyer, when in reality there is no such thing. The legal market is simply too diverse to sustain the general practitioner training model any longer. Future education and training system should be built around an activity – based authorisation regime for individuals and entities. This reflects that different legal activities carry varying levels of quality risks for consumers and so different competency thresholds are needed.” (4)

Read more…

Moving away from the specifics of the legal profession to a blog which invariably produces detailed critical comment on the topical legal issues of the day.

Obiter J in his Law and Lawyers blog is a ‘must read’.  Obiter J shares a taste for not being shy about being critical.  A recent post gives a good taster: Outrage !! Unelected Euro Judges trampling on our democracy ! His post of last Friday is also worth a read: Unduly lenient sentences: a useful power; well used

Given the emphasis on legal education above, I thought it only fair that Dr Strangelove of Muttley Dastardly LLP be given the opportunity to inform you about a recent interview of an applicant for a training contract…

Eva Braun, Matt Muttley’s PA, elegantly dressed as always in a tailored black suit and high heels,  led a young man into the Partner’s Boardroom and seated him at the opposite end of the long boardroom table.  He had a brown paper bag over his head.

Dr Erasmus Strangelove, Director of Psyops, Strategy and Education, looked up from his iPad 2, which held the applicant’s curriculum vitae and the security clearance report provided by a leading specialist security firm, and put his first question.

“Forgive the rather theatrical paper bag over your head.  At Muttley Dastardly LLP we operate an equal opportunities policy.  We are not swayed by good looks.  I will allow you to remove the paper bag when you have answered my first question; assuming that your answer is to my taste.  If you don’t, my colleague will take you to a waiting taxi, an idea I came up with after watching SurAlanLord Sugar’s reality TV programme The Apprentice the other night. This has the advantage that candidates who I reject do not recognise me should we happen to meet socially or in a nightclub in the West End.

“Contestant.. are you ready?” Strangelove shouted.

“Yes, Dr Strangelove” came the slightly muffled reply from the young law student seated twenty-feet away at the opposite end of the table.

“If you were on the menu in a two star Michelin restaurant in London what dish would you be?”  Dr Erasmus Strangelove asked as he glanced at the cricket score on his iPad 2.

The young man, smartly dressed in a newly purchased suit, hesitated and said “I haven’t eaten at a two star Michelin restaurant.”

Strangelove considered the reply for a moment, sat back in the high backed leather chair and smiled.  “At Muttley Dastardly LLP, we assume  that our future trainees hold a first from Oxbridge or Russell Group university.  We assume, having paid a risibly high fee for your LPC at a purveyor of legal education, that they will be sensible enough, and have the grace,  to ensure you leave with a creditable result in that course.  We are not that interested in the grade.  We prefer to teach you how to be a practising lawyer ourselves, but we do like you to start from the entirely reasonable base of actually knowing some law from your university.   We have a diversity policy here and we expect our future associates, men and women who we rely on to add to the capital value of the firm and a year on year growth in billings of 20%, to have  the flexibility to be able to think on their feet.  That you have not eaten in a two star Michelin restaurant troubles me not, but there is no phone a friend or fifty-fifty  at our interviews.   I don’t want to put too much pressure on you, but you are one down.  We have a ‘Three strikes and you’re in that taxi’ policy rule here – a wonderful concept which I seem to remember our current prime minister, Mr Camcorderdirect,  coming up with before he became prime minister and wanted votes.  Let me suggest another line of enquiry.”

Dr Strangelove flicked back to the applicant’s file on his iPad 2.

“I see, from your Facebook page, that you have a talent for drinking and gurning.  Three photographs of you in a file captioned “Future Employer’s…f*ck ‘em” – I will overlook the apostrophe solecism – shows you dressed in what I am advised is tight spandex gear worn by militant cyclists, flicking a V sign at motorists.  Do you consider that to be conduct becoming of a future associate at Muttley Dastardly LLP?”

The young man leaned forward. He was shaking slightly.  ” I thought I had erased those files”

Dr Strangelove smiled.  “Fear not.  We are specialists in ‘reputation management’ here. One of my ‘black hat’ departments is most expert at erasing information from Google and replacing it with a more ‘positive’ message. We prefer that more subtle approach to the bludgeon of a superinjunction.  After all, we don’t want our clients to be all over Twitter, do we? The question is important.  Think carefully.”

The young man sat bolt upright.  “Yes… frankly.  If I want to go through red traffic lights, cycle on the pavements, and assert my libertarian rights, I shall damn well do so.”

“Correct answer.  Well done!”  Strangelove said, banging his hand down on one of those old bells found on hotel reception desks in 1950s American movies used by guests  to attract the attention of the psycopath who ran the joint.

“Finally… our maxim at Muttley Dastardly LLP is ‘Strength & Profits’.  How do you feel about lawyers making exemplary amounts of money during their careers?”

The young man, more confident after his last answer, replied “A fronte praecipitium a tergo lupiA precipice in front, wolves behind.  I want to be a wolf”

“Young man” Dr Strangelove replied, a hint of amusement in his voice.  “Welcome to Muttley Dastardly LLP.  You may remove the paper bag.”

***

And finally…. for Part 2 of UK Blawg Review # 10 I thought I would end with a podcast I did with Diane Burleigh, CEO, Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (pictured far right) this morning  on the third branch of the legal profession and the advantages of qualifying as a lawyer through CILEx.

Listen to the podcast

CILEx Careers website

CILEx Infographic

Part 3 will follow tomorrow….and I may have to go to a Part 4 as there are so many interesting blogs to cover.  Breaking the UK Blawg Review #10 into sections will, I hope, make it easier to digest.

Part 1 of UK Blawg Review #10 is below and linked  here

Part 2 of UK Blawg Review #10 is here

Part 3 of UK Blawg Review #10 is here

I am delighted to be hosting #10 of the UK Blawg Review roundup

(Albeit in 3ish parts!)

UK Blawg Review #10 – Part 1

If you’re going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you’re going to be locked up.
Hunter S. Thompson

There are lawyers I know who would happily subscribe to this view in the current state of the legal services ‘market’;   cunningly being farked up by our political masters,  egged on by a herd of shield munching beserkers on the Tory backbenches.

Due to a rather grim illness I was unable to write UK Blawg Review in April when it was due.  I am pleased to be able to report that T’Grim Reaper was chased orf by a group of excellent NHS nurses and doctors whose advice I am taking, as opposed to my usual practice of operating  upon myself or medicating myself.

It is impossible to cover every UK Blawg. Quite apart from the fact that new ones appear all the time – thankfully – I’m not sure that anyone has a complete and precise list.  I shall do my best to give you an amuse-bouche, some hors d’œuvre, a fish and main course, some grande  fromages and a bit of pud to end.   I have no theme.

Today, as I start this ‘monster’ on a hot sunny Sunday afternoon, I am all about being ‘random’.  So with that precisely drafted caveat… let us begin our ‘journey’… to use a word so drenched in over-use it is almost BRUTal…. as in splash it all over.  I plan to do this UK  Blawg Review in three parts over this coming week  – for your / my  comfort, safety and sanity.  While tempted to begin with Part III…. that would only serve to confuse – so here is Part 1.

I am delighted to be hosting #10 of the UK Blawg Review roundup

(Albeit in 3 parts!)

***

Depressed about not getting a Schmorwell Prize? (I gather that someone is already ‘suing/muttering/sundry complaining’ to the Orwell Prize bods about the winner of the blog category for  basing the Orwell submission on his work…mon dieu…. how could  zat have happened?)

Don’t be… have a ‘Charon Caption Competition Prize” instead.
Jonathan Sykes at Wildy has kindly agreed to provide Professor Gary Slapper’s most excellent book (which I have read) as a prize for the best caption to the picture which follows.

More Weird Cases: Comic and Bizarre Cases from Courtrooms Around the World

Terms & Conditions

Well.. it would be remiss of me in a law blog to forget about T&Cs.

1.  There are no rules or limits – other than bad taste, which, of course, I am happy to encourage.

2.  The adjudication will be run as a ‘secret trial’ a la Kafka –   presided over by me, assisted by a ‘developed vetted’ secret jury selected by me.

3. In the finest traditions of The Grand Chamber of The European Court of Human Rights – from which I take my inspiration – there will be no ‘judgment’ or reasons given for my decision,  which shall be final.  For potential litigants in person and tin foil hat artistes out there – this means, essentially, that you can’t tie up what is left of my life with completely pointless litigation or tedious appeals.  Capische?

4.  Please submit your caption by using the comments section at the foot of this blog post.

CAPTION PICTURE

***

A word to the wise is infuriating.
Hunter S. Thompson

I had the pleasure of meeting Kim Evans, commissioning editor of The Justice Gap blog, last week.  We are doing a one on one Without Prejudice ‘Special’ podcast later this week.  The Justice Gap blog is a very fine and useful resource with experienced contributors.  A piece entitled Welcome to Britain by Francis Fitzgibbon QC  – no stranger to appearing on Without Prejudice himself – examined the fiasco that is ‘Border Control’ and opened his piece thus:

After arriving at Gatwick Airport at midnight, I spent an hour queuing at passport control. It was inconvenient but hardly life-threatening. For the many young children, and for the elderly and infirm in the queue, it was miserable. Apart from some good-humoured grumbling no one protested. We were all in it together, as the saying goes. A large sign over the understaffed passport desks proclaims ‘UK BORDER’. Some one thought it was important for the frontier to be clearly marked. After baggage reclaim – indistinguishable from all others everywhere – the first truly British experience, and an impressive one, is the walk to the arrivals area, which as in a theme park filters the tired but relieved traveller through a retail opportunity – a large 24-hour off-licence. Welcome to Britain! Trebles all round! Oh, and the slow train into London was lightly scented with vomit.

Francis Fitzgibbon QC writes on his own blog Nothing Like The Sun and in a recent piece considered -  The New Snoop’s Charter and asked the question: How nervous should we be about the government’s proposals to make it easier for the authorities to monitor online communications?

On a flying visit to my mate The White Rabbit’s blog…. I just could not resist his blog post Flying Visit …. where he considers the title of an album ‘My lips are for blowing’. The White Rabbit blog should be core reading for lawyers who need a mid morning or mid-afternoon laugh.

I have taken to doing ‘Word du Jour’ on twitter recently.  The other day I came across *Ultracrepidarian* – Of one who speaks or offers opinions on matters beyond their knowledge.  A fine word.  I shall lose no time in shoehorning it into a speech should I find myself back on the debating floor soon.

Obfuscation is another fine word and one most useful to lawyers.  I agree with Babybarista… Keep it complicated.

Tim Kevan, author of Babybarista blog and books was kind enough to give an opportunity to do an interview… the only one I shall ever give… in his new Person of The Week on The Barrister Blog

As I know little of Family Law (nor care to) -  save for obtaining an ASBO preventing me from going within 200 yards of ANY premises where I may be tempted to marry again – I am sure John Bolch at Family Lore will not be offended by my failing to consider one of his more considered analyses of Family Law.  I can report, however, that I am enjoying his new satire Bleak Spouse .

Legal Cheek continues to reach parts of the legal profession other bloggers just can’t reach. Jaguar Shoes v Jaguar Cars: Blame It On The Lawyers! interested me.

***

THE RULE OF LAW

“Lord Bingham considered tension between the judiciary and the government to be a healthy thing – who, after all, would wish to live in a country where all judicial decisions are welcomed by ministers? Nor is judicial activism a particularly new phenomenon. Three centuries ago, Bishop Hoadly observed: “Whoever hath an absolute authority to interpret any written or spoken laws, it is he who is truly the law-giver, not the person who first wrote or spoke them.” But however much we might admire judges like Tom Bingham, the rule of law must not mean rule by lawyers.”

Philip Johnstone in The Telegraph

One of the most topical Rule of Law issues at the moment is the prisoner votes controversy.  Our beloved coalition government appears to have developed a taste for lecturing others on their human rights abuses while performing the remarkable ‘conjuring trick’ of being able to persuade some members of the public that is is right to ignore the rule of law when it is not British rule of law but that dreadful stuff which makes prime minister Camcorderdirect ‘sick to his stomach’ – European Rule of Law.

I allowed myself a minor rant on the issue last week in a blog post.

The most useful UK Human Rights blog from 1 Crown Office Row is a good port of call for anyone interested in human rights. This week: The case for letting prisoners vote – Reuven Ziegler

Carl Gardner’s Head of Legal blog is also a first class source of analysis and opinion. Unsurprisingly, Carl consider the prisoner rights issue thoroughly: ECtHR Grand Chamber judgment: Scoppola v Italy

THE UKSC | BLOG in their The week That Was section noted the Scoppola case.

***

Such stuff as dreams are made on
William Shakespeare

Good friend and fellow blogging Scot Brian Inkster, who heads his own law  firm has started a new series on his Time Blawg:Travels through the Blawgosphere #1 (Innovation in Law)

Brian Inkster is an enthusiast for all social media maters and uses them to considered and good effect.  His most recent piece: Social Media and Legal Action: themeet140 Debate

Hunt is almost over

Ah… indeed… such stuff as dreams are made on!  Solicitor and New Statesman columnist David Allen Green on his Jack of Kent blog has a most interesting, albeit brief,  analysis of the ‘Matter of Jeremy Hunt MP’ (my highlighting): Hunt is almost over.  If you didn’t see David Allen Green’s excellent analysis of the now infamous NightJack outing – I drew attention to it here with all links.

***

And finally for Part 1…. I repeat a Muttley Dastardly LLP post I did recently because I am not convinced the SRA have got it right with their plan to scrap the minimum wage for trainees and I certainly don’t approve of the government ‘sack on a whim’ stunt.

Editorial Note: Dr Erasmus Strangelove pronounces his surname ‘Strangle – ov”  That is all.

FROM THE OFFICE OF DR STRANGELOVE, SENIOR PARTNER, MUTTLEY DASTARDLY LLP

To: All staff
21st May 2012

RE: SRA scrapping of trainee minimum wage and Government  ‘No fault Sackings’ proposals

1. The Partners met for a private lunch at Alan Ducasse’s rather fine restaurant at The Dorchester today to consider the implications of the scrapping of the minimum wage for trainees and Government proposals for ‘No Fault’ sackings.

2.  Consistent with our new transparency policy (Edict 302 14th April 2012 Para 458(a) ) I provide the menu below:

Many of you will know that this was the menu for first class passengers on that ill fated night 100 years ago when RMS Titanic sank- a metaphor for the dumbing down and sinking of the legal profession. Wine was not taken by The Partners as our contribution to the ‘National Austerity’.

First Course
Hors D’Oeuvres
Oysters
Second Course
Consommé Olga
Cream of Barley
Third Course
Poached Salmon with Mousseline Sauce, Cucumbers
Fourth Course
Filet Mignons Lili
Saute of Chicken, Lyonnaise
Vegetable Marrow Farci
Fifth Course
Lamb, Mint Sauce
Roast Duckling, Apple Sauce
Sirloin of Beef, Chateau Potatoes
Green Pea
Creamed Carrots
Boiled Rice
Parmentier & Boiled New Potatoes
Sixth Course
Punch Romaine
Seventh Course
Roast Squab & Cress
Eighth Course
Cold Asparagus Vinaigrette
Ninth Course
Pate de Foie Gras
Celery
Tenth Course
Waldorf Pudding
Peaches in Chartreuse Jelly
Chocolate & Vanilla Eclairs
French Ice Cream

3.  RollonFriday.com reports:  “Trainees starting training contracts in 2014 can look forward to earning only the national minimum wage after the Solicitors Regulation Authority took the visionary step of scrapping trainees’ minimum salaries in England and Wales. The minimum wage currently runs to £6.08 an hour. On a standard 35-hour week (clearly pie in the sky for most law firm trainees), that comes to £11,065 a year.”

RollonFriday commented on a quite extraordinary statement from a spokesperson for the SRA : Samantha Barrass, SRA Executive Director (not paid minimum wage), said: “This decision was based on an objective consideration of very full and detailed evidence gathered through a variety of sources“. Although those objective considerations seem to have failed to take into account access, diversity, university fees, LPC oversupply or common decency.

4.  The Partners have voted unanimously to show solidarity with our regulatory masters by fully ridiculing this new policy as soon as the regulation comes into force.

5. While Vince ‘Flip-flop’ Cable is wringing his hands over admirable proposals cooked up by sundry shield munching Tory beserkers to make it easy to sack people at will and in a whim, we are taking close interest as part of our strategic ‘disruptive black psyops operation’ to see if any law firms are daft enough to (a) implement the minimum wage for trainees – pay peanuts, get monkeys and (b) take advantage of this absurd reform of employment law, in the unlikely event it avoids getting kicked into the long grass by the more sensible ‘wing’ of the Tory Party’.

6.  I am pleased to report that one of our disruptive black psyops operations – ‘Operation Kamikaze’ – is going well and we see the first green shoots of collectives of useless lawyers springing up in pop up law firms in empty high street shops which have gone tits up.

That is all

Dr Erasmus Strangelove
Senior Partner

***

Back Tuesday with Part 2 of UK Blawg Review #10