Thursday, 23 December 2010

But, I did my best

"You're not paid to do your best. You're paid to win." And that's what pays for this office... pays for the pro bono work that we do for the poor... pays for the type of law that you want to practice... pays for my whisky... pays for your clothes... pays for the leisure we have to sit back and discuss philosophy as we're doing tonight. We're paid to win the case."
Ed Concannon: The Verdict

Monday, 20 December 2010

On Liberty (and economics and a bit of government I suppose)

"If socialists mean that under extraordinary circumstances, for urgent cases, the state should set aside some resources to assist certain unfortunate people, to help them adjust to changing conditions, we will, of course, agree. This is done now; we desire that it be done better. There is however, a point on this road that must not be passed; it is the point where governmental foresight would step in to replace individual foresight and thus destroy it."

Frédéric Bastiat, Justice and fraternity, in Journal des Économistes, 15 June 1848,

Monday, 13 December 2010

How do japanese multiply??

They're years ahead of us, years

From the Book of Ultimate Truths

Nah! When a man is tired of The Wrath of Sumoking, he is tired of life!
Paddington - - 13/12/10

You madam are some bad candy

Nearly half of solicitors are “impossible” to get hold of after 5pm

from Solicitors' Journal

A poll of 2,000 consumers found that 47 per cent of people were unable to contact their lawyer out of hours.
Only 38 per cent of clients said their solicitor was easy to get hold of in the evening, with the rest saying it was “rare” to get through after work.
Dan Watkins, director of the solicitors’ network Contact Law, which carried out the survey, said: “It is still a concern that nearly a third feel that they have to chase their solicitor to speed things up.
“Some clients are doubtless being unrealistic in this regard…but inevitably a good proportion of these instances will be down to solicitors genuinely being slow to respond.”
While more than half of clients said they were happy with the progress of the case, almost a third said they felt they needed to be “on their solicitors back” to make sure the case was being dealt with promptly.
 The point here is that if you are only doing the bare minimum and treating the profession like a 9-5 you will not compete with the younger generation never mind the rising world economic powers. 

I know a lot of cranky ancient lawyers believe that as time goes by generations are getting weaker and soppier but I look at my generation (graduating early - mid 2000s) and there is no contest. We have older lawyers who rely on secretaries, refuse to use tech, can't manage and just hope throwing money at people will get results. They still believe in the liquid lunch and the ability to knock off when they feel like it. 

The lawyers I work with hit the gym for an hour or two pre work get into the office at 8 and leave at 7-8, have blackberrys and smart phones and tablets crammed with kit and having gone through the hell of the babyboomers latest attempt to fcuk the world economy are under no illusion of what the alternative to being employed and getting work in from clients is. 

It's no contest. If you even can't be contacted after outside of 9-5 your client will come to me.

Tits are Awesome!

How Government Works

from The UK Libertarian Blog

Friday, 10 December 2010

From What about Clients, Is "Professionalism" a Smokescreen for Bad Lawyering?

What About Clients (Auld Alliance or no Auld Alliance i'm not calling it what about Paris!) is the blog you read if you want to be a good lawyer.
Professionalism--like good crops, the flag and motherhood--is indeed hard to criticize. It is also tough to define. Is it always good for clients? Can it even hurt them?
It's not about the lawyers anymore. In litigation, and in other contentious projects, does the practice of routinely and without question granting extensions, expanding deadlines, and saying "yes" to an adversary's requests for an accommodation really help clients? Or are such courtesies merely effete and provincial folkways that take the focus off the main event: solving problems for clients as expeditiously as possible? See "Professionalism Revisited: What About the Client?" in San Diego's The Daily Transcript of April 29, 2005. Has anything changed in five years?

On Liberty and Free Trade

How can protection, think you, add to the wealth of a country? Can you by legislation add one farthing to the wealth of the country? You may, by legislation, in one evening, destroy the fruits and accumulation of a century of labour; but I defy you to show me how, by the legislation of this House, you can add one farthing to the wealth of the country. That springs from the industry and intelligence; you cannot do better than leave it to its own instincts. If you attempt by legislation to give any direction to trade or industry, it is a thousand to one that you are doing wrong; and if you happen to be right, it is work of supererogation, for the parties for whom you legislate would go right without you, and better than with you.
Richard Cobden Speech in the House of Commons (27 February, 1846).

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Tits are Awesome!

Australia's Outback Could Get Web Via TV Antenna

from Discovery News

With much of the UK, for whatever bizarre reason, choseing to situate itself in the abominable countryside there is much hand wringing and bleating about how bumpkins can't get superhigh speed broadband and thus struggle to order their Netto shopping.

However, rather than spaff a wedge on running cables upto every remote 13th century dilapidated, should have been condemned but old automatically = good in the UK, farmhouse the Aussies (the fcuking 'you just landed in Sydney set your watch back 50 years' Aussies of all people!) have come up with this plan.

Researchers in Australia from the government science agency CSIRO have developed new technology that could achieve connection speeds to compete with the best: through the tangled piece of metal already attached to most roofs.

"The basic premise is if you get good high-quality analog television you should be able to get reliable high-speed communications," project leader Ian Oppermann said.

The BBC (Britains taxpayer funded media company) pisses money away on telling us what we already know?

The dumbing down at the BBC really gets on my tits, it's bad enough being arse raped with the threat of prison by the taxman to pay for the shitt they habitually crank out but when they think "hmmmm world of warcraft is releasing a further update lets have a hysteria filled half hour on gaming" then I literally think I will bust a nut.

The conclusion of panorama was that addiction is bad, the games industry should fund research (are you fcuking mental? what like the tobacco companies and surprisingly they found out smoking makes you live longer and should be encouraged?)

There is much sinister build up of the 'secret techniques used to snare you into playing!' except these secret techniques turn out to be rewards. Not gold bars shipped round to your house but your Master Chief in Halo gets a new cool Mohawk helmet. You have dread what they think of books and their sinister and deviant use of narrative that propels you to the next chapter, or the cliff-hanger that makes you stay up late to watch just one more episode of Lost or 24. Anything that makes you want more and relies on the tiniest bit of will power to say "no its 4am time for bed" is obviously pure evil according to UK state media.

And then it stumbles across the crux of the problem. This seems to be the same problem behind much western hand wringing about the state of society. Some random kid called Chris has a fit and kicks in his sister's door when his internet connection gets pulled thus preventing him playing online as an elf or some shitt. Okay. Kid has gotten withdrawal, is a moody little prick maybe a case for saying he's gone a bit violent (although it's about as weak a case as you could have) but this is followed up by his mother stating "that's when we realised games were dangerous"


This is a woman who has left her son unattended with no checking up to play in a fantasy world for 16 hours a day. This woman is a bad parent. The reporter, instead of nodding along in an "oh dear all TV is made for women better not upset target audience" fashion should have stopped her mid sentence and said "holy fcuk lady you are an awful parent! You abandoned your kid to suck on a surrogate robot nipple and now you want to blame it for him being upset you took robot mommy away?! Holy fcuk lady get a grip. YOU ARE A BAD PARENT! DON'T HAVE THE KID IF YOU CAN'T DO THE TIME!"

The whole shambolic mess, which coincides with massive student protests in the UK, financial crisis sweeping the EU, potential nuclear war in the Korean peninsula, just meanders through a half arsed attempt to pin societies illness of doing a half arsed job at raising children on entertainments and social media.

MCV sums up this appallingly bad "this is what you must think" investigation.

"People have addictive personalities. Said people can conceivably become addicted to games. As games become more popular that risk increases."

Monday, 6 December 2010

When faced with a client who wants to go to trial 'on prinicple' who hasn't used the Chewbacca Defence?

The Chewbacca defense is a fictional legal strategy used in episode 27 of South Park, "Chef Aid", which premiered on October 7, 1998, as the fourteenth episode of the second season. The aim of the argument is to deliberately confuse the jury by making use of the fallacy known as ignoratio elenchi or red herring: It starts by stating that Chewbacca lives on Endor and continues by unwinding a series of nonsense conclusions. The concept satirized attorney Johnnie Cochran's closing argument defending O. J. Simpson in his murder trial


...ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, I have one final thing I want you to consider. Ladies and gentlemen, this is Chewbacca. Chewbacca is a Wookiee from the planet Kashyyyk. But Chewbacca lives on the planet Endor. Now think about it; that does not make sense!

Gerald Broflovski

Damn it!... He's using the Chewbacca defense!


Why would a Wookiee, an eight-foot tall Wookiee, want to live on Endor, with a bunch of two-foot tall Ewoks? That does not make sense! But more important, you have to ask yourself: What does this have to do with this case? Nothing. Ladies and gentlemen, it has nothing to do with this case! It does not make sense! Look at me. I'm a lawyer defending a major record company, and I'm talkin' about Chewbacca! Does that make sense? Ladies and gentlemen, I am not making any sense! None of this makes sense! And so you have to remember, when you're in that jury room deliberatin' and conjugatin' the Emancipation Proclamation, does it make sense? No! Ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, it does not make sense! If Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must acquit! The defense rests.

The City of London Law Society responds to MoJ call for evidence on EU green paper on European contract law

in short, not big fans, full text here

Whilst the CLLS are happy for the Results of the Expert Group to be published they do not believe that any of the other options put forward by the Green Paper are useful, appropriate or justified, given the paucity of statistical evidence and analysis identifying any problems or any need for action.

There is evidence that small and medium enterprises ("SMEs") who choose not to engage in cross-border trade within the European Union (the "EU") are more influenced by factors other than the legal system prevalent in different Member States, such as cultural and linguistic differences and transport costs.1

The very competence of the EU to act on this matter is doubtful. Even if divergent national laws could be shown to deter trade, it would be difficult to show that any of the options in the Green Paper would actually reduce such effect. This means that Article 114 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union ("TFEU") (formerly Article 95 of the EC Treaty ("TEC")) cannot be relied upon to provide a legal basis for enacting any of the options put forward by the Green Paper. It is also difficult to justify competence for action in this area under other legal bases in the treaties

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Tinsel Tits are Awesome!


R v CHAYTOR & ORS (2010)

In considering whether actions outside the Houses and committees fell within parliamentary proceedings because of their connection to them, it was necessary to consider the nature of that connection and whether, if such actions did not enjoy privilege, that was likely to impact adversely on the essential business of Parliament. On that approach, the submission of claim forms for allowances and expenses did not qualify for the protection of privilege. Scrutiny of claims by the courts would have no adverse impact on the essential business of Parliament; it would not inhibit debate or freedom of speech or indeed any of MPs' various activities affecting their parliamentary duties. Similarly, expressions of parliamentary views of the ambit of art.9 did not support the suggestion that submitting such claims constituted parliamentary proceedings for art.9 purposes.

Full text avavilable from Lawtel