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Showing posts from July, 2010

The Flying Cow

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While I get the chance, I opted to take a long weekend to visit my parents down in the darkened depths of Cornwall. It’s looking like the last time I’ll see them this year, so thought a visit was well in order.I’ve endured some pretty awful journeys in my time, but Thursday night’s debacle on my way down to Cornwall took some beating. Having already suffered 3 (relatively minor) delays, it seems we ploughed at cruising speed into a stray cow that had wandered onto the track somewhere between Taunton and Exeter.There was no sudden braking, no ‘horning’, just a massive jolt and then the feeling of the carriage bumping, shaking and grinding - which most of the instantly-hysterical passengers took for a derailment. I can only assume the driver had his nose in a paperback or, as my girlfriend thoughtfully suggested, was in the buffet car ‘tucking in’.The front of the train was badly damaged, the driver’s nerves more or less in tatters and one wheel of the front engine had been pushed out o…

Who will YOU nominate for the 2010 Blawggies?

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Yes, brace yourselves everyone… the nominations have now opened for the illustrious Blawggies 2010!Minxy, Andro and I have been hard at work to put together the first publicly-nominated awards for the UK blawgosphere.We’ve settled on a number of awards which we’d ultimately like the distinguished members of the blawgosphere to vote on.  However, before that, we need to decide on the shortlist of nominees for each award.The awards are:Best NewcomerBest DesignBest Blawging Regular Best Supporting Role (i.e. commentators only).Best Legal CommentaryTriumph over AdversityBlawg of the YearServices to Blawging AwardWe’ve tried to keep the rules short and simple:Please keep nominations relevant and please do NOT vote for your own blawg.To help prevent a whitewash, please do NOT nominate the same blawg for more than 2 categories.If you’re finding it tough to recall the blawging ‘newcomers’ (i.e. pretty much anyone who’s sprung up in the ‘sphere over the last 12 months), you can check out a cou…

Calling all first year law students.... start a blawg!

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Thrill us with your innocence of law school and your insatiable thirst for the excitement of your first year at uni. Let us reminisce with tales of your impropriety - comprising of drunken brawls, lascivious sex and those lectures you attended so hung over, your brain was more or less pickling itself inside your aching head.Share with us your pernicious money-worries, self-loathing over the prospect of having to whore yourself out to pay your rent for the rest of the semester, spiteful drinking games that seemed such a good idea at the time, quirky student diets and those hideous do-or-die moments when it seems like everything in the world hinges on your getting that assignment in on time.Remind us of the pain relating to that ever-growing pile of 'required reading', seemingly impossible deadlines and those crises of confidence leading you to question just how much of a great idea studying law actually was.Let us feel your anguish in finding out that the lovely person you just…

PI Pensioner in Alsatian Ankle Attack

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From the Surrey Comet 20/07/10:
A pensioner hospitalised after being bitten by a police dog during a manhunt used to sell personal injury claims for a living.It may just be matter of semantics, but how do you sell ‘PI claims’ exactly? Oh well.
Brian Kiddell, 71, who lives in Bramham Gardens off Clayton Road, was watering his patch at the allotments behind Kingston Rugby Club yesterday lunchtime when he was attacked by the Alsatian.Police helicopters, officers and dogs were searching for two suspects who had crashed their silver BMW in Kelvin Grove and fled onto the allotments.He said: "I was just resting my hose on a fork.Now there’s a euphemism if I ever heard one. But I digress.
"I had seen the police officers previously and then there was this loud hailer saying 'there's a police dog on site. Will all police officers stand still'.He revealed his background was in selling personal injury compensation for a solicitors.Not, ‘for a solicitors’ eh? Fancy.…

Spread the blawgin’ lovin’

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Somewhat uncharacteristically, I’m intending to shrug off my negativity and accentuate the positive over the next few weeks with my new spread the blawgin’ lovin’ campaign. I know I’m often seen to bemoan the state of the blawgosphere – mostly with good reason – but I’m going to force myself to be chipper and perky, seeing only good in the world. Or something like that.Also, summer tends to be a bit of a slow time in blogging circles so I feel we could all use whatever positive vibes we can lay our hands on.So here’s the agenda:  I’ll be starting with a ‘call to arms’ for new legal bloggers to come forward and feel the blawgin’ love’, before progressing onto some probing interviews with key players in the ‘sphere today. The campaign will culminate sometime next month in the illustrious and sparkling Blawggies 2010, which, in Minxy’s (hopefully temporary) absence, Andro and I will be hosting. We’re still figuring out the details on that one, but we should be opening up the polls for no…

Welsh Judge resigns over ‘Rent Boy’ Allegations

From Solicitors Journal 12/07/10:

A Welsh Crown Court judge alleged to have put a rent boy on the bench describing him as a law student has resigned after a 12-month-investigation by the Office for Judicial Complaints.The investigation started after Judge Gerald Price QC, a senior circuit judge in South Wales, was alleged by the News of the World to have had a nine-month relationship with prostitute Christopher Williams, aged 25 at the time.Williams claimed that Judge Price, who is married, paid him a monthly allowance and let him sit on the bench as a law student and before that watch trials from the press gallery.I know law students are hard up these days but really?
Gerald Price was suspended on 30 June 2009, when the investigation started.The OJC said it only focused on allegations that had an impact on Gerald Price’s role as a judge.It concluded that his actions brought the judiciary into disrepute and made his position “untenable”.Hmmm. No arguments there.

[Price] has stood …

Legal Outsourcing

As a favour to an MSc student, Lee, battling with his dissertation, I’ve agreed to put together a short post to help publicise the survey he’s running.It essentially concerns the management of risk in relation to outsourcing legal services – which may or may not light your fire – but it’s worth a gander all the same.Lee’s keen to hear from as broad a selection of the legal sector as possible, including those entering the profession, so please go ahead and add your two-penneth.
1. How would you describe the risk attitude within your law firm?  - Good to Poor2. Would you agree that your Partners are committed to establishing a risk aware culture? - Strongly Agree to Strongly disagree3. Is risk management actively undertaken within your firm? - Yes/No4. Who manages the risk process within your law firm?- Head of Risk- Senior Risk Partner- Chief of Internal Audit- OtherYou can check out the full questionnaire here.

Personal Injury claims on the rise

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From the Law Society Gazette 17/06/10:
The number of personal injury claims filed in the High Court jumped 32% between 2006 and 2008, research has found.Whoah! That’s quite a jump.
Claims relating to personal injury jumped 31.8% from 914 in 2006 to 1,205 in 2008, according to a study of the latest available figures by legal information provider Sweet & Maxwell.The rise comes despite attempts to reduce personal injury claims under the Compensation Act 2006, which imposed registration requirements on claims management companies and created the Ministry of Justice’s claims management regulator.Citing anecdotal evidence from law firms and insurers, Sweet & Maxwell suggested that the recession is behind the rise in personal injury claims, with individuals claiming because they were under financial stress. At the same time, insurers suffering from weak investment returns were more willing to contest claims, Sweet & Maxwell suggested.Cynics have always claimed that lawyers…

Another July – Another Law Minx Bloggies?

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Last July, the sphere’s inimitable Law Minx organised the first ‘bloggies’ ceremony, in which she awarded different awards to the blawgosphere’s more distinguished members for their ‘contributions to blawging’. Or something like that. Others prefer to think of it is as the blawgosphere’s answer to the Oscars. Whatever – we all got a badge and bunch of praise. Can’t be bad!However, as everybody knows, Minxy has been largely absent over the last 10 months or so after fighting a long illness, though she made a much-welcomed return a couple of months ago. The question now, of course, is whether the bloggies will be held again this year.It’d be nice to think there would be another bunch of awards for 2010. So,  Minxy – how about it?Oh yeah, which reminds me, does anybody know what happened to Curious Black Cat?

Fraudulent eBay seller faces prosecution

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From BBC News 05/07/10: An eBay trader has been given a community service order and made to pay nearly £5,000 in fines and costs for bidding on his own items to increase the price.Barrett became the first person in the UK to be prosecuted over online auction fixing after admitting that he used two separate eBay accounts to bid against himself.Officers found he was selling goods on the auction website under the username "shanconpaul", while bidding on them under the identity "paulthebusman".He also posted positive feedback from these accounts.Barrett said he did not realise that bidding on his own items - which included a pie and pasty warmer priced at £127 - was a criminal offence.A what? Who the hell needs one of those and should it really cost almost £130? And if you did need one and did cost that much, would you really choose to get it from eBay?The 39-year-old admitted breaches of the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008 and the Consum…

The future of budget airline travel – standing room only?

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From The Daily Telegraph (Australia) 02/07/10:TIGER Airways would consider introducing a "standing-only" option for passengers in a bid to lower airfares.The low-cost carrier said it could follow in the footsteps of UK budget airline Ryanair and introduce “vertical seating”.Ryanair’s chief executive Michael O'Leary said the Irish airline will fund the controversial travel option by charging customer to use the restroom during flights.His proposed “vertical seats” would be available in a special standing-room only sections in the rear of commuter flights lasting an hour or possibly longer.Tickets would cost between $7 and $14 per passenger, Mr OLeary said in TV interview.The new seating proposal was welcomed by Mr Burns, who said Tiger Airways wouldn’t rule anything out.“Selling cheap fares is easy. Doing it profitably means having to continually innovate and evolve so that the cost base continues to reduce.”Ryanair will conduct safety testing for the new vertical seats n…

Blogging Heaven: Live Writer - Wave 4 - Beta

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Buckle your chin-straps.  Windows Live Writer 4 is hereMost members of the blawgosphere are more than familiar with the wonders of Windows Live Writer.  I've been dedicated Live Writer user since autumn 2007 and as far as I'm concerned, it made managing a blog a whole lot easier.  Wrestling with the online blogger posting tools proved troublesome as it often garbled the post's formatting with little obvious rhyme or reason.  While I appreciate that there are a lot of passionate fanatics of the downloadable Wordpress software, there’s no denying that WLW is a fantastic freebie. With the release of the beta of Windows Live Essentials Wave 4, comes the latest version.   The quality is top-notch and it certainly doesn’t feel like a half-baked beta that's not ready for prime time.   Save for a rather wacky (and needless) UI change, this release is the real deal. The big news, of course, is that Live Writer now sports the ribbon interface, first debuted in Office 2007 and th…

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Test post only – please ignore!5EM6PAJCSB23