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Showing posts from 2012

‘Twas the night before Christmas (legalese style)

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I stumbled across this gem the other day which seemed too appropriate to pass up.  Thankfully, it says more about lawyers than Christmas.Whereas, on or about the night prior to Christmas, there did occur at a certain improved piece of real property (hereinafter "the House") a general lack of stirring by all creatures therein, including, but not limited to a mouse. 

A variety of foot apparel, e.g. stocking, socks, etc., had been affixed by and 
around the chimney in said House in the hope and/or belief that St. Nick a/k/a/ St. Nicholas a/k/a/ Santa Claus (hereinafter "Claus") would arrive at sometime thereafter. 

The minor residents, i.e. the children, of the aforementioned House, were 
located in their individual beds and were engaged in nocturnal hallucinations, 
i.e. dreams, wherein vision of confectionery treats, including, but not limited 
to, candies, nuts and/or sugar plums, did dance, cavort and otherwise appear in said dreams. 

Whereupon the party of the fi…

Professional Negligence Claims against your Previous Solicitor

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Sponsored Post2012 has seen an alarming increase in the number of professional negligence claims brought by clients against their previous solicitor. Cases of professional negligence involving solicitors often result from a claimant’s case being undervalued and consequently under-settled by the law firm representing them. However, that is by no means the only reason. Some firms provide legal advice which simply does not pass muster. Clients may have been subjected to shoddy service where their previous legal representative lacked the required experience to deal with a complex matter. Sometimes firms fail to act in their clients’ best interests by settling claims or completing other work in a self-serving way. Worse still, some clients are reported to have fallen victim to a scam in which unqualified handlers undertake work on their behalf. Of course, it is important to keep the matter in perspective; the vast majority of legal firms are reputable and provide good quality, appropriat…

Lasting Power of Attorney and What It Means

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There are many reasons that someone might want to allow a family member or loved one the power of Lasting Power of Attorney (L.P.A).
When someone is diagnosed with a terminal illness such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, brain injury, or suffers from drug misuse, effects of medication or serious bouts of mental illness, giving someone that power allows their estate to be managed by the nominated person whilst they are too ill to do so themselves. This is designed to allow a better degree of peace of mind if the worst happens. It is not necessary for the person to be diagnosed with something terminal, some people put the process in place as a cautionary measure. Being given the power of attorney over someone can be a large responsibility, especially as it will be for someone close to them or at least someone in a position of great trust. Whether or not someone is ill, mortgage payments still need to be paid, as do utility bills, any credit cards, business transactions or any other …

Not to be a pedant or anything, but ...

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Clinton’s Christmas card sent to (valued) clients this year.Clintons, based in London, “is one of the foremost law practices in entertainment, sport and media, with an extensive general practice.”

Hat tip to Legal Cheek.Thank God - a law firm with a timely sense of humour at Christmas!  Good stuff.  It makes a pleasant change from all the shallow yuletide philanthropy that firms are so desperate to be seen doing.

Anyhoo, not to be a dick pedant or anything, but I have a problem with striking out “new year” and amending it with “12 (twelve) months from the date hereof” because it could materially change the meaning from that which was intended.

When you wish someone a “happy new year”, convention dictates that you are wishing them well for the forthcoming new calendar year - whether for the first few days of it or for its entirety.

This is borne out by the OED which provides:“new year” nounthe calendar year just begun or about to begin:Happy New Year! the first few days or weeks of a year…

‘Tis the Season for an Injury

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Tra-la-la-la-larrr …. la-lar-lar-lar.Quotes from the Telegraph 24/12/11: Christmas trees
Christmas Trees are the root (ahem) cause of a number of accidents during the festive season. According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, 2007 saw around 1,000 people injured in incidents involving Christmas Trees, including pine-related eye injuries as people reached for presents. Those of a cautious nature are reminded that prickly Christmas trees can be made (more) safe by plucking the needles prior to erection.  Ahem.  Your Christmas tree might be bald, but at least your loved ones won’t get a pine needle stuck in their eye, nor will you have to suffer the stress of hoovering up those newly formed piles of needles that your tree would’ve otherwise shed each and every day.Last year, [in the Czech Republic], one man received £35,000 in personal injury compensation after he was crushed by a 101ft Christmas Tree in Prague.Numerous accident claims are made to insurance companies …

Christmastime once again

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You see, I know it must be that time of year again, faithful reader, because Law Actually has received its annual festive makeover. I’m a bit more satisfied with this year’s attempt; it’s good to have the horrors of trying to decorate that nauseating coffee and cream monstrosity from last year a full 12 months behind me. Never has the expression, “putting lipstick on a pig” been more appropriate. Remember? 2011
The 2010 version still has a special place in my heart, however.  I think it was the falling snow.
Which, it turned out, was just an improved version on the 2009 attempt.
And 2008’s theme seems like centuries ago!  Still, happy days as I recall.Ah – and the Christmas header which started it all off back in 2007.Nothing like a trip down memory lane, eh?There aren’t many left in the blawgoshpere who have been around for all of my LA Christmas makeovers - save for the lovely Andro, of course.

A Guide to Choosing a Solicitor in the UK

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Guest PostThousands of solicitors work in the UK and choosing the right professional for your situation may seem like mission impossible. Picking the right legal expert will often have a significant bearing on the outcome of your legal proceedings.
It is important to do the right research in advance of choosing a solicitor to represent you.  The following simple steps should help take the uncertainty out of the equation.

What Kind of Solicitor do You Need?
Solicitors are experts in different niches. Find someone who is experienced in the particular legal sector that you need help with.

Just like in other professional spheres, specialisation is of uttermost importance.

Assuming that someone is a great solicitor because of their professional successes can be misguided. Look for the person that works with cases like yours and who is familiar with all aspects and procedures of those types of cases.

Recommendations
Recommendations can always be helpful. Ask friends and relatives who have used the…

Approach the Bench: The Chess Set for Lawyers

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Sponsored PostWith Christmas just around the corner, here’s a stunning gift idea for any lawyer – chess lover or otherwise.These exquisite chess sets are handmade in the USA out of cold-cast bronze, travertine tile and mahogany. Each piece is modelled on an iconic courtroom figure which stands on a uniquely "stepped" board designed to resemble a bench and jury-box. The board measures 18 x 19 x 8 inches, with the tallest piece (the king) standing 5 inches high. The whole set (pieces & board) weighs 25lbs. An engraved personalized plate can be added as a finishing touch. This distinguished looking chess set would make the perfect gift for an attorney, law school graduate, judge, or anyone associated with the law. Equally, it would make a wonderful piece of objet d’art for a firm’s office – looking particularly good as the centrepiece in a display case in the firm’s reception area or waiting room, for instance. Heck, if anyone can be persuaded to have a game, it might e…

Dolphin enjoys a bite of lunch

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From Sky News 03/12/12: Jillian Thomas was holding out fish to feed to dolphins at Orlando's SeaWorld when she got an unexpected surprise.Ah yes – holding out fish along with scores of other children, taunting hungry dolphins with food. Don’t ya just love these sealife theme parks? While she was feeding the usually friendly mammals, a dolphin lunged at her and nipped her hand. Hmm - more of a loving squeeze judging from the video. And besides, miscalculations do happen whilst eating from time to time. I got a teaspoon wedged in my mouth the other day. The poor coffee shop owner didn’t know what to do! The girl, whose parents posted the video on YouTube to make other people aware of the dangers, suffered three small puncture wounds. Jillian's father, Jamie Thomas, told local media the family were angry at the theme park for not warning them of the dangers of dolphin feeding.Because wild creatures are notoriously predictable aren’t they?  Besides, aren’t the dangers self-evident…

Darts, Tweets and ‘Defer-mating’

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From Yahoosport 17/11/12:Darts fans have been forced to apologise to former BDO world champion Ted Hankey after accusing him of playing while drunk - when in fact he had suffered a stroke. Hankey appeared disoriented and suffered a comprehensive 5-0 defeat to Michael van Gerwen, in which he averaged just 59 and missed the board twice. After the match, Hankey apologised for his performance, saying: "I was shocking I have had the flu since sun(day) night and couldn't see out my left eye". However, this could not stem a tide of criticism accusing him of drunkenness [.] But his manager David Stevenson has revealed the results of a hospital CT scan showing that Hankey suffered a stroke.Holy Cow! Stevenson tweeted: "The docs have confirm (sic) that @TedHankeyDarts has had a stroke he's got very high cholesterol and blood pressure and diabetes got to have 6/8 weeks rest and will need more tests in the coming weeks the doctors report will confirm this might use it to su…

How To Stay Safe and Cut Accidents On The Road

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Sponsored PostRoad accidents are a common occurrence and in the winter festive season, when nights are longer and drivers undergo more stress, accidents are more likely to happen. In the run up to the festive season, the likelihood of driving whilst drunk or driving whilst tired are the most common causes of road accidents. They could potentially happen to anyone, whether in a car, on a bike or as an unfortunate pedestrian in the wrong place at the wrong time.Tackle Driver FatigueFor business owners that utilise commercial vehicles, it is important to allow your drivers plenty of rest time on long journeys. Government figures show that 40% of sleep-related accidents on the road are caused by commercial vehicles and this could lead to dangerous accidents. Failing to take drivers rest needs into account could lead to a car accident that could damage your company’s reputation more than a late arrival would. Other drivers involved in the accident may seek compensation against your compan…

RoF break an exclusive (if not so fresh) story to readers!!!

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From RoF 23/11/12: Exclusive: Clarke Willmott no longer accepts trainee applications

Clarke Willmott has confirmed that it will no longer be accepting training contract applications from students. The firm will however continue to take on trainees from its stock of paralegals.Shock horror – or what?!? Well, actually, Clarke Willmott have been openly saying that on their website since May or June (and that’s just since I’ve been aware of it; this may have been the case for even longer). I suppose it still counts as an “exclusive” if it’s been common knowledge for yonks, and nobody is interested in “breaking” it. Just not a very worthy one, that’s all. It must’ve been a slow news day over at RoF last week!! At first sight, this might seem a great scheme: CW can try before it buys, as it will be able to thoroughly test its candidates' pagination skills before offering a training contract. And the firm won't have to foot any students' LPC fees.

But how many students will go fo…

The Most Reputable Law Firm

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(Whatever that really means!!).   From Inside Buzz (News Release – 5th November 2012): Slaughter and May has been ranked as the most reputable law firm in the UK by trainees and solicitors surveyed by career information publisher Inside Buzz in the 2013 edition of their guide An Inside Look at Law Firms, released this month. No, don’t roll your eyes! Naughty.In total, 1,089 practicing [sic] trainees and solicitors from across the UK were asked to rate fifty peer law firms (excluding their own) on a scale of one to ten, based on how prestigious they perceive the firms to be.RankFirmScore1Slaughter and May8.422Allen & Overy8.363Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer8.224Linklaters8.175Clifford Chance7.946Herbert Smith7.407White & Case7.268Weil, Gotshal & Manges7.129Skadden Arps7.0810Latham & Watkins7.05The top 5 or so were always going to occupy those slots; the only doubt, surely, was the precise order.Worth keeping on file ready to compare and contrast repost next year.  In…

Compensation Claims for Personal Injury

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If you have been injured in an accident which wasn’t your fault, there are several ways of obtaining compensation. The most common option is by bringing a legal action in a civil court (typically by instructing a specialist personal injury lawyer). Your solicitor may be able to help you access financial support as quickly as possible, particularly if your injuries mean you are unable to work. As an injured victim, you may be able to claim for two types of compensation – known as general damages & special damages. General damages are intended to compensate for the general, imprecise effects flowing from an injury you have suffered. It follows that they are not easily quantifiable. For instance, it could include money to compensate for pain and suffering, for a loss of future earnings or for loss of enjoyment of life. The court will decide on the amount that you are to be awarded based on all the circumstances involved. However, special damages are paid to compensa…

Spray Pepper with your phone

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It turns out there’s not an app for that. From the Register 09/11/12: An Arizona man concerned for the safety of his college-bound daughter has created a personal-protection device that she's sure to carry with her everywhere: an iPhone case that doubles as a pepper-spray shooter.No, really. "Most [students] don't go anywhere without their smartphone," inventor Scott McPherson notes on the website of his company, Spraytect, "so the optimal solution was to combine her phone and a safety device."If you say so, Scott. Truth be told, McPherson did a rather slick job when designing the prosaically named Pepper Spray Phone Case, which comes in black, white, turqoise, (sic) and pink, and can deliver an eye-biting spray at a distance of six to eight feet.Just less of a slick job when it came to naming it, then. And if you think you might need some target practice with it, McPherson’s got that covered, too. [It] helpfully includes a non-irritating test cartridge so …

College Students Present: How to become a solicitor

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(Plus tips on rubbing your own belly for camera).  And that’s always a good thing, right? And…. action! Yes, this video extravaganza from a group of college students charts the training pathway involved in becoming a solicitor.  It seems like one needs:1.  GCSEs,

2.  A levels,
(no previous knowledge of law is preferred)  (are universities really still saying that?3.  Then a degree (a qualifying law degree or a non-qualifying law degree any old one will do when combined with the GDL, 4.  The legal practice course,5.  And once that’s completed, a training contract for 2 years.  Well, I’m glad they cleared that up.
Please tell me the careers advisor didn’t put them up to this?Btw - hat tip to Legal Cheek for flagging this up in the first place.  (Never let it be said that I don’t give credit where it’s due.) I took a particular interest in it when I realised the college at which this home video howler was filmed wasn’t a million miles away from where I used to live at one time.I absolutely…

Young Lawyer … anything but Inspiration

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I love hate to nit-pick but, you know, Young Lawyer should be setting an example and trying to encourage attention to detail – not making copywriting faux pas.
I’m sure you can imagine my disappointment, dear reader, when the following email plopped into my inbox on Friday afternoon explaining how by ‘liking’ Young Lawyer’s Facebook pic, I could get my sorry ass in the prize draw for a Dell “Inspiration” laptop.  Ahem.
Besides which, I’m not on Facebook and I don’t like things.  Why the hell am I still on their mailing list anyway.  Ah, yes, I remember - so I can watch out for incidents like these.Oh well.  Blame it on the copywriter, I say.  Bit stingy, though; the inspiron models are low-end and anything but inspiring. Still, not all Dells are that bad.  My desktop PC is an Dell XPS 630i dating from 2008 and still going like a trooper.  It’s built like a tank and is remains one of my trusty workhorses (an American would add, “knock on wood” here). 
After I upgraded from Vista to Wind…

The true meaning of Halloween

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As we all know, Halloween Hallowe’en (let’s be correct here) is an opportunity to gorge on Mr Kipling’s wide variety of spooky-themed treats. The extent of his Halloween selection is simply staggering now. Given the volume of them I’ve consumed over the past few weeks, I regard myself as something of an expert in Halloween cakes.  I am a particular fan of: Fiendish Fancies (you can’t quite beat the orangey icing (Paul Hollywood & Mary Berry would be proud of these sumptuous delicacies!!)   Cinder Toffee Cake Bars (the taste of that cinder toffee is unparalleled).Frankenstein Fancies (I’ve only had one box, courtesy of my gf and Tescos – Sainsbury’s don’t sell them for some reason. I can’t help feeling that “Mr Kippers” as I affectionately call him, missed a trick here by not flavouring the lime green icing a err, lime flavour.) Shock and OrangeSlices (they’re coloured orange, but aren’t flavoured so). They break the other treats up rather nicely. Sainsbury’s Halloween Orange Flav…