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Showing posts from January, 2013

Valentine after Christmas?

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Guest PostNow that the New Year is well and truly underway and the festive season is a fading memory, it may well be a good idea to remind readers that Valentine's Day will soon be upon us. February 14th is, of course, the big day - and don't you dare forget it (remember that Saint Valentine was martyred)! This may seem somewhat flippant, but the occasion comes so soon after the Christmas period; a time which can be extremely stressful for relationships of all kinds. Whilst forgetting to indulge your better half with a card, gift or gesture may not be the cleverest thing to do, it probably can't compete with the many factors which can contribute to making Christmas a relationship minefield. Financial worries, domestic confinement, the amount of time spent together during the festivities and an abundance of available alcohol are among the most common elements in exacerbating Yuletide woe. Indeed, January traditionally sees a big rise in couples starting divorce proceedi…

Lunching Lawyers beware

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Lunching at your desk is disgusting... says Anna Soubry, the minister for public health.

From the Telegraph 24/01/13: Office workers should take a proper lunch break rather than engaging in the "disgusting" habit of eating a sandwich at their desk, a minister has said.She disclosed that she had banned her daughters from using the word “fat” at home because she did not want them to become “obsessed with their weight”.What a great idea.  Ahem...  If only all the world’s problems were so easy to solve, eh?“Today, people don’t get paid for their lunch. It’s mad and it’s wrong,” she said. “Also, it’s disgusting eating over a keyboard.”Please don’t give me all that crap about office desks and keyboards containing more bacteria than a toilet seat.  I have alcohol hand gel at my desk (which I use like an OCD sufferer), but quite frankly, we could all do with a bit more exposure to germs, bacteria and dirt.  No wonder we’re all breaking out in allergies and other conditions. Howev…

Ice Injury Claims

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Here is a mash-up of a couple of emails I’ve received over the last few days from careless pedestrians who were on the scrounge for legal advice.  I added a pinch of my own imagination, too. During the recent icy weather at the weekend, I slipped over on a non-gritted pavement which runs along public road. It’s my believe [sic] that the local council is responsible for this and they have failed in their duty by not gritting. I want to know if I can sue them because of their negligence. They are totally irresponsible if you ask me. Although I was not badly injured , just battered and bruised really, at one point I ended up doing ‘the splits’ quite involuntarily on the pavement. I thought my days as a gymnast were well behind me – apparently not.  I was badly winded and embarrassed as anybody in the houses that overlook the road would have seen me sprawled out on the pavement scrabbling like a beached whale. But worst of all, I ripped out the crotch on my trousers. If I decide to sue th…

Domain Names – When an apostrophe makes ALL the difference

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Remember these brarmers?  Well, I discovered one ‘in the wild’ just the other day. Trawling through some results on Google, I spied a URL which didn’t seem to quite fit the search term: (www dot) oneillpatient (dot co dot uk). One-ill-patient. Thinking it was in poor taste and that I’d discovered a new low in the level to which medical malpractice firms would stoop, I quickly discovered it was a case of crossed wires. It turned out a missing apostrophe was to blame and it was these guys (a wholly reputable law firm I might add).  Funnily enough, they don’t specialise in medical negligence claims … (I wonder if they’re missing a trick there!!). If only URLs could accommodate apostrophes, the world would be a much less confusing place.

Hot Cross Madness - Sickening Commercialism at its Worst

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On the first day back at work after Christmas (the 3rd of January as I recall) I nipped into the local Sainsbury’s during my lunch break.  I was astounded appalled to see the special offer rack which is parked just inside the main doors was stuffed to the rafters with hot cross buns.  Seriously.Three days into the new year and they’re trying to offload those bumptious bakery ballsaches on customers who, let’s not forget, were still reeling after the excesses of the festive season.  Talk about taking advantage.  I still had a batch of mince pies to finish off for goodness sake, not to mention my Ecclefechan tarts.  (They’ve all gone now, by the way – thank ‘fechan for that!!)As each year passes I’m finding the commercial encroachment into the different seasons increasingly grating.  Why the big push to move onto the next event the second the current one is close to being over?  Why not milk the current season a bit more?  Customers would find it less offensive, I’m certain.I saw Sainsb…

Do ex bloggers ever pop back for old times’ sake?

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I’ve been having a massive clear out of Google Reader subscriptions over the last couple of days. I must have deleted dozens and dozens.  It’s certainly not creaking under the strain any longer.Many of those I deleted were for old (once prolific) contributors to the blawgosphere who had either deleted or mothballed their blogs or had suddenly disappeared without trace, having left virtual tumbleweed to blow across their slowly decaying posts.I kept a subscription to many of them on the off chance they suddenly returned to blogging, but many of them have been absent for over 2 years now.  I think that says they aren’t coming back - however painful that might be to accept.It got me thinking about whether old bloggers who have suddenly left the ‘sphere ever pop back out of curiosity.  Once you pack away the keyboard for good, is it possible to just switch off completely and never give the blogosphere another thought?   That’s quite a sad prospect if it’s true.Personally, I love trawling …

Law Schools as Charities

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As the portly gentlemen observe to Scrooge at the start of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol:“At this festive season of the year it is more than […] desirable that we should make some slight provision for the poor and destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time.”Well, thank God all that charity and benevolence was flushed out as the New Year rang in.

Since graduating from the university at which I studied for my LL.M, I’ve found they have an annoying tendency to come cap-in-hand begging for donations on a fairly regular basis.  And their quarterly magazine aimed at their alumni simply doesn’t make up for the inconvenience of being frequently hassled.  When I flick through it (usually with scant attention before I toss the thing aside in mild disappointment), I am often hit by a wave of guilt that I should make a donation.

I freely admit that I absolutely loved my LL.M and save for that awful summer I spent cocooned in my home office slaving over my dissertation, it was a wonderful…

Workplace chemicals and occupational dermatitis claims

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All industries need to protect employees' skin from occupational dermatitis. For example, construction workers are exposed to cement, healthc…

Train Travel – Too Much to Bear

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From the Guardian 06/01/13: David Mitchell writes: Rail minister Norman Baker insists that fares are fairly fair. He must be one of those paragons who books online, months in advance [and who inhabits cloud cuckoo land]. The main point Baker was trying to make was, as he told BBC Radio 5 Live: "Once you take the basket of fares, include early advance and off-peaks, we are not nearly as expensive as has been presented." In other words, once you factor in the cost of tickets that no one wants, the picture is not so bleak. As Baker said: "You could argue that the people who are travelling in the rush hour are using the premium product and therefore ought to pay something which reflects that premium product which they are buying." By "the premium product", I presume he means the early morning smell of a stranger's armpit.I’m a daily rail commuter and I’m honestly finding the experience of it more and more grating with each passing week. What with those hi…

The History of ‘No Win No Fee’ Solicitors

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Guest PostAnyone who is a fan of courtroom-based dramas on American television will have long been fascinated by the mix of business practice and law that makes up the legal system in the USA.

Indeed, the complex relationship between State Law and Federal Law and the many layers of officials, such as District Attorneys and Public Prosecutors, all add to the dramatic scenarios.

One of the biggest surprises about the American legal system is the amount of cases which end in 'deals', where an agreement is reached between the litigants before the trial ends and a judgement is allowed to be made.

For many years, the differences in how USA and UK courts operated were put down to the way in which legal teams were paid. In essence, someone might be far less likely to pursue a claim against a third party in a civil court if they were to be faced with a large bill for fees in the event of an unsuccessful outcome.

'Conditional agreements' were introduced into law for personal injury …

Millions of British workers don’t see daylight

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From Law Donut 21/12/12: The dark mornings and even longer, darker nights mean that millions of workers who don't take lunch-breaks only see the sun on weekends. And research conducted on behalf of Beurer, makers of Brightlight Daylight Lamps, finds that more than a quarter of us regularly stay in the house over the entire weekend too. As a result, 35% of those polled experience a lack of energy at work during the autumn and winter months, 42% said they don't have enough sleep, and 33% suffer from subdued moods.These depressing statistics are truly horrific when you stop to think about it.  I’m sure submariners get more vitamin D than the average UK office worker (if only by way of diet).

As a general rule, I try and force myself to go out of the office at lunchtimes - even if for only 15 minutes or so.  It’s bad enough to be chained to your desk for a ridiculously high proportion of the week, without not bothering to leave that imprisoning piece of furniture when you’re actua…