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Showing posts from May, 2013

Are you worried about claiming against your employer for an accident at work?

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Guest PostSome people feel uneasy about claiming for an accident at work. But, if you are injured as a result of negligence by your employer, it’s important to be aware of the facts.Suffering an injury is traumatic enough, but coupled with the worry of the financial implications around loss of earnings and possible costs for medical treatment, an accident at work can be very stressful. Taking action after experiencing an accident at work often worries people as they think it will impact on their job security, however, your employer has a duty of care toward you under the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act. This means that they have a legal obligation which requires them to adhere to standards of care while you’re at work. If you’re going to claim, evidence is key. Your employer should have an accident book to record anything that’s happened and seeking medical advice after your accident - something you’re entitled to do even if it’s not a severe injury - will mean it’s officially re…

The Rise of Medical Negligence Claims

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Guest PostMaking a claim for compensation is not always based on securing what we feel we’re owed. Being injured in an accident at work or a road traffic accident can stop you from doing your job and lead to a loss of earnings, which compensation can help to cover. Furthermore, serious injuries can dramatically affect your life, requiring you to make modifications to your home and result in large bills for on-going health care. We are fortunate enough to live in a culture where, if we are injured as a result of someone else’s recklessness or incompetence, we are able to obtain financial compensation. Unfortunately, we also live in a society in which the institutions we rely on to keep us healthy and help us when we are injured, are actually often responsible for damage to our personal health and wellbeing. Reports of under-staffed hospitals and surgeries ran by pressured medical staff continue to dominate news headlines, as does the threat this poses to the wellbeing of patients an…

Lawyers and the standing desk

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As the working population of the western world degenerates into a sedentary army of obese and disease-ridden information workers, it’s only a matter of time before this ticking time bomb goes off. While I would never do the legal profession the disservice of referring to a lawyer as an information worker, there’s no denying that lawyers work long hours at their desks.  The negative health impact of being chained to a desk for well over 40 (50, 60?) hours a week should be fairly obvious. In recent months, I’ve found myself getting increasingly restless sat at my desk and there’s only so much shifting around in your chair you can do to try and stave off the inevitable circulatory and posture problems. Plus, you can’t take repeated toilet or coffee breaks without attracting unwanted attention and becoming the subject of  unsavoury office gossip. So, maybe standing at your desk is the answer. I was interested to discover that during the Bush administration, Donald Rumsfeld insisted on a s…

Setting an Example: Fraud Officer Convicted of Fraud

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Guest PostFormer head of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), Richard Alderman, has had a slap on the wrist for issuing £1m of unauthorised severance payments to his fellow workers, without evidence of the proper approval. He has subsequently apologised to parliament in a letter last week for not contacting the Treasury or Cabinet Office before going ahead with this hand-out. His reign as the leading figure for anti-fraud and anti-corruption lasted for six years. After aggressively arguing that he did nothing wrong before the committee, he has since retracted his comments and issued a wholehearted apology. Under questioning, he admitted that he had no documented proof that the payments had been approved by officials and that there was no evidence that he had written to the correct civil servants. He has since confessed that his behaviour was unprofessional and fell short of what was expected of someone in his position. Argumentative Beginnings
Alderman has also been accused of acting irr…

Fighting a Speeding Fine? Top Tips to Help

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Guest PostMost drivers have received a speeding ticket in their lifetime, whether that’s because they intentionally broke the law or because they obliviously rolled into a 30 zone at 40mph. Whatever the reason, you don’t have to take your speeding ticket lying down. There are ways and means of getting off the hook, and if you’re crafty enough, you might just escape scot-free. Here are a few approaches to try out. Have The Right Attitude
When you’re pulled over by a police officer, your first step should be to be as unthreatening and as likeable as possible. Get out the big, doe eyes. Turn your car off and switch the interior lights on. Place your hands on the steering wheel and remove any sunglasses or hats. Don’t get out of the car. Try to take the tension out of the situation. Police officers have been in a variety of dangerous situations, so make sure they see you as a reasonable citizen who won’t do anything threatening. Be polite. If you can manage it, address them as ‘officer…

Work email culture–there’s always tomorrow

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From Law Donut 17/05/13: Accessing work-related emails is no longer just confined to the working day. According to a new report, small business employees are checking their work emails at all hours of day and night – even at social occasions that include weddings, school events and family get-togethers.Excuse me?  What’s new about this?  Hasn’t this been a widespread problem for several years now? The survey, conducted by Opinion Matters on behalf of GFI Software, polled 500 employees in small business workplaces across the UK. It found that technology has blurred the boundaries between home and work. Three quarters of respondents said they check their work email at the weekend, 44% check work email after 11pm and 54% keep on top of work email on holiday.I’ve long regarded email at work as being both a symptom and a cause of the growing OCD epidemic. No, seriously.  There was a time that I would regularly check my work emails outside of the working day. Over the last couple of years, …

Studying for a law exam - a cry for help

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It’s been a while since I did a mailbag feature, so here’s to turning that around. ;-) The following email plopped into my inbox a couple of weeks ago from a law student panicked by the prospect of open book exams: Just found your law blog after having a complete mare over open book exams.
I appreciate this is a completely cheeky and out of the blue question,
but I don't suppose you happen to have those old company law notes you
mention in your revision entry do you?! Completely terrified about it,
have no idea what I'm doing or how to answer question from the second
semester, and generally worried I'm not going to get a 2:1 and thereby
miss my TC offer!

Totally understand you telling me to piss off, but thanks for the
hints and tips anyway :) Jodie GFor those wondering, my “revision entry” was this post back in 2009. I stand by the techniques I propounded there – certainly for closed book exams, anyway – and there isn’t really much I can add. Open book exams are a bit of a diffe…

To kill a mockingbird - I wish someone had killed me

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Anything would have been better than reading that thing! You’d have had to been holed up somewhere for your entire life to not be familiar with the award winning novel by Harper Lee. It’s often cited as being a must-read novel for aspiring lawyers and listed amongst the top 10 legal reads of all time.I read it at school years ago as part of a GCSE English assessment. And I absolutely hated it. Every last word. I’m not going to hold back here; I simply cannot recall a book I liked less. I found it utterly depressing, entirely un-compelling and am thankful I had no interest in a career in law at that point. It might have put me off for life. Even the copy I was dished up with at school stunk to high heaven of the wretched fish glue that bound it. That kind of literary experience takes some bouncing back from, believe me.  The fact our English teacher raved about, served only to heighten my disinterest.  Adolescence and GCSEs is a tough combination at the best of times, but having to w…

Thief aping Santa Claus found dead in chimney at law firm

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(And who said I was lousy at coming up with blog post titles?!?) :p From the Telegraph 03/05/13: The body of a serial burglar was discovered wedged in the chimney of a Grade II–listed building after staff at a solicitor's office noticed an unpleasant smell.He wasn’t dressed in a red tunic with white fur was he? Any sign of a herd of reindeer having landed on the roof in the recent past? Police are investigating whether Kevin Gough attempted to break in to the building in St Mary's Gate, Derby, and became trapped. It is thought the 42-year-old's body had been in the chimney of the Grade II listed building for several weeks. It emerged today that he is a serial burglar with a history of breaking into premises. Officers were called to the firm of solicitors on Wednesday afternoon after staff reported a sickening smell wafting throughout the Grade II listed building. Mr Gough's body is understood to have been significantly decomposed, which attracted an unusually high numb…

An enclosure you won’t forget

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From the Metro 02/05/13:[W]hen one angry Greater Anglia rail passenger was denied a refund on a ticket for a cancelled train he decided not to take rejection lying down. He tightly rolled up the letter he had received from the company’s customer services department and enclosed it with his reply telling an advisor it would make it easier for him to ‘stick it up your arse’.Well, there you go.  It’s to the point.  Actually, I’ve been tempted on occasions to respond with a similar suggestion when drafting a defence.  Sadly, I fear it wouldn’t sit too well with the Overriding Objective.  Love it.