Showing posts from November, 2009

A gritty problem: motorist sues Highway Agency

From the Telegraph 10/11/09: A motorist who spent two days on a life support machine after crashing on black ice is suing the Highways Agency for failing to grit the road properly. The 47-year-old man, who is a member of the Royal Navy, sustained serious injuries after his car was involved in a three-vehicle collision at Trewint, near Launceston, Cornwall on Jan 21. He spent three weeks in hospital and is still suffering health problems as a result of the crash. The victim, from Liskeard, Cornwall, was one of 30 drivers whose cars crashed on a 40-mile stretch of the A30, which runs running from Okehampton in Devon to Bodmin, Cornwall. No motorist has mounted a successful claim against the agency. While minor roads are the responsibility of local authorities, the burden of maintaining trunk routes rests with the Highways Agency. The accident took place more than a week before Britain was hit by the worst blizzards in decades, which led to a shortage of grit and salt throughout the coun…

The ethical lawyer: a contradiction in terms

From the Law Gazette 23/11/09: The earliest surviving records of medieval principles of ethical conduct for lawyers concern the advocates and proctors who appeared before the church courts. One very early record is a book written in 1239 by William of Drogheda, an Oxford priest and lawyer, advising the reader how to be a successful advocate. The text reveals something of an ironic disconnect between the ethical standards of these two professions on the important subject of remuneration: the author recommends that advocates should ensure payment in advance – 'Get your money while the patient is ill.'For those who mistakenly thought that the legal profession has only recently given cause for garnering a reputation of consisting solely of ruthless, money-grapping, Machiavellian chancers.

Tech Support Cheat-Sheet

I found this brilliant flowchart via Digg a few weeks ago and what with the house move, limited internet connectivity etc. I hadn’t got around to posting it.  So true.

Overdue library books returned 50 years late!

From Miami Herald 14/11/09:A high school librarian in Phoenix says a former student at the school returned two overdue books checked out 51 years ago along with a $1,000 money order to cover the fines.Camelback High School librarian Georgette Bordine says the two Audubon Society books checked out in 1959 and the money order were sent by someone who wanted to remain anonymous.Bordine says the letter explained that the borrower's family moved to another state and the books were mistakenly packed. The letter said the money order was to cover fines of 2 cents per day for each book. That would total about $745. The letter says the extra money was added in case the rates had changed.Bordine says the money will buy more books, and the overdue books will be returned to the shelves. I found this rather cute story via Digg earlier and it reminded me of the time when, rooting around in old boxes of books in the loft at home, I found a few old school and college textbooks that had somehow co…

November’s Wacky Search Terms

While my lack of internet connectivity has hampered my blogging activities somewhat over the past month or so, I’ve still been keeping up with the bizarre searches through which people find Law Actually. As ever, we’ve got some real brarmers in there!“where as a barrister can you get tattooed and pierced” – shoulders and back for men; inner forearms and the trusty ‘tramp-stamp’ zone for women. As for piercings, well - bellybuttons all the way.  :-/“didn't like looe – I’m not particularly enamoured with it myself.“london hotel travel fun post a comment -crap –sh*t -murder -killed- I’ve stayed in a dodgy London hotel before but nothing quite like this!“letch – I’m on the front page on Google for this. Not sure if that’s a good or bad thing.“firework accident compensation claim – well, I did warn you all.“fireworks uk law time – How about ‘never’ as a piece of possible legal reform?“uk law student moved to be a US attorney” – Wow. I’m not sure if that qualifies as an upgrade or…

Blogging is for life, not just for ......

Without wanting to be accused of scaremongering (or simply being full of doom and gloom) I think it’s time I wrote up another post in which I bemoan the general ‘state of the blawgosphere’. I wrote up a particularly negative entry last December in which I prophesied that the end of the blawgosphere (as we knew it) was nigh. Happily, that proved to be incorrect, as the sphere welcomed a bevy of new blawgs into the fray in the subsequent months. There’s no denying that some of the newbies have carved out excellent reputations for themselves – relating both to the quality of the posts and the frequency of the entries. However, since this Spring, the rate at which the new blawgs have sprung up has flat-lined and a number of those new entries have more or less died their death, descending into perpetual silence.  Any ideas about Lacunae, Obiter or Templar anyone?  Anyone?I read somewhere recently that new blogs are somewhat like new businesses in the sense that close to half of them fail i…

The Firework-Fun Fallacy

From P&C Express 05/11/09:
A health chief has warned that fireworks can have "devastating consequences" if they are not used safely.Ian Walton, accident and emergency operations director at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust (YAS), said its ambulance crews will treat a number of patients with burns to more serious, life-threatening injuries on bonfire night.He said: "Fireworks used properly are safe are accidents are avoidable. However, they can cause devastating injuries if safety precautions are not followed."We recommend people attend one of the professionally-organised public displays. However, if you are planning to host your own event, we ask you exercise caution and make safety a priority to ensure everyone has a good time without getting hurt.While it’s true that, used properly, fireworks can be safe, a significant section of the general public illustrate annually that they’re simply not capable of following safety directions and employing a litt…

Technical Problems

Contrary to popular belief, the Michael has not disappeared off the face of the earth, nor ducked out of the blawgosphere either. No, the reason for my lack of posting is based on the utter incompetence of certain third parties.After a huge bodge-up of meteoric proportions by my ISP (yes, I’m looking at you, Tiscali), I still don’t have internet access at my new house.Almost worse still is that when I do receive it, the best connection I can expect is an unacceptably paltry 512kbs. This is going to cause a massive lifestyle change – at least from an entertainment standpoint – in that we won’t be able to stream content as we’ve gotton comfortably used to. Just to make sure I'm utterly left without other viable options, I'm not in a cable broadband area and it's also a blackspot for mobile broadband. Note to self: make sure you check these things out BEFORE you move next time, Michael. So other than being royally pis*ed at the prospect of a sub-standard internet experience, …