Showing posts from December, 2011

Deadly New Year

Just in case you were thinking that New Year’s Eve is a magical night of celebration, excitement for the year ahead and good natured alcohol-fuelled merriment, here’s the USA Today to remind us it’s not. It’s a great big stinking death-trap of a day.Take one New Year's Eve. Combine with a Saturday. Now add alcohol – and you have a health and safety nightmare.At least that's how some emergency room doctors feel about the fast-approaching celebration – which is always an occasion for widespread immoderate drinking and could be worse than usual this year.Geez Louise. I wonder what those ER doctors from the US would make of an average Friday night in any NHS Emergency Department in the UK. Welcome to binge-drinking central!The likely results will include car crashes caused by drunk drivers. Some of those drivers will be inexperienced teens who, in a new survey, confess that New Year's Eve is the most likely night for them to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. But i…

The modern family Christmas experience?

I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who was moaned at for being surgically attached to their smartphone throughout the recent festivities.I felt I’d done nothing wrong; after all, why should the celebrations, merriment and goodwill to all men be allowed to impinge on connectivity?If Tiny Tim had had an iPhone, he’d have been far too busy having a shifty round the app store (or ‘liking’ a picture on Facebook showing off the bumper Cratchit family dinner) to have been endlessly bleating about God blessing everyone.  Picture found here (actually making a different point).(And no, I don’t know why they’re all dressed in blue.  Sorry).

Happy Blawgmas

It’s a terrible cliché but this Christmas seems to have come around faster than ever.Things have now wound down at Law Actually HQ and it’s time to enjoy a little festive merriment for the next few days. But who knows: I might get so sick of the excesses of food, wine and all the rest, an impromptu blog post might emerge in the not too distant future.In the meantime, to all the other blawgers out there, have a good one, and don’t do anything you wake up regretting on Boxing Day.


From the Telegraph 18/12/11:The condition – "Christmas Tree Syndrome" – is caused by mould growing on the trees, whose spores lead to problems when breathed in.It has been discovered by scientists from Upstate Medical University, part of the State University of New York, who carried out research after observing a peak in respiratory illnesses in the weeks either side of December 25.The team analysed clippings from 28 Christmas trees including needles and bark, from a range of species, and found 53 cases of mould.Of these, 70 per cent can cause symptoms including itchy noses, watery eyes, coughing, shortness of breath, chest pains, sinus congestion, feelings of fatigue and problems sleeping.Some of the mould identified can even lead to long term lung problems and conditions such as bronchitis and pneumonia.The mould occurs on the trees naturally, but thrives in the warm conditions of a well-heated home at Christmas.So it’s not just that seasonal, alpine aroma that I’ve brough…

With solicitors, it’s all me, me, me

(Ok, maybe that’s a bit harsh.  But articles like the one from the LSG below don’t do anything to dispel such impressions).From the Law Society Gazette 15/12/11:The legal profession is unprepared for conflicts of interest in personal injury law that will occur from 2012, the Gazette has been told. Such conflicts could leave PI lawyers open to negligence claims and increase professional indemnity insurance premiums.The problem arises from the willingness of insurers to ‘capture’ both sides of the same claim. Although this is already a feature of the market, it is likely to be exacerbated by the arrival of alternative business structures.Think of it as a the full meal deal.Currently, law firms who act for both claimant and defendant clients refer one, or both, clients to other advisers when a direct conflict is identified.However, the same insurer can have a role on both sides, and so have a role in calculating quantum. If QATs are used with their current ‘calibrations’ unchanged, claim…

When Christmas tunes all get a bit much…

If you’re starting to find those mercilessly painful Christmas songs played in nearly every shop at the moment are starting to get a bit much, here’s a healthy dose of Kevin (Bloody) Wilson to reset the balance.Btw, VERY, VERY NSFW!! A new take on an old classic Santa’s not going to forget this one in a hurry…

What to get a blogger for Christmas?

Choosing Christmas gifts is such a difficult business isn’t it?  If you’re stumped as to what you should get the blogger in your life (legally oriented or otherwise), help is at hand.A new mouse mat  - Do people even use mouse mats any longer?  
Oh wait - I do!

More readers
- Ouch.  Don’t rub it in!  Blogs are having a tough time of it lately.  
Well, some are.

Novelty USB drive - They’re a bit 2005 aren’t they?  And they haven’t got a great reputation for reliability or robustness.  

A Belkin Cushdesk
- these are actually excellent and perfect for the blogger who likes to blog from the boudoir using a laptop.  They’re inexpensive, very hard-wearing, ensure the air intake on your laptop doesn’t get blocked and, most importantly, prevents scorching to your upper thighs!

USB toaster - ‘Cause, you know, blogging really gives you an appetite.  If only this were a real product.  Sigh.

Book: Blogging for dummies –
a bit of a no brainer (even if it’s an insult).  Still, you can laugh …

Christmas must be here again…

No, not because of that frickin’ coca cola truck.  Because of the cheesy Christmas-fied header on Law Actually.  I know: I spoil you each year, right?It’s been a tough year for the more light-hearted ‘studenty’ approach to legal blogging and Law Actually had a massive mid-summer technical meltdown just to compound my misery.  From a traffic perspective, I’ve only recently started to fully recover from the effects of ‘the week my blog died’. It’s been a painful year and I’m lucky to have pulled through.A direct result of that breakdown was a new blog theme which received a bit of a lukewarm reception (from me as well) but I’ve pulled out all the stops and dec’d it up to the rafters. If only the house were so easy to decorate. Oh well, I’ve still got 2 weeks to sort that out (well, just under).  We’ll get there.

Solicitors made a ‘huge contribution’

From the Law Society Gazette 06/12/11:The lord chief justice has thanked defence solicitors for the ‘huge contribution’ made in the summer riot court cases, stressing that they had been included in his earlier praise of the rest of the legal profession.At his annual press conference at the Royal Courts of Justice, Lord Judge said: ‘I want to record publicly that the defence lawyers made a huge contribution to the efficient running of the courts at that time. I am grateful to them.’Judge said in his October judgment on riot sentencing he had thanked a lot of people who had helped in the ‘remarkable piece of efficiency’ dealing with the riot cases.Well, that surely calls for a couple of tins of Quality Street to be sent down to the Law Society this Christmas.

Christmas tunes (for the UK economy)

Lawyers generally have a bad reputation for being mean, conniving and downright slippery; as a profession they’re hated the world over.  Still, it seems they’re not a patch on economists.  Well, one in particular.You can find the full list of ‘songs’ here – think of this as just a festive taster! 
(Shame there’s nothing on YouTube for Save Our Savers… yet).Mervyn King Is Coming To Town
(to tune of “Santa Claus is Coming To Town”) [I didn’t see that coming!]You better be brave
You better not cry
You better not save
I'm telling you why
Mervyn King is coming to town

He's making a list
Checking a lot
He’s gonna find out who's saving or not
Mervyn King is coming to townWe Wish You a Merry Christmas

We wish you a Merry Christmas
We wish you a Merry Christmas
We wish you a Merry Christmas, can we have one too?
Poor savings we have, thanks to your MPC
We wish you a Merry Christmas, can we have one too?

Oh rid us of high inflat…

Secret Santa & Donoghue v Stevenson

I had an email from the Carbolic Smoke Ball store a few days ago. What fun! It ran as follows:Dear [The Michael]
When I did Articles in a City law firm, there was no such thing as 'Secret Santa'. Secretaries would kick-start the season by pinning sprigs of holly to doorways, but fee-earners never really entered into the festive spirit.Nowadays, it's different. Fee-earners are encouraged to embrace rituals like 'Secret Santa' because it fosters team spirit. Allegedly. For those of a humbuggish disposition, it can be a trial.Secret Santa? Pah!! In my typical Scrooge-esque manner, I’ve opted out of our office’s SS this year. I’ve twice bought a piece of tat to give to a colleague I neither know nor care anything about, only to get an equally meaningless piece of tat back. I wonder how Oscar Wilde would have viewed Secret Santa?  Perhaps that to do it once would be an adventure; to do it twice would be a trifle silly, but to do it three times would be a fricking j…

Google Chrome is now 2nd most popular browser

From Paul Thurrott’s WinInfo Short Takes of the week 02/12/11:Google's Chrome has been on the market for only three years, but it has already surpassed Mozilla Firefox to become the number-two most-often-used web browser after Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE). That's the word from the market researchers at StatCounter, at least, though it's only a matter of time before others who follow web-browser usage share report similar findings[.]I jumped on the Chrome bandwagon at the end of 2008 and haven’t looked back. In 3 short years it’s got to the point where there are now hardly any people I know that *don’t* use Chrome. It’s the de facto standard browser at work and I live in Chrome every single day.Firefox has turned into a bit of an also-ran (although they are at least fighting back a bit now) and IE has lurched from versions 7, 8 to 9, all promising the world and under-delivering each time.  It’s been a long-standing joke that Internet Explorer is simply a one-time …