Showing posts from January, 2012

Asbestos dust and the corporate veil… revisited

From the Metro 17/01/12:When Korah Leah came home from his job clearing asbestos his children would fling their arms around him the minute he arrived. As a worker in the 1930s he had no idea he was putting their lives at risk when he hugged the youngsters in his dust-caked overalls. But now, long after his death from cancer in 1968, two of his children have died from asbestos-related illnesses and a further six have irreversible lung damage. ‘It’s a terrible thing to happen to one family,’ said Maureen McGeogh who lost sisters Marjorie, 67, and Cecelia, 77, within six months of each other. She said her father would be ‘covered in dust’ when he came home from work as a foreman in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire. ‘We’d all crawl all over him and hug him. I remember my mother shaking his overalls and dust going everywhere. We didn’t realise it was dangerous,’ added Mrs McGeogh, 73, of Luddenden, West Yorkshire. Her only two siblings not affected by pleural plaques – which can develop into …

BT pay the price for dodgy roadworks

From 26/01/12:Transport for London (TfL), a UK public authority with responsibility for most aspects of London city's transport system (e.g. roads, railways etc.), have successfully prosecuted both BT and Cable & Wireless (C&W) over a string of "badly managed roadworks".

The Westminster Magistrate's Court handed down several thousand pounds worth of fines to both firms for a raft of failings that included working without a permit, breach of permitting conditions and failure to correctly notify TfL promptly of works taking place.The TfL Infringements
* BT was prosecuted for infringements at various locations on TfL roads including: Stamford Hill, Marylebone Road, Blackwall Tunnel, Eastern Avenue and Gunnersbury Lane. They were fined a total of £3,765 and ordered to pay TfL's costs of £5,050.
* Infringements by Cable & Wireless occurred on Lambeth Palace Road and Great Eastern Street. They were fined a total of £1,000 and ord…

That’s why punctuation exists

Regular readers know that email is a constant (and painful) battle for me.  If you’ve forgotten, you might want to have a butchers at this and this.  I know everyone has gripes, but email gets on my proverbials in ways I can’t even describe.My latest peeve relates to the following ‘punctuation-less’ email which I received recently.  “Hi Mike* please see the attached would you leave them named as they are no need to put countersigned  thanks.”* OMG – off to a VERY bad start. I simply cannot stand the name, ‘Mike’. (Seriously, it will bring on a bilious attack for me… and no one wants that).Hmmm.  Believe it or not, they aren’t just random words.  They were meant to make sense; it’s just a pity they didn’t.  Maybe I should focus on the positives – there was a full stop at the end.  But the fact remains I had to re-read this SEVERAL times (and ponder it overnight) before it made any sense to my email-frazzled brain.  So, please, if you’re in the habit of sending emails such as this brarm…

Text-o-rama – Personal Injury Spam

I was clearing out my text messages earlier today and came across this brarmer I received a while back. “Our records indicate that you still haven’t claimed the £3750 compensation for the accident you had. To claim for free reply ‘YES’ to this message.”Interestingly, I didn’t delete it immediately; perhaps I left it in anticipation of an accident? I’m a glass-half-empty kind of chap, after all.While keeping it in my inbox might have brought me some comfort, it didn’t stop a little bit of me dying inside when I read it.Does anybody have the number of Jackson LJ so I can forward this on? I think he’d be interested. Failing that, how about Anne Robinson?

Geeks and sexual harassment

Oh I can’t believe that a chap with a bowtie would have wandering hands when the ladies are around! I thought the IT department would be free from sexual harassment claims at least. Clearly I was wrong. But I think if I were the woman, I’d be more concerned about bringing an medical negligence claim against the surgeon who performed my botched tummy-tuck. Or maybe the cartoonist’s hand slipped. Found here.

Shamed Solicitor faces the SRA

From ISP Review 16/01/12:The notorious boss of failed solicitors firm ACS:Law UK and winner of the 2011ISPA Internet Villain award, Andrew Crossley (Solicitor ID 150435), will at 10:00am this morning face a substantive hearing in front of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT). The Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA) has tabled seven charges against Crossley, not least for "[attempting] to take unfair advantage of other persons" (broadband ISP customers) and that of providing "false information" to a court.SRA Charges vs Andrew Crossley (ACS:Law)

The Tribunal has certified that there is a case to answer in respect of allegations which are or include that [Crossley] :-

1) Allowed his independence to be compromised.

2) Acted contrary to the best interests of his clients.

3) Acted in a way that was likely to diminish the trust the public places in him or in the legal profession.

4) Entered into arrangements to receive continge…

Demolition brings soup tragedy closure

From Lynn News 15/01/12:In an emotionally-charged atmosphere, Lynn News competition winner Sarah Griffiths, 41, performed the honours to send Campbell’s Tower on its way this morning.(Just in case it’s not clear, it was a competition which gave the winner the chance to press the plunger to raise the tower to the ground).Bizarrely, the picture of the tower reminds me of an episode of Poirot called ‘The Dream’ about a pie factory owner, mysterious goings on and, well, all sorts of things. It’s too longwinded to explain, but I’m sure Poirot lovers will see the connection.Mrs Griffiths had been married to husband Simon for just four weeks when her 52-year-old father was fatally scalded by a blast of steam while trying to close a huge pressure cooker-type machine at Campbell’s factory in July, 1995.Mr Locke, who lived in Burkitt Street, Lynn, and colleague Jim Tripp were working on a 10ft high retort, used to sterilise cans and jars at Campbell’s. The inquest was told the retort lid would …

A new broom sweeps clean

Well, that’s that then. The Christmas decorations have been taken down at Law Actually HQ – both real and virtual. Our Christmas tree has been stripped naked and taken outside for me to operate on at a later date with a pair of secateurs and a saw.  It will eventually be fed into our garden composter – just as nature intended.The Christmas-fied blog header, has been consigned to the dustbin. May it rot merrily in hell there. I was never overly keen on this year’s header (I think it shows). Oh well: must try harder in 11 months’ time.I know it might be a bit early for a spring clean, but I’ve started to whittle away at some of the dead wood of blogs I linked to previously. Yes, you’re all allowed to groan at the awful mix of metaphors there.I regard some of those blogs as dead because they’ve been removed entirely, have not been updated in ages or their authors have gone absent without official leave.  Harsh though it is, sometimes you’ve just got to have a clear out.It would be easy t…

Lawtalk – Publication Review

Over Christmas, I spent a little downtime immersed in the forthcoming title ‘Lawtalk –The unknown stories behind familiar legal expressions’.As titles go, Lawtalk is self-explanatory. It’s a very well researched and comprehensive book which does an excellent job of tracing the origin of certain pieces of legal terminology and explains how, from an array of unlikely beginnings, they have nestled themselves so firmly into modern parlance.While the book runs to nearly 300 pages, I was still surprised by the considerable depth in which each of the nearly 100 phrases is examined. Sensibly, each is tackled in alphabetical order and the pages broken up with the odd photograph, illustration or print.  The vast majority of the expressions will be well known to lawyers and non-lawyers alike and so should be of universal appeal. I’m sure a few will evoke a grimace or groan from some readers, but the history behind each phrase is fascinating nonetheless.Some of my favourites were:Aid and abet (an…