Showing posts from December, 2013

12 days of Christmas updated for modern times

From Mashable 24/12/13:

It was all going so well until “1 creepy elf on a shelf”. What’s that all about?

Personal Injury Compensation Claims – be aware of the time limits or risk losing out

Guest PostIn the UK, there is a general time limit of three years in which a personal injury claim for compensation must be made. If proceedings are not started in a court within this time frame, then the case becomes statute-barred and cannot be pursued. Usually, the three year timeline starts either from the date of the accident or from the date that the person becomes aware that the injury is linked to the original incident. This is referred to as ‘the date of knowledge’. This ‘date of knowledge’ can be extremely useful for cases that involve exposure to a toxic substance, such as asbestos which may not reveal itself until decades later. However, there are some variations about when the time limitation is set. For example, in fatal cases, the three year limitation begins from the date of death or from the date the death was linked to the original incident, be it an accident or exposure to a toxic substance. In addition, if a person dies part way through making a claim for compens…

How to Budget for a Court Case

Guest PostOn the 1st of August 2013, High Court judge Master McCloud cut to the root of the issue regarding budgeting for civil litigation with these words. “Budgeting is something which all solicitors by now ought to know is intended to be integral to the process from the start, and it ought not to be especially onerous to prepare a final budget for a CMC (Case Management Conference) even at relatively short notice if proper planning has been done. The court must now, as part of dealing with cases justly, ensure that cases are dealt with at proportionate cost and so as to ensure compliance with rules, orders and practice direction. The stricter approach under the Jackson reforms have been central to this judgment.”Following the new funding rules implemented by Lord Justice Jackson on the 1st of April 2013, civil procedures follow new guidelines and requirements regarding funding. These new guidelines and procedures essentially state that: 1. Each party involved in civil litigation…

Goodwill to all: charity volunteer assaulted over Christmas greeting

From Las Vegas CBS Central 17/12/13: A Salvation Army bell ringer claims she was assaulted by a woman for saying “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” outside of a Walmart. Kristina Vindiola was ringing a bell outside of a Phoenix-area Walmart when she said “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” to a woman. “The lady looked at me,” Vindiola explained to KNXV. “I thought she was going to put money in the kettle. She came up to me and said, ‘Do you believe in God?’ And she says, ‘You’re supposed to say Merry Christmas,’ and that’s when she hit me.” What the woman did next caught Vindiola by surprise. She told KNXV that the woman hit her in the arm and proceeded to go inside the store to shop. Vindiola told a manager who called the police. The surveillance video didn’t have enough evidence for Phoenix police to arrest the woman accused in the assault. However, Vindiola said she plans to take legal action.As a non-American, I’ve always found the expression ‘Happy Holid…

Festive Makeovers and Choosing Christmas Trees

Law Actually has been given its annual festive makeover today. I made a conscious decision to try and keep the design at the minimalist end of the spectrum, steering well clear of my usual tendency to use a hotchpotch of ill-suited colours and elements.Quite where it ranks in the all-time list of Law Actually headers is anyone’s guess but it’ll do.The house decorations are proving more of a headache. Rather unwisely, we decided to head out to B&Q* yesterday evening to pick up our Christmas tree. It was dark, blowing a gale and bucketing it down – hardly conducive to picking the perfect tree.In all the circumstances, I thought we’d done a pretty good job of selecting a nice looking and well-proportioned specimen. Having successfully manhandled it in and out of the car, we duly plonked the tree in the shed overnight (without a bucket of water I might add – it, like us, was wet enough already). Anyhow, I had quite a shock this afternoon when I took it out of the shed to erect the fin…

Victim of tragic paddling pool horseplay stunt has claim dismissed

From the Huffington Post 06/12/13:A student who was left tetraplegic after horseplay in a paddling pool has lost his damages claim against one of the UK's leading drama schools, which he said was to blame for the accident.Andrew Risk had reached the last day of his second year of a scenic arts degree at Rose Bruford College in Sidcup, south east London, when he took a long run at a large paddling pool filled with water to a depth of about two-and-a-half feet and dived in, hitting his head on the ground.Mr Risk, 25, […] suffered immediate loss of sensation, was unable to move, and had to be supported by fellow students to enable him to breathe until he could be taken to hospital.Now in a wheelchair and needing 24-hour care, he claimed his injury in June 2009 was caused by a breach of duty of care or negligence on the part of the college, which denied liability.Today, Mr Justice Jay said that Mr Risk had not succeeded and, even if he had, he would have found him 75% to blame for the…

High Court Judge Blasted After Comments on Marriage

From the London Evening Standard 09/12/13:A high Court judge who said people wanting children should get married had his comments dismissed today as “patronising irrelevance”.Labour MP Graham Stringer said the comments by Sir Paul Coleridge were not helpful for young people thinking about how to plan their lives.His attack came after Sir Paul said people had “no right to have children” but only “responsibilities”. The truth hurts, but it doesn’t do to shy away from it.Mr Stringer said people should not automatically equate marriage with stability and added: “Telling young people whether they should marry or not doesn’t help — it’s patronising irrelevance.”Granted, marriage isn’t a panacea, but the statistics speak for themselves. And whilst children can be successfully brought up in family units of all shapes and sizes, I think there’s still a lot to be said for the conventional structure.But regardless of your views on marriage or how best to bring up children, anything which gets po…

‘Spike Away’ vest turns commuters into hazardous porcupines

From the Huffington Post 04/12/13:Sick of your face being shmooshed into someone's armpit? Your head being used as a book rest? Feeling violated before you've even got into work?Err, yes, yes and yes.  On a daily basis.Cramped commuters of the world rejoice, a young designer has come up with the perfect solution.Siew Ming Cheng has evidently had enough of rush hour on the Singapore subway.Those space-invading commuters have brushed up against, knocked and pushed her one too many times, and now the young creative is declaring war on space snatchers with special body armour: the Spike Away vest.Explaining her idea she said: "A quick brainstorming leads to a everyday situation. Trains are usually crowded during peak hours. Everybody will push each other to try and get onto the train."How can I protect my personal space? The idea was then conceived. 'What if I wear a vest that is full of spikes?'"Yikes. That really could have someone’s eye out!  Just look at…

Why law schools should teach humility

Because otherwise they might churn out graduates capable off this type of nauseating display of pomposity. I’m assuming it’s a law student in private accommodation. Please don’t tell me it’s a trainee solicitor!The full, painful text is as follows:Dear Neighbours,My name is [blank] and I live in Flat [blank] on the [blank] floor of [blank]. As Saturday is St Andrew’s Day, I will be throwing a small party at my place to celebrate the day with friends. My guests are expected to arrive soon after 20:00 and leave before midnight. I will do my best to keep the noise levels down, but, as accommodating to everyone’s idea of what noise levels should be during a party is not always possible, I apologise in advance for any disruption that may be caused.If any problem arises during that time (or if you think I should be kicked out of the block straight away), please do not hesitate to:(a) Contact me directly on [blank] as I will do my best to solve it immediately.(b) (i) As people expected to tu…

PCSO takes a tumble and sues

From the Metro 29/11/13: A police community support officer (PCSO) is suing the owner of a derelict school building after she tripped and injured her knee while responding to a report of a break-in. Pauline Harrison, 53, […] sent a letter to landowner Lightflask Ltd alleging that the firm failed to display warning signs outside the property […]. She says she suffered ‘soft tissue damage’ to her right knee when she fell over the 3ft high wooden fence in 2009 and is also claiming for a £14 prescription and £102 physiotherapy charge.That’s not a prescription for spectacles, right? Just kidding. But perhaps the biggest question in all this is exactly how a person is able to fall over a 3 foot high fence in the first place. That’s quite an achievement. Merseyside Police said they did not approve of the claim but that it was a private matter for the individual. A spokesman for Lightflask Ltd has warned that this could set a dangerous precedent. ‘I don’t think people expect to be sued by som…

Stupid article headline of the week goes to…

the Guardian.
I understand the need for the media to come up with provocative, inflammatory headlines to drive readership, but when it crosses over into stupidity, it rankles a bit. Yes, there are key human rights issues involved in deciding whether or not to let people smoke on hospital premises.  Yes, there might even be some limited merit to the argument that the short-term benefits of an occasional fag in stressful situations might somewhat mitigate the long term adverse effects. But let’s not kid ourselves: the consequences to smokers’ health and, more perhaps more importantly, the very real harm caused by passive smoking (yes – even outside), far outweigh those considerations. Sometimes people need more stick than carrot when it comes to helping themselves. I think this is one of those occasions.