Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Divorce lawyers, marriage contracts & proactive advice

From Futurelawer.com 29/05/11:Divorce lawyer - herman - marriage contract

Cracking!  Let that be a lesson to everyone that prevention is better than cure!

We should also all be thankful that the lawyer didn’t start by asking, “what can I do you for?” Actually, surely that’d be a breach of the Solicitors’ Code of Conduct?

Be right back

Oh, and seeing the word fiancé reminded me of something I overheard the other day.  I haven’t ever struggled with this one but it’s such a helpful (and easily memorable) tip for those who have trouble differentiating their fiancé from their fiancée, just remember “two e’s = boobies"!

(And it works a treat… providing you don’t stray into grey areas such as a middle aged chap with ‘moobs’!)

Monday, 30 May 2011

Model lawyer struts her stuff

From Roll on Friday 27/05/11:

For her 9 to 5, Lyndal Yaqub [pictured] toils away as an associate at Auckland firm Law & Associates, specialising in litigation and employment law. But for the rest of the time, Yaqub has a lucrative side-line as a model.

Law is not a profession known for its loveliness, [b]ut maybe things are different over in New Zealand, where Yaqub manages to juggle a burgeoning legal career - she qualified as a barrister and solicitor in 2005 - with a side-line in modelling with Scout International Models.

And whilst at first blush there seems to be a world of difference between the dry old world of lawyering and the glitz of modelling, she reckons there are clear similarities. "Litigation is about having a thick skin, being persuasive, and achieving positive results for your clients - as is modelling". And her employers have been generous enough to let her take time off for shoots on location or overseas.

Whilst she thinks of herself first and foremost as a lawyer, Yaqub explains "I continue to accept modelling assignments as I love to keep busy and it is a great way for me to inject some glamour into my life as a lawyer!"

lawyer modelGlamour is one word for it I guess. Call me a cynic, but I’ve always regarded modelling as something of a slippery slope into things a tad more sleazy. Let’s hope Yaqub doesn’t end up on page 3 of New Zealand’s version of the Daily Star offering up her nuggets of wisdom as to litigation strategy as well as a full-blown spread of her jahooblies.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

House Move

moving home property lawyers

Apologies for the radio silence recently blawgwatchers; the Michael has been battling with a painfully stressful house move.

The good news is the worst is over (I think).

Rest assured - normal service shall resume shortly.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Employees & the right to erm … play at work

employment law internet policyFrom M24Digital 11/05/11:

A woman aged 36 was enabled by the justice [read court] to masturbate in her workplace because she has a strange disease.

This is the story of Ana Catarina Bezerra Silvares, an employee of an accounting firm, a divorced mother of three who lives in the village Vila Velha, Espírito Santo.

The woman suffers from a rare condition known as “compulsion orgasmic”, caused by a chemical alteration in the brain region of the cortex, which leads her to masturbate several times a day to relieve the deep anguish that it causes.

Under this circumstance, Bezerra started legal proceedings with the company where she works that eventually won and that enables to masturbate for 15 minutes every two hours, besides using the computer to see erotic images that stimulate her desire.

By the sounds of it, her desire doesn’t need any help being stimulated!!

The Brazilian newspaper North Regiao reported that the woman
confessed, “There was a day I had to masturbate 47 times”, adding: “I began to suppose that this could not be normal, and decided to seek help.”

Currently, Bezerra follows a treatment that includes a potent cocktail of sedatives which gets her to “only” masturbate 18 times a day.

I wonder whether an employment tribunal would have come to a similar conclusion should the situation have arisen in England or Wales. Does such a condition (assuming this is real*) constitute a disability for the purposes of disability discrimination under the Equality Act 2010? I’m no employment law expert but the definition of ‘disability’ for these purposes seems pretty broad.

*(I suspect ‘compulsion orgasmic’ is a rather clumsy translation – I can’t find much on Google about it, apart from this story.   That said, am I getting the whiff of a fake story?)

Eye rolling smile

I also wonder what arrangements the employer has had to make. Surely Silvares doesn’t just sit there in an open office, casually browsing porn and playing with herself? (Heck, that kind of thing has been known to draw an audience!) Couldn’t she scuttle off discreetly to the ladies loos when the need arises? If not, I hope she’s got a secluded office and protective cover on her office chair!!

Monday, 16 May 2011

Lawyers & the name game

From Roll on Friday 19/04/11:

One's a Canadian tween singing sensation with a penchant for bowl cuts and slightly controversial anti-abortion soundbites; the other is a slope-shouldered lawyer from Pennsylvania with a penchant for personal injury and "creative litigation tactics". What they both share is the same name - Justin Bieber.

Justin M Bieber Esq., Attorney at Law - who "positions clients for the best possible results" and the value of whose hair is currently unknown.

Justin Beiber lawyer

I think being the namesake of Justin Beiver (sorry - Freudian slip) Beiber is a bit of  a tough gig and, all things being equal, I don’t think it would do much for your legal career.

While it would probably generate plenty of additional traffic for your law firm’s website, it’s safe to assume it wouldn’t be very relevant.  Plus, do you want your staff directory pages to be a point and giggle arena for the internet browsing public?

But that led me on to think: is a lawyer’s name important?

Are clients more inclined to hire people for legal representation with tough, ruthless sounding names or is having a soft, approachable kind of name best?

I think it’s safe to rule the following out, no matter what the answer:

Wright, Judge & Jury | Attorneys at Law

Howe, Dewey, Cheatem & Wynn | Attorneys at Law

Susan Liddy-Gates | Attorney at Law

Yadda, yadda, yadda.  Eye rolling smile

Or how about this one? 


Hmmm… it’s a kind of chicken & egg question isn’t it?


But actually, there might really be something in this:

From Nancy’s Baby Names 20/08/09 (yes, REALLY):

Female Lawyers with Masculine Names Fare Better

A new pair of studies suggest that women with masculine names fare better in legal careers than women with feminine names.

The findings, published in the American Law and Economics Review, indicate that female lawyers with masculine names are more likely to be appointed as judges and earn more money than female lawyers with feminine names.

Not only that, but these likelihoods become stronger as the “masculinity” of the name increases. (A gender-neutral name has the weakest effect, while a name used almost exclusively for males has the strongest effect.)

Co-author Bentley Coffey [come again?] was so swayed by the outcome of his own study and he and his wife — who happens to be lawyer — named their daughter Collins.

Stone the crows!! I don’t think a chap called Bentley Coffey can ever be safely regarded as an authority on naming children.

One of the commenters thoughtfully pointed out:

[I]t seems to me that most classic female names — Catherine, Margaret, Jane, Anne, Kate, etc. — would do better professionally, generally speaking, than more ‘frivolous’ names like Brandy, Misty.

I don’t think it’s the case of Brandy and Misty being regarded as frivolous, but rather they’re just more suited for girls aspiring to be porn stars rather than lawyers. 

But I kind of take the point.

Anyhow, do you regard YOUR Christian first name to be an advantage or a drawback to your legal career?

Put another way, do you blame or thank your parents? Be right back

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Fun with the search terms

law actually - fun with the search termsI don’t know if it’s just Law Actually, but my visitors seem to have gotten an awful lot dirtier recently. Some of the search terms they’ve punched into Google would make a whore blush, never mind their mothers. 

Other terms they’ve used are frankly just disturbing.  I don’t want to repeat any of them here, not only because I don’t want to lower the tone any more than I usually do (I know - amazing isn’t it?) but also because doing so will only push me further up the rankings for those dirty phrases, exacerbating the problem.

Anyway, here’s the latest batch of wacky search terms: 

“baywatch shauni monobrow” - Oh come on - it was the 80s.  Hairy was in, right?

“setting up a new personal injury firm” - oh God, not another one.

“Behind on prostitutes” - someone who searched for this and visited law actually 7 times in rapid succession.  Just how behind was he?  ;-)

“knocked over listening to iPod bruise can i claim” - nope, you brought it on yourself!  :p

“LOVE BITES AND THE LAW” – Good book title there.

“i have been given the statutes for the law exam don't know how to revise” - I’d have said it was a bit late for you if you’re approaching the exams with that kind of question.

“accent at work that wasn't your fault” - I know, it was your damn parents, huh?

“dinner lady injured compensation” – Oh, don’t tell me: you got a Petits Filous  in the eye - courtesy of an over-excited child?

“HOW CAN I GET CHEAPEST LLB DEGREE IN UK” - Oh honestly... we’ll be getting LLB comparison sites next!  :p  (p.s. I really love the caps - you can sense the desperation there).

“best surefire ways to get approved for disability for a back injury at work” - I smell a benefits cheat.

“unfair dismissal vomited over IT equipment” - urrgh, eeewwww!

“good uk law blog” - A Chinese visitor (well, they searched via the Chinese version of Google) from the University of Warwick.  All I can say is that yay, you found law actually... but boo, you stayed for 0 seconds.

“you can't relax in the law” – Very true; my day is a veritable minefield of panic attacks.

“What is the labber law about labber law?”  ???

“I need to revise lots of law for exams” – Yep. But what do you expect Google to do about it?

“what do lawyers write with? pen?” - Well, yes, funnily enough, often times they do.

“pupelage portal” - The ISP was identified as “Oxford University”.  Oh dear... I knew standards were falling, but even so...   ;-)

“idiots guide to pupillagae portal applications” - hehe - I love it. I bet you didn’t expect to find this!

“hate my courses llm” – Just quit then. The label of ‘law school drop-out’ isn’t so bad!

“don't let your husband see you naked” - oh, come on ladies: what kind of attitude is that?  ;-)

“graduation anticlimax” - To the visitor from the University of Sheffield, chin up.  You’ll get over it.  (Given time).

“android sex doll 2011” - wow.  hehe, I wonder if the visitor had ‘rooted’ it? 

Thursday, 5 May 2011

The end of the road for court stenographers

From The Law Society Gazette 28/04/11:

The quiet tapping of the court stenographer will be silenced by next year to be replaced with a high-tech recording system.

The Digital Audio Recording Transcription and Storage (Darts) will begin rollout in June 2011 and finish in March 2012 at each of the 97 Crown and combined court sites in England and Wales.

Darts has been piloted at seven Crown Court sites since October 2009, and the Ministry of Justice said the system offers clear audio quality and backup, easy playback and a faster transcription service.

A spokesperson for Her Majesty’s Court and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) said the new technology will mean the end for court loggers during proceedings, with the system updated by court clerks when witnesses are called, evidence is given and points of law granted.

‘As this link between the systems has been built, there is no longer a requirement for HMCTS to continue to use loggers and stenographers,’ she added.

stenographerOh no!  I can’t help but feel that the loss of stenographers from the courts is a bit of a shame.  
I wonder what the re-employment prospects are for these poor souls who have been put out to pasture?  

And wasn’t their soft tapping slightly therapeutic?  I’ve heard it rumoured that some of the more experienced ones tapped slightly louder when they sensed the judge was nodding off as well. 

So who’s going to fulfil that role now they’re going? Thinking smile
Progress is painful sometimes.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Law Actually Mailbag – Lawyer or “Megistrate”?

law actually mailbag2Another gem of an email plopped into my inbox a while ago.

dear michel,

i am garima from india and i wasnt to be a uk lawyer or megistrate. can u tell me what should be necessary pattern to follow...

kinda guide me..

thank you


Well there ya go. Any advice for Garima? First things first, um, what are her chances - ALL things being considered?

 Be right back

Any ‘Megistrates’ out there who’d like to advise as to her best way forward?  She’s not really fussy – she’ll happily be a lawyer in the UK instead.   

Give me strength!!!  Eye rolling smile

What I don’t really get is why someone would email a question like this when just a few minutes spent on Wikipedia would have made them much more knowledgeable.  Had Garima done that, she probably wouldn’t have emailed me, but if she had, it would have likely been something much more intelligible and worthy of being answered. 

Is that an unreasonable thought? 

Oh well, Garima, you can’t win them all.  And if you’re really set on a career in law, that’s a lesson you might as well learn sooner rather than later.

Just don’t count on me answering you anytime soon! 

Monday, 2 May 2011

Pupillage Portal 2

Pupillage Portal 2Introducing Pupillage Portal 2 – the ideal game for embittered BPTC students and non-practicing barristers to play in between making those countless applications to chambers.

Painstakingly puzzle over how to solve the riddle of gaining a pupillage as your alter-ego, Chell, leaps from one scrape to another with the help of her trusty portal gun.  Just like the omnipotent chambers to which you apply, GLaDOS will continually goad you, trick you, mock you and ultimately reject you, leaving you a quivering heap of nerves on the floor.

Yep, just like the real pupillage portal then! Be right back


Available on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.


Here’s what folks are saying:

60 hours of gameplay and I’m still pupillage-less. What a bas**rd!!


“If I can’t get a pupillage with my portal gun in a video game, what chance do I stand in real life?  Screw this sh*t!”

Heck, we never said it would be easy.

Ahuwh, ahuwh, [more crying noises] … I’m not sure I want to be a lawyer anymore!

Anyway, enough of that.

So roll-up, roll-up and get your copy of the most pointless product since the Pupillage Portal for Cretins guide was published!

Pupillage Portal for Cretins

Sunday, 1 May 2011

What a… what a… what a wedding!!!

royal weddingI know, I know, I wasn’t planning on watching it – I swear. But my GF switched the dreaded TV on at 9.00AM on Friday morning and it kind of stayed on the whole day.

How the hell did that happen?

While I didn’t buy-in to the pre-wedding hype, we had casually discussed, the week before, jumping on a train and heading the hell up to London on 29th to see what all the fuss would be about.

It didn’t happen for a variety of reasons, but I concede there must have been a least a passing interest on my part. 

Anyhow, quite what happened to me on Friday I still don’t fully understand, but I found myself strangely swept along by the whole thing, which I’d later describe as ‘enchanting’.

I don’t know that makes me borderline je ne sais quoi or just plain weird.  Be right back

For me, the trip Wills & Kate took in Daddy Chas’ cheeky little sports car, complete with L plate and JU5T WED number plate, was just ‘superb’ and ‘the icing on the cake’. In fact, I said so at the time. If only Harry had stuffed a banana up the car’s exhaust, it would have been perfect.the icing on the  cake

I’m still struggling to come to terms with what happened to me on Friday, but I think I’m slowly getting over it.

Normal service shall resume shortly. Rolling on the floor laughing