Thursday, 29 September 2011

Welcome to Goldeneye Law…


Fom ISP Preview 28/09/11:

Golden Eye International, a law firm that claims to hold numerous film copyrights and is linked with the Ben Dover porn brand in the UK [yep – of ‘fancy an Indian’ fame - ahem], has attempted to sue three broadband ISP customers for "illegal" internet copyright infringement (piracy) after at least one of the accused failed to respond when a letter arrived demanding a payment of £700 (i.e. "speculative invoicing") to settle the dispute.

I think those “air quotes” were more apt than the author thought. I love it how many niche journalists who should know better get in a pickle over illegality and unlawfulness.

But ok, we all get it: these actions are too silly for words.

Boob number two, though - Golden Eye International don’t seem to be a law firm per se. They kind of position themselves as the A-team of the IP world, flying hither and thither jumping in with their size tens where there’s a sniff of IP infringement and often when there isn’t.

Actually, they’ve instructed Tilly Bailey & Irvine to act for them in this case.

Surely it was self-evident.  I know the credibility of the profession is in relative tatters out there, but really -  ‘Golden Eye Law’?  Don’t tell me – the list of senior partners includes Pussy Galore* and Auric Goldfinger?

* I assume that’s not PC any longer and we have to substitute her name with that of Alota Fagina.

Be right back

Monday, 26 September 2011

Studying Law – Intentions versus Reality

Law Actually - back to school graphicIt’s back to school time, kids - law school style. For the countless students out there, it’s time to dust off your textbooks, dig out your laptop and get your sweet little cheeks down to your university’s campus for enrolment.

For newbie students, or seasoned pros who should know better, here’s the Law Actually run down on typical law student kit, what it should be used for, and what you’ll probably end up doing with it.


What you’re meant to do

What you actually do


Read them and, you know, learn about some lawwy type stuff.

Use them as expensive doors stops, or stack them up as a bedside table.


Read the relevant bits of jurisprudence to save you dragging your sorry ass down to the law library to read the full case (you know… like you were meant to)

Doorstop, thick coaster or propping up that dodgy shelf.


Type up all of those first class scholarly papers.

Surfing porn, f***book and twitter, and researching whether you’ve picked up an STD as a fresher.

Legal Dictionary

Remind yourself of those legal terms and bits of Latin which you really should remember

Provide an ideal environment for dust bunnies to thrive.

Study Guide

Use it as a pathfinder to help ease your way into a subject, or whilst outlining revision notes.

Crack it open in sheer desperation when you realise your 3000 word paper is due in in 4 hours’ time and you haven’t got the foggiest.

That money your parents gave you

Spend it wisely and carefully on essentials

Blow it down the student union on your first night there!

That credit card you took out for emergencies

The clue’s in the name – though it should have come stamped with ‘for emergency use only’.

Give in to temptation and buy that Xbox 360, Kinect, widescreen plasma TV... hot tub?

Study session in the library

Researching / writing / slowly returning to life having snuck out of the early lecture after nearly pickling your brain the night before down ‘the union’.

Ogling the tastier members of your class / chatting with buddies


Printing out those scholarly papers.

Print out those embarrassing pictures of that night you got really wasted so you can pin it up on your dorm room wall. Better be quick, before the ink dries up in the cartridges!!

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Crazy search terms strike again

law actually search terms - sep 11

It’s been ages since I’ve done one of these posts, and I’ve got some brarmers in store!

“how fast can graduates go on the dole” – and who said ambition was dead?

“law actually blo” - I don’t think I’m comfortable with it being referred to as a ‘blo’. It makes me feel kind of cheap.

“stinky line of people” – just head down to your nearest railway station.

“baywatch shauni monobrow” - I’m glad I'm not the only one who noticed it.

“court stenographer+darts” – What’s this – some kind of party game for law students where you draw straws for being the dart board?

“pupillage HOW TO CHEAT” – wow... you can really sense the desperation there.

“i am doing llb law at bpp in Manchester” – good for you.  

“brothels in looe” - People come to Cornwall for all kinds of reasons  - brothels shouldn’t be one of them!!

“seat belt law cpntributory negligence” - everything that’s wrong with the world... when it’s easier to leave typo and let google make thoughtful suggestions as to what it thinks you meant...

“is it illegal for insurance firms to look at your facebook” -  nope.. and it’s too late to delete your ‘crash for cash’ boasts to your friends.

“human rights act family life ivf” - oh do you yourself (and the rest of us) a favour and don’t bother.  We’ve a large enough population on our hands and if you can’t have them naturally, maybe you weren’t meant to.  

“wins solciters calculater” - asked the dyslexic to Google

“get real pupillage” - ah an interesting play on words…

“can you miss classes on bpp fast track lpc” - what the frick do you think?  the words ‘fast track’ and ‘lpc’ should tell you all you need to know.

“most commonest bird in road accident” - a drunk one.

“what can you do with solicitors that have been posted on the solicitors from hell web site” - you can pay Rick Kordowski some money so he removes it (or is he too busy dealing with litigation being brought against him now?)

“pupillage applications tiring” – Diddums.

“can you charge someone with murder with no head uk”  - Well, think about it… who would the officer charging the defendant address when he’s reading the criminal charges?  I guess he could talk to their shoulders... ;-) (Or check this). 

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Tourist offended by fish in harbour

harbour mevaFrom The Telegraph 05/09/11:

[W]hen David Copp came across a fishing trawler moored in Ilfracombe Harbour he took great offence and complained about the “disgusting” smell.

The 46-year-old was outraged that his children, aged seven and nine, had been forced to endure the sight of 12 crates of dead fish and crabs, piled up on the quayside.

Poor little bast*rds. I don’t know how they coped.

He said the ordeal had left them “quite distressed” and demanded to know why the harbourmaster was not more considerate to tourists.
“It’s not the sort of thing you want to see on holiday, there was a real stench.

“My children were quite distressed by it. These people should be a bit more considerate to the holidaymakers."


Copp called Ilfracombe harbourmaster Rob Lawson to complain about the smell that had emanated from The Lady of Lundy trawler before calling the North Devon Journal to air his woes.

[Lawson said] "I told this chap that you shouldn't take your children to a harbour if that is how they react to dead fish."

Good answer – I like it.  Party smile

Copp is understood to have been on a two-week family holiday ... when he lodged his complaint, which attracted disbelief from locals.

One said: “Ridiculous. Does he think all his food comes in packets? What did he expect to see at a working harbour?”

I grew up in a Cornish fishing village so can sympathise – with the locals I mean, not with Davey Copp and his oversensitive sense of smell. Tourists should enjoy the fact they can wander around working harbours, savouring the sights, smells and atmosphere. Whilst fishy harbours might be a tad pongy to some, speaking from experience, I think tourists themselves emit far worse smells when they’re out and about.

The truth is, the greatest danger from working harbours come from being pasty-raped by a seagull, overcome by diesel fumes from the fishing boats, fork-lift trucks running your over on the quay (once, in my home village, passing just a metre or so from me carrying a naval contact mine which a trawler had inadvertently dredged up**) or your toddler taking an unexpected dip into the harbour.

Strong smelling fish are a feature – not a problem.

But surely the local council or harbour authority could have done something to help ol’ Davey out?

Maybe they could have offered him a clothes-peg to be clipped on the end of his nose for use when walking around the quay. And as for his children finding the smell egregious, well, maybe his wife should have clothes-pegged the end of his penis years previously. That would’ve solved the problem.

Be right back

**Long story – I was angling as a child in the mid nineties (as you do) and was most aggrieved to be forced to evacuate the quay pending the bomb disposal squad’s arrival. Everyone feared it was a live WWII mine. But they needn’t have worried. The presence of the words ‘sand filled dummy’ on the side of the mine’s casing was a dead giveaway. Shame it took the navy divers nearly 90 minutes to figure that out – utterly wrecked my fishing session.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Back to the grind…


Returning to work from a week or so off is always a tough one but my recent (and first) ‘staycation’ was great.

I’d never holidayed in the UK before and was bit sceptical prior to leaving, but I have to admit, it was a raging success. Plenty of fresh, northern air, vibrant culture, unhealthy food and lots of downtime was just what the doctor ordered. 

Now he just needs to unclog my arteries.

We were moving around a bit and I had toyed with the idea of doing ‘blawging roadtrip’ – Law Actually style.  Despite that prospect going down like a cup of cold sick with my gf, when it actually came to it, I simply couldn’t be bothered and was glad of the break.  Maybe I’m not into blogging as much as I thought!

Who me?

Although I tethered my smartphone to my laptop whilst we were away, I’ve not been online an awful lot.  The result:

  • Google reader is clogged up to hell (it’s given up and just said ‘1000+’ unread feeds)… I’ve have to resort to doing batches of ‘mark all as read’.
  • Inbox is full of sh*t (nothing new there then) and my work emails already have me on the cusp of a series of panic attacks.
  • World events seem to have passed me by entirely… what’s all this about a campsite?

GF and I had a serious talk on the way back on Friday night whilst she was bombing down the motorway being a middle lane hog as usual driving absolutely at the legal speed and in full compliance with every aspect of the Highway Code about managing my ‘work-life balance’.  My phrase – not hers.  I don’t think she’s happy. 

But all’s well that ends well hopefully.

Still, the blawgosphere seems to have ticked over nicely.

Missed me?
Nah - thought not. Be right back

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Top three discrimination claims at Employment Tribunals

Sponsored Post:

Statistics from the Employment Tribunal Services have revealed the top three discrimination claims in terms of the average compensation payouts awarded in 2010/11.

The discrimination claim with the highest average payout was age discrimination with a staggering £30,289. This average has risen from £10,931 in 2009/10, quite a significant leap. In addition, the number of age discrimination claims accepted by Tribunals rose by nearly a third to 6,800.

This may have to do with the number of high profile age discrimination claims in the media prompting those with complaints to contact an employment law solicitor. For example, the case of BBC presenter Miriam O’Reilly, who successfully claimed age discrimination against the broadcaster when they fired her from Countryfile.

The rising figure may also reflect the additional protections given to employees in relation to age discrimination in the Equality Act 2010. Although age was protected under employment law prior to 2010, the new Act expanded that protection to include harassment from a third party who is not employed by the employer, and discrimination by association – when a person is discriminated against because they are associated with a person who is protected by the Act.

The second highest average payout was received by claimants with disability discrimination claims. The average payout for 2010/11 was £14,137, quite a difference from the average payout for an age discrimination claim. In fact, the average payout for disability claims fell by a third from the previous year.

46% of disability discrimination claims were settled by the Acas conciliation service, which could explain the decrease in the average Tribunal payout if the higher payouts for disability discrimination were made during this process instead.

Employment solicitors may recommend Acas conciliation before making a claim to a Tribunal, as it can help to resolve a matter more quickly.

The third highest average payout was for sexual discrimination claims. Despite having the highest number of claims accepted by Employment Tribunals (18,300), the average payout was £13,911.

The highest payout in 2010/11 for a sexual harassment claim was for a whopping £289,167; however, 97% of the payouts were under £50,000, which lowered the average.

Interestingly, almost half (49%) of all sexual harassment claims were withdrawn. Claimants may have withdrawn their claims on the advice of their no-win, no-fee employment solicitors, or because they had settled the claim without the need to go to Tribunal.

Normal service shall resume shortly

Apologies for the radio silence, folks – I’ve been away on a short holiday of sorts.

We’re due to get back late tomorrow so at least I shall have the weekend to slowly return to reality. 

Who knows, I might even get around to a little blogging…

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Ooh–piece of candy… Ooh–piece of candy…

From BBC News 01/09/11:

A chocolate "trail" led to the capture of a drunken thief, a court in Devon has been told.

Mark Rye, 29, of Fore Street, Exeter, was "off his face" when he broke into a Co-operative store in the city in May, stealing alcohol and sweets.

Devon and Cornwall Police were able to track him down by following a trail of dropped Minstrels chocolates.

I wonder if PC Plod followed the trail of Minstrels a la James Woods in Family Guy.
Ooh - piece of candy

Rye, who admitted burglary and drugs charges, was jailed at Exeter Crown Court for three years and nine months.

The burglar, who lived near the store, was caught on CCTV.

Defence lawyer Gareth Evans said: "He lives just around the corner and the CCTV covers that road. It was crass stupidity.

And here’s the charming chap himself.

candy thief

No, I didn’t have him down as a Minstrel eater either.  Be right back

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Refreshingly honest legal recruitment ad? Oh wait...

legal recruitmentFrom Roll on Friday 02/09/11:

Orrick, Herrington & Suttcliffe has apologised after advertising a job for which the "ideal candidate" would be no older than 30.

The US firm posted an ad on its website looking for a European Corporate lawyer to join its Rome office. The ideal candidate would need very strong academics - "a magna cum laude Italian degree in law, a classical lyceum diploma with full marks, and an LLM degree possibly with merit or distinction" - and would enjoy working in a young environment. Which is just as well, seeing that they "would be 26-30 years old".

A spokeswoman for the firm said that "the advertisement was clearly an error and in no way reflects the firm's commitment to equality of opportunity. The advertisement has now been removed from our website. We apologise for any offence this may have caused".

Ah – it was that damn external recruitment consultancy, eh? Those guys!!!

But really, come on, you lot. You can think it (and let’s not pretend otherwise) you can practice it, you just can’t say it out loud.

Ahem. Be right back

If it ever comes to recruiting staff for Law Actually, I think I’d better get some help drafting the advertisements. Otherwise I shudder to think of the gross contravention of discrimination law that might come to pass.

Well, you know people are like throwing allegations about.  Who me?

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Paintballing and popping jahooblies

Yep – it’s all going on down in Croydon!

breast implant compensation claimsFrom the Metro 24/08/11:

Female adrenaline junkies with breast implants are being offered extra protection at a paintball centre in Croydon.

The move comes after a 26-year-old woman, who declined to be named, suffered a ruptured implant after being shot in the chest at the UK Paintball centre last weekend.


'It came as a real surprise to hear that a woman had her implant burst at one of our centres’.

Additional padding will now be offered to all female participants with breast implants in a bid to make sure something similar does not occur again.

I don’t imagine there’ll be a shortage of willing male attendants to pad these ladies up and make sure everything’s nicely in place. (As it were).

Actually, I’m sort of surprised that additional padding wasn’t available for ladies anyway. I always thought ‘aim for the chest’ was a golden rule and, well, y’know – that’s gotta hurt!

Be right back

The incident, thought to be the first of its kind in the UK, has also prompted the centre to add a new line to its disclaimer notice.

Ah… here we go!  If you’re running a paintball centre and breast implants are going to start exploding every which way like a bag full of popcorn in the microwave, it’s definitely time to consult your lawyer to see what prudent steps can be taken against those fake-boobed ladies with a litigious streak.

Participants are now required to indicate that they understand paintballs have the potential to rupture breast implants, as well as recognising the possibility of injury during the activity, which is favoured by stag and hen parties.

Sounds about right; from what I’ve heard, the typical stag and hen party absolutely favour the possibility of injuries. 

Eye rolling smile

But really? Paintball injury claims? Stag and Hen party injury claims? What are personal injury solicitors going to be salivating over next?

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Fear of email

email drowning

I have a love / hate thing going on with email but up until recently, it was always more love than hate.

More recently though, I’ve been finding it’s starting to shred my nerves and whatever little is left of my sanity. 

I have all of my work email accounts set up on my home computers and on my smartphone as well. This has been fine for a year or so but now it’s starting to send me over the edge. At least on a PC I have control whether I open Outlook (I only use Outlook for work email), but I’m finding myself avoiding switching on 3G on my phone when commuting home now for fear of what might next emerge. 

But it gets worse; several times now when I'm in front of a computer, I’ve actually found myself imagining Outlook's email notification ping and pop-up in the bottom right hand corner of the screen and I find my eyes darting down there and shuddering at what new trauma awaits.

When I see that no new email has in fact arrived, I’m left with mixed feelings of relief and concern.

That can't be healthy. I think I need a holiday.