Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Sexist label in trousers cause a stir

sexistFrom the Telegraph 06/03/12:

Some sexist 'jokes' can be funny. Others are just offensive and we shouldn't succumb to societal pressure to laugh for the sake of it[.]

This weekend, as I attempted to tidy to my house, I happened to notice the label inside my boyfriend’s trousers – which he had strewn across the floor of our bedroom.

Upon picking them up, to throw them firmly onto ‘his chair’, (my weekly way of telling him that he needs to put his clothes away), this large white label happened to catch my eye.

While you were rifling through his pockets you mean, looking for evidence of his infidelity? :p

As expected, it detailed what temperature the trousers should be washed at.

Oh, so you were going to wash them for him then? ( :p x 2 )

But then, I noticed, stiched [sic] in capital letters no less, the usually inoffensive washing instructions tag, offered a rather less appropriate cleaning option: “OR - GIVE IT TO YOUR WOMAN, IT’S HER JOB”.

sexist trousers

Ouch. Buckle your chin strap – this is gonna be bad!  Thinking smile

I initially wondered if this was nothing more than a cheap publicity stunt. It got people talking about Madhouse at least – I thought they were a furniture store!

[T]his crass message stitched onto the label in these cheap chinos from Madhouse, genuinely took me aback.

There was no attempt at wit, and unlike the Topman t-shirts, which offended so many with their brazen slogans to be worn across young men’s chests - this was a hidden message – or rather an order, intended to encourage women to reassume their once their ‘proper place’ (in the home) and young men to maintain the expectations of their grandfathers.

I see Madhouse blamed the incident on one of their suppliers which they failed to spot when proofing. They apologised via twitter by issuing a lukewarm (read insincere) and grammatically incorrect apology. Don’t you just love the modern world?

"If we had noticed the label the items would never of [sic] been put in our stores. A mistake was made and we apologise for this,"

I understand the outrage here (no, really, I do) but whatever really happened, hasn’t society’s reaction showed the world has moved on?

Monday, 26 March 2012

Goodness Grapetious Me!

slip accident compensationFrom the Metro 22/03/12

Bus driver Michael Shephard claims he lost his job – for eating a grape.
Michael says he was dismissed by National Express after he was seen on CCTV eating fruit.

The 66-year-old admitted he was in his cab at the time but the vehicle was stationary.

Correct form of the word ‘stationary’ there. Score 1 for the Metro! ;-) 

Mr Shephard said: ‘I am so angry. I thought I would be given a disciplinary for eating a grape but not sacked.

‘I don’t eat or drink while I am driving but I was just sat at the bus terminus for a few minutes.

‘I had a heart bypass 12 months ago and the medication dries your mouth out so I need to have a sip of water or a grape every hour or so.

Everyone needs to, “wet their whistle” occasionally! I’d be interested to know the National Express’ policy is on this - are drivers prevented from taking a sip of water whilst parked up as well?  What about gumming on an opal fruit starburst?

‘There were no passengers on my bus and nobody saw me so I don’t understand the problem.’

Mr Shephard, from Coventry, has worked for National Express for more than five years. He was suspended after the incident two weeks ago and sacked on Wednesday.

Mr Shephard has since lodged an appeal against his dismissal.

A spokesman for National Express said: ‘The driver in question hasn’t exhausted the disciplinary process that we have as a company and as a result, we cannot comment.

‘However, we do hold ourselves to high levels of safety and customer care standards.’

I suppose there is a risk Shephard could have inadvertently dropped one of his grapes in to the gangway of the coach, only for one of the many ‘old dears’ who later boarded to slip, trip and triple-back-flip - putting “a hip out” in the process. (A significant risk once you get to that age – or so I’ve heard).

Actually, I would have thought there was more of a risk having a can of coke roll and wedge itself under the brake pedal. What a pickle he’d have found himself in then.

I trust common sense will prevail once he’s “exhausted the disciplinary process”.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Fine print lawyers have all the fun...

fine print lawyersOver at Big Legal Brain (3 words which rarely go together my experience) I stumbled across a question and answer session with Greg Coughlin, who’s styled as “America’s Foremost Fine Print Lawyer”.

For those of you who are a little puzzled, it is a genuine niche; it’s a kind of ‘what-it-says-on-the-tin’ thing. Remember: we’re talking American law here – it’s best to go with it and not ask too many questions to begin with.

Q: You fine print lawyers must be a boring lot.

A: Not so much, really. Believe it or not, fine print lawyers are a pretty rowdy bunch. We take our work and craft very seriously but we party hard. There’s a guy—he used to be in-house counsel for Monsanto—who had a 120-page seed distribution contract tattooed on his ass. Except it was in fine print and it fit on a one-inch square portion of his right cheek. It was a tattoo in the shape of a Roundup Ready soybean seed. Wait, it was his left cheek. It was actually done very tastefully.

I’m not convinced the act in question is capable of being done tastefully, but there you go.

Q: You’re joking.

A: I’m dead serious. In fact, Monsanto got into a dispute with a farm cooperative about the seed distribution contract, which involved interpretation issues. The attorney literally got his ass hauled into court. They had him face down on counsel table with about fourteen big firm attorneys around him, staring at his ass through high-powered jeweler’s monoculars. The case ultimately settled, but I still think it’s the only case in which a court admitted an attorney’s ass into evidence.

I think English law needs more of this approach when it comes to adducing evidence. It would certainly liven things up and make the process of allowing inspection a bit more painful (or at least embarrassing) I should imagine.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Fraudulent case whips up a storm

whiplash injury claim

From the Telegraph 01/03/12:

A mother has been jailed for claiming she suffered whiplash injuries in a fictitious car crash after her insurers took her to court in the first case of its kind.

Samina Bashir, 28, admitted making a fake declaration for more than £5000 in damages after lodging a claim that she was in involved in a three-car pile-up, the High Court was told.

Her husband, Faisal Rauf, 27, was also jailed after he supported the family’s false claim that they were involved in an accident in Handsworth, Birmingham, on January 6, 2008.

In the first case of its kind, insurers launched a private prosecution against the couple for contempt of court after officials discovered the accident was fictious [sic] and could have left the company facing a £75,000 payout.

It seems Bashir and her family sensed the game was up and failed to attend the trial. At least she wasn’t caught boasting about her fake claim on Facebook – another favourite trick of car accident compensation fraudsters.

Bashir’s partner and parents were all handed sentences for their roles in the scam.

LV said this was the first case, in which an accident was "wholly contrived" and successfully fought by an insurance company. In the past cases were brought against individuals who had just exaggerated accidents or injury.

Perhaps the tide has truly started to turn against the RTA fraudsters? Sadly, I fear it’s going to take a lot more than one case, irrespective of whatever Dave likes to claim about the whiplash claims fiasco being tackled.

Britain is now the whiplash compensation claims capital of Europe, with people increasingly claiming for injuries sustained in the most minor of motoring bumps. The Association of British Insurers claims this has added around £90 to the average bill.

Ouch. £90!! It puts having a bit of a sore neck for day in perspective. I say bring back the ‘grin and bear it’ policy.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

The legal gravy train has been delayed

From Roll on Friday 14/03/12:

Ah to be a lawyer in America. Who doesn't watch Ally McBeal, Boston Legal, errr, Shark and dream of a snazzy corner office, sexy cases, fervent closing submissions (complete with fist waving and authoritative pacing) and a f*ck off penthouse apartment overlooking Central Park? 

But it seems the American dream might not be all that for young wannabe lawyers. An already over-saturated legal market, combined with stuffed to the brim sausage factory law schools is making for a pretty unhappy situation. And given this is America - it's litigation time. 

Attorney Jesse Strauss is taking on 14 (mostly mid-tier) law schools on behalf of unemployed graduates, accusing them of "misrepresenting" employment statistics to encourage students to shoulder mountains of debt in the naive hope of gainful employ in the legal sector.

Employment stats have always struck me as something of an inexact science. Even assuming they’re accurate, they are still relatively meaningless when used by a single person to assess their chances of landing a job. A minor pointer, perhaps, when choosing a career and a particular university, but nothing more. So, when it goes belly up and you realise (several years after you should have) that things are dire out there and law firms aren’t recruiting like they once did, it’s time to sure you law school.  Really? 

Suppose you’re genetically predisposed to absolutely bombing at interview and that’s the real reason why you’re stuck in the dole queue? Is attempting to sue your parents going to fix that at all?

Surely everyone recognises the risks, going into it? University is a gamble with no cast iron guarantees. For an awful lot of people (if they play their cards right) it pays off nicely. But not everyone can be winners. As Kimi Raikkonen would say: “it is what it is”.

legal gravy train

It always amuses me how much fuss Alumni magazines make about just how great their graduates’ employment stats are. Well, it’s super that 90% of the cohort is in employment. It’s just a pity that 95% of that figure are employed on a part-time basis flipping burgers and barfing in the French fries at your favour fast-food outlet.

And just in case anyone was in any doubt about the situation:

[A]ccording to the Law Society figures from April last year, there were 14,510 LPC places available in 2009/10 but only 4,874 training contracts registered. And [what’s more] the number law school places continues to rise (it's estimated by 5% in 2011/12) and CoL's apocalyptic forecasts of a shortfall of trainees continues to be manifestly unfulfilled[.]

I’d start preparing the noose now…

Be right back

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Wacky Searches–March 2012

crazy searches law acuallyIt’s been ages since I’ve done one of these posts, so what the heck: here goes.

nice loyers pens” - I’d work on the spelling first. You can worry about the cursive handwriting later. (Wouldn’t it have been embarrassing if I’d typed ‘speeling’? :p

Valentine restraining order” - and who said romance was dead.

management approach of left thigh swelling” – um, probably to grope it?

UK LLM expensive little return” - cynic!

personal injury portal instructions” - ‘pull pin and throw’?  Someone searched for this and visited law actually 5 times in rapid succession.  I sense their frustration from here.

can you revise for law degree with a level books” Well, you can, but...

criminal law depression solicitors” – I blame legal aid (or the lack of it).
comic sans should only be used by girls

One of the disgusting things men do in public is men touch their crotches in public”  That’s a whole lot of public.  Or do I mean pubic?  ;-)

how to get maximum pay out for disability discrimination 2011” Oh, honestly!!

What is the name given to BT men who climb telegraph poles?” Try ‘telephone engineers’ you dick.

marriage the leading cause of all divorce” - yes indeedy.

lawyers are miserable” -  no kidding.

how many hours should you revise for a law exam” -  Many.  Next?

how to make a revision booklet how to make a revision booklet” .. does that mean they want 2 revision booklets or are just really desperate?  Or both?

cant get a pupillage with a kent llb” - didums. Try prostitution.

are tattoos on the head legal in uk” - Yep - just immeasurably ugly. 

how to spot law exam questions” - a contact at the exam board or a crystal ball.

fun ways to revise law exams”  - forever the optimist!  It doesn’t exist, so stop looking.

what to buy for a law graduate” - how about a career?  Otherwise, a lot of grads stand no chance right now.

christmas crapping” - you go for it, girl.

where to advertise a law firm” - in a railway station (apparently).  I’ve no idea why it’s so popular.  It’s even the Law Society’s preferred option.

llb brothel guide” - heck, I don’t remember that being included in the Fresher’s pack for undergrads. 

i can't log on to MySRA” (don’t worry: you’re not the only one).

is it possible for a human to outrun a f1 car from a standstill” - WTF do you think?

being sick in a bra” - classy.  Sounds like a typical night out in Cardiff.

sleazy lady lawyer” - ooh my favourite type.

why was calibri invented” - I don’t know... it kind of grates on me now.

boy+on+ice+old+lady+llb+criminal+law+scanario” - x 6!!!  I have no idea what this moron was searching for.

reason for undertaking the course telecoms law” - oh, i don’t know... you’re a sadist.

llb llm lpc unemployed” I would try Jeremy Kyle...

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Toilet Trouble

caught shortFrom Huffington Post 13/03/12:

The capital of New Jersey is at risk of running out of toilet paper thanks to a budget stalemate between the mayor and the city council.

Dear oh dear. That could lead to some sticky tricky situations in cubicles throughout the Garden State’s capital. Oooh.  [Where’s that steaming pile of sh*t emoticon when you need it?]

Supplies are already desperately low at government buildings including City Hall and according to Bloomberg News, there will be none left at all by March 16, unless the expense is approved.

Adult nappies at the ready, then.

George Muschal, who represents the city’s South Ward said the council is also concerned the Mayor did not solicit bids from Trenton-based suppliers and voiced suspicions that Mack’s paper order had been unnecessarily large because employees could be stealing the products for use at home.

Stealing toilet roll? Oh I can’t believe that! That’s something I would never advocate. Ahem.

But what about a ‘bring your own’ policy to eradicate the problem of disappearing toilet roll?  It might also have the beneficial side effect of reducing prolonged toilet breaks and discouraging the habitual shirkers who seem to think they’ve got the right to come to work and be paid to leisurely wander off to the loos with a newspaper under their arm to crap like donkeys a couple of times each day.  ‘Number Twos in the Workplace’ is a frequent talking point for my GF and I in which we lambast (we do a lot of that) society’s shrinking sense of shame. Seriously: just do it at home people. Or wear an adult nappy.

Toilet facilities at work seem to be an open target for abuse; the company for which I work, for instance, have to keep Dynorod on speed-dial. They’re out here unblocking the U-bends so frequently we should be eligible for ‘mates rates’ by now.  Personally, I think the water board should also be charging us additional rates for the pounding the sewerage system is taking thanks to my colleagues’ over-active bowels.

You take your life in your hands walking into the gents’ sometimes. There’s nothing worse than hitting a ‘wall of smell’ where the air is so thick you could practically chew on it.

At Law Actually, we operate a strict tinkle-only policy and ‘drip detection flooring’ which sets off alarms so that guilty parties face a walk of shame back to their desks. Personally, I think it’s a great policy and should be rolled out to all workforces in the UK.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Sofa Surfing turns deadly

sofa surfing injuriesI’m not sure if this has passed me by until now, or it genuinely is a new (albeit crazy) pastime.  I’ve certainly not seen any instances of it on the roads over here; I don’t think it’s the type of thing I would have forgotten.

Be right back

It’s possibly even more ridiculous than this.

From Sky News:

A young man has died after crashing into an oncoming car while "surfing" on a sofa being towed behind a van.

Francois Halle is believed to be the first victim of a craze called "couch surfing".

The 22-year-old was riding on a sofa, which had been placed on top of a sled and tied to the back of a van in Canada.

Mr Halle was killed when the driver lost control and the sofa swung into the path of a car going in the opposite direction.

A 21-year-old man has been accused of dangerous driving, causing death, fleeing the scene of an accident and criminal negligence causing death, CBC News has reported.

I’ve never had much of a sense of adventure, but surely there are less idiotic and dangerous ways for adrenaline junkies to get their fixes?

Then again, maybe it’s just natural selection in operation?