Archive for August 17th, 2006

I visit Human Law regularly – because the blogger (Justin Patten) knows what he is talking about – and is a well known blogger. I am not given to vanity (although I do appreciate mentions from fellow bloggers – and appreciate the camaraderie of the blawg world) However….
I spilt my espresso all over my desk when I saw a pic of myself staring out at me from his serious blog! This is what Justin Patten wrote about this blawg : …. Charon is a prolific poster of content, sometimes eccentric but clearly shows a razor sharp mind. It is well worth a look.

Editorial comment: I feel certain that Justin meant to say ‘Rioja sharp’ (I have been blawging nonsense for 4 years – but using html on the Consilio magazine. This new technology version is recent.)

Reading his blog has already yielded benefits for me. On his blog roll, Charon refers to the management consultant,Nick Jarrett-Kerr – As a result of this, I called Nick up and we subsequently had a meeting in London.

Editorial comment: I know Nick Jarrett-Kerr well. His management course available from The Legal Practitioner is a serious course and – cheap. He is also an innovative thinker. A lot of solicitors would benefit from talking to Nick J-K. Thanks for the recommendation, Justin.

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My brain needed a short break – My attention turned to the net. I am fascinated by gadgets and bizarre human behaviour.  Here we have two in one. I found this ‘cruzin cooler’ on the net.

This is what they say…

Cruzin Cooler  combines two basic necessities of life, the ability to have cold food or a beverage handy along with the means to get somewhere, without walking. With modern technology, the Cruzin Cooler is light-weight and comes in various sizes and is available in gas and electric models, with a 10 mile range on electric models and 30 miles on the gas models.

It could, of course, be adapted to carry heavy ‘bundles’ for Court.  So, instead of looking like an airline steward / stewardess, dragging a bag on wheels behind one –  solicitors and barristers could cut a bit of a dash going down Fleet Street on one of these on their way to The Royal Courts of Justice. I would imagine, however, that the Court Service may take a dim view of lawyers driving through the magificent concourse inside the RCJ – so it may not catch on.


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A solicitor doing a moonie? Surely not.

Bystander JP, in his excellent blog ‘The Magistrate’s blog’ (Formerly known as Law West of Ealing Broadway – a title which I rather liked) presents this excellent story from the BBC.

Bystander, who is a real JP, takes a stern line: “I was deeply shocked to read this story. Does this solicitor, an officer of the Supreme Court, not realise that the gluteus maximus is for sitting on, and certainly not to be used to express opinions? I have heard a few lawyers talking through their arse in my time, but none has so far felt it necessary to drop their trousers while doing so”

Briefly: Willie Johnstone of Harding, Swinburne, Jackson & Co, Sunderland decided that enough was enough. Defence solicitors were being required to undergo a search – whereas prosecutors, magistrates and court staff did not have to be searched as they went through a back door!. Other solicitors objected – but Willie decided to pull his trousers down in the court corridor – provoking the Court Service to issue a statement saying that they were treating the incident “very seriously”.

With the scent of a great story in my flaring nostrils, I reached for the phone, almost hyperventilating with amusement and telephoned the offices of Harding, Swinburne, Jackson & Co because I could not access their website. Willie is away on holiday in Thailand and no-one was available to comment. I spoke to a great guy who was manning the fort, explained that I was a journalist (which, of course, I now am) and asked him how the firm were reacting. He spoke with a gentle Sunderland accent and told me that there were quite a few reports about it. I asked if the press attention was the reason the website was down. He laughed (Did I hear a quiver… a hint of nervous anxiety?) No, I was told. The firm are simply updating their information. I wasn’t going to embarrass him, nor for that matter, Willie Johnstone (had I got through to him) – so I asked what sort of guy Willie was. I was told that ‘Willie is a great guy’. I laughed, said that the firm had nothing to fear from my report, thanked him for his time and rang off. You know? I have a feeling that Willie may, indeed, be a good guy.

I can understand frustration and anger at discrimination. I have to say, had I been in his position, I may have chosen a different method of protest. Charon’s bum is for sitting on while guzzling Rioja, smoking Silk Cut and sipping espressos – it is not for criminals, witnesses, defence lawyers, plod or other associated legal people to look at. Made me laugh though. I hope the Court service deal with the matter leniently. I can’t imagine that Willie is a serial mooner. I was about to telephone The Law Society when I re-read the BBC report. The Law Society have not received any formal complaints about Mr Johnstone’s behaviour.

Let us hope – to coin a phrase – they ‘drop’ the matter quietly.

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Free access to the laws?…

Nick Holmes has a very interesting post on his Binary Law site – well worth reading on online access to the laws which bind us…here it is.

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Having read in The Guardian this morning that Prescott described George Dubya as “crap” at a private meeting (Which Prescott denies), I felt I needed a photograph which gave insight into Prescott’s character. I went to H M Government’s website. Nothing suitable there.. but…what should I find on Havant Conservatives’ website? – this picture of Prescott. Of course – the pics of Tories on this website show thrusting, clean cut, dynamic men! Apart from a woman sitting in the audience at some conference, I could not find any pictures of women. It is a very modern, representative, party – looking forward. There was a pic of Boris Johnson – offset and below the others. Is he anything to do with Havant? Perhaps his pic was just there to excite female viewers or irritate Liverpudlians who might surf over to the Havant Conservatives’ website?.

I did read the website front page. At the foot of the page I read there is a “Joke” for the party faithful. Here it is:


A doctor writing in the Daily Telegraph thinks Patricia Hewitt’s idea to treat Ashma and Angina patients at home is a financial masterstroke. Not only will she be saving the NHS money, there will be a considerable saving on pensions as well!

I have never been to Havant – to my knowledge. it is, of course, possible that I may have been. Judging by the joke – It must be a bit quiet down there.

Anyway…back to Prescott… The Guardian reports that Prescott responded to the allegation that he was heard describing Bush as ‘crap’ by issuing the following statement: “This is an inaccurate report of a private conversation and it is not my view.”

I liked the closing paragpraphs of the Guardian report and quote it in full:

“The revelation will disappoint Mr Blair, the US president’s key international ally. And it will do nothing for Mr Prescott’s prickly relationship with the media, not least because the story surfaced in an article by his biographer, Colin Brown.

But the view Mr Prescott expressed privately is standard among Labour backbenchers and is held widely in the cabinet. Colleagues inside the parliamentary party are likely to be more critical of Mr Cohen for breaking ranks.

Another day in the life of Prescott, Deputy Prime Minister of Great Britain. Lord Protector Blair must dread reading the papers while he suns himself and hangs out his washing on the luxury yacht in Barbados where he is ‘en vacances’.

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What about clients?…

I am always pleased when others need to take a few minutes off for a bit of light relief, particularly if they are prepared to pop over and have a look at my blawg – but if you are in practice and are interested in good thinking and good ideas… you may enjoy having a look at this post from Dan Hull’sWhat about clients?” : Seven great posts which you shouldn’t miss

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