Archive for October 14th, 2006

Deus Misereatur – May God Have Mercy….

How a Law Society credit card might look?

Corporate Blawg UK (10 October 06) wishes to begin a campaign against the Law Society for bringing the profession into disrepute. Yesterday Corporate Blawg received information about applying for a Law Society credit card (13.9% APR). Slightly off theme, but what the f**k is the Law Society doing by issuing a credit card?

  1. Is the Law Society a bank? Not last time Corporate Blawg bought a pint there.
  2. Is the Law Society a profit-making organisation? The shop never seems to do very well, but no, essentially.
  3. Should the Law Society profit from lawyers in financial difficulty? Tricky one…
  4. Does the Law Society get enough money from lawyers without providing any tangible benefits? Most definitely yes

Corporate Blawg goes on to ask a few more questions – you may read them here.

For my own part I rather like the idea of The Law Society taking a ‘TescoCard’ approach to life – very modern, up to the minute…hip. The image of Jesus and the moneychangers in the Temple came to mind when I read this report on Corporate Blawg’s blog. Just goes to show that all that religious stuff drilled into me by a particularly venal Minister of The Church of Scotland must have had some effect on me – apart from turning me into a pantheist with a particular interest in Roman gods.

I’m not a member of The Law Society but was very happy when I was in town to pop in to their reading room. They used to do a decent espresso there. One could have a fag and a piece of chocolate cake made by Prue Leith. And then… one could nip off to the bar and enjoy a bottle of Rioja. Quite an amusing way to spend a day, actually – getting over refreshed while eavesdropping on earnest suits talking about closures and completions to other equally earnest type while in the company of a leading light in modern vocation legal education.  Mind you, he is easy and very good company as he shares my reluctance to actually discuss anything to do with law while drinking of the vine.

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Alien chaser…..

After weeks of reporting on the more bizarre aspects of legal and lawyer behaviour (viz: Gigolaws, shagging Immigration judges, The WFW Trainee blog) I was coming to the view that lawyers were returning, after the heat of the summer, to their normal sober selves. Not so – I learn from Reuters that one Jens Lorek, a Dresden based lawyer, is drumming up business by saying that he is able to handle PTSD cases from people who may be suffering trauma fafter being abducted by aliens. After the amount of Rioja I was able to consumer last night (purely medicinal and supervised remotely by a qualified doctor) nothing surprised me as I settled down to my first espresso and pack of Silk Cut at 7.00 am this morning.

Herr Lorek (I have tried, fruitlessly, to search for his website on the net) seems to be cornering a new legal market. So far, no leading law firms in the UK have established a specialism in this field – but, no doubt, it will only be a matter of time before some entrepreneurial member of The Bar (I may have to talk to my clerk about this) will be offering free seminars to solicitors to drum up business for themselves.

Lowering the Bar via Reuters reports that Herr Lorek has “not successfully litigated any such claims yet, but insisted that there are plenty of people out there who need the help, as scores of alien abductions are reported each year. “There’s quite obviously demand for legal advice here,” he said. “The trouble is, people are afraid of making fools of themselves in court.” Asked whether he was worried that he would look ridiculous himself, Lorek did not appear to understand why that might be the case. “Nobody has laughed about it up until now,” he said.

Herr Lorek, 41, is pinning his hopes for success on a German law which grants kidnap victims the right to state compensation. So far he has not lost a single case – but admits that this may be because he hasn’t actually fought such a point in court. I have no idea what he drinks – but I want to know. He is getting a lot of publicity on the net!

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The beautiful game….

It is with some regret…that, today, I announce my retirement as the Goalkeeper for The Inns of Court FC. The manager, Steve MacAngry, telephoned me today and described my attempt to pass off the fact that I missed an easy pass from a player on my own side, letting in a goal – because The Law Society FC goalkeeper had dug up large sections of the turf around the goalmouth at the end of the first half – as ‘pathetic’. I could have coped with that criticism – but McAngry went on to describe my knowledge of football and my technical skills as a goalkeeper as ‘pitiful’. In the circumstances, I feel that I had to take the honourable route and go to my Inn Library. On a side table, beside a single chair, was a tumbler of malt whisky and a loaded World War II service revolver. I enjoyed the whisky but decided that discretion was the better part of valour (and I had no wish to be charged with possession of a loaded revolver) so I made the entirely pragmatic decision not to shoot myself.

As a result of this decision… I remain able to continue with my blawg which, as I am no longer required to turn out every Saturday to play footer, will keep me occupied on Saturday afternoons.

It is a little known fact that one of my ancestors , Julius Charon, commanded the XV legion during the reign of Caligula. Students of history may well be familiar with Caligula’s rather bizarre invasion of Britain in 40 AD. I draw on Wikipedia for some historical background: “according to Suetonius, he drew up his troops in battle formation facing the English Channel and ordered them to attack the standing water. Afterwards, he had the troops gather sea shells, referring to them as “plunder from the ocean, due to the Capitol and the Palace”. Modern historians are unsure if that was meant to be an ironic punishment for the soldiers’ mutiny or due to Caligula’s derangement. “

I am able to report that my ancestor Julius Charon did not fully understand Caligula’s instructions and set sail for England in three Triremes. The British were not expecting Charon –  so when he landed at Brighton he found a large number of largely peaceful young people drinking beer in the late afternoon sun and smoking what appeared to be parts of a common garden weed. Julius Charon does report in his popular book “Absit invidia – No offence intended” – that ‘there appeared to be no weapons of mass destruction and that the army of Britain appeared to have gone into winter quarters.’ These young people, initially, were pleased to see Charon and his legionaries fully dressed for battle and welcomed them as ‘liberators’ from the tyranny of Togodumnus, a nearby tribal warlord. As the days passed, however, the mood of these young people changed from welcoming to one more sinister and menacing. I fear that my ancestor may have tried to win ‘their hearts and minds’ by pressing them into military service and making them drill with shields over their heads while running up and down the Brighton sea front, which did not go down well with these younger people who preferred to stay up all night at raves.

Julius Charon was eventually prompted to write to Caligula who, now, was delighted with the fact that one of his generals had shown initiative by invading Britain all on his own and was telling his Senators and the People of Rome ‘that Roman troops were in Britain with the full acceptance and mandate of a locally and democratically elected government headed by Antonius Blairitus’ and the troops were needed to keep the peace between a largely warring group of different tribal factions and ‘insurgentii’. Caligula also reported to the Senate and People of Rome that Roman forces would remain in place until the job was done.

My ancestor wrote at the time. “British people can be very welcoming. But you have to understand, that they prefer to invite people into their country. We rather kicked the door in and if we are to have any credibility in this region we must hand over control to local forces and leave.”

I gather that Julius Charon’s letter came as a bit of a blow to Caligula, deranging him further and, in particular, prompting him to say to the Senate and People of Rome that he would rule Rome forever, that he had absolutely no intention of making way for Gordonius, that he now thoroughly agreed with Julius Charon, that there was absolutely no schism or rift between him and the General and they were ‘ad idem’.

It is a curious thing history….

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