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Archive for December 8th, 2007

Saturday Review: 8 December

Private Eye, as usual, hits the spot: “New Anonymous Donor Shock” (Eye)

S58 Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 makes it reasonably clear, given that the Labour Party has not returned the illegal donation within the 30 day time limit, that “The court may, on an application made by the Commission, order the forfeiture by the party of an amount equal to the value of the donation.” S58(4) states “An order may be made under this section whether or not proceedings are brought against any person for an offence connected with the donation.”

No doubt the Commission is busy preparing an application to the court. Apparently, Santa won’t be getting his money back. It will go into government coffers. The press, political bloggers and commentators continue, in the meantime, to hunt for heads to roll.

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“Two hours of inexplicable madness,” followed after a mobile phone went off in a US courtroom. Judge Robert Restaino jailed everyone in the courtroom when no-one owned up to ownership of the offending phone. Judge Restaino said “Everyone is going to jail; every single person is going to jail in this courtroom unless I get that instrument now,”. Restaino jailed 46 defendants, but failed to question “any of the prosecutors, defense attorneys, court personnel, program representatives or others who were present in the courtroom,”.

Restaino, removed from office, plans to appeal. The commission concluded Restaino, who conceded he had no legal right to take the defendents into custody, had committed “an egregious and unprecedented abuse of judicial power.” (VM of Ruthie’s Law will be pleased to see US officials using the word ‘egregious’)

Geeklawyer has given the Judiciary an opportunity to put him down (Shome mistake surely? – Ed)

Victorian Maiden has been watching the Judiciary watch the Legal Services Commission: Arrogance Update.

90 mph Police Chief driving ban (BBC Story)

Meredydd Hughes, the chief plod of South Yorkshire (and former Chair of roads policing at ACPO!) gets a 42 day driving ban and a fine of £350 for doing 90 mph in a 60 mph zone. The usual calls followed for Mr Hughes to ‘consider his position’.

PC Bloggs is not happy that police are not getting a decent pay rise. Scots Plod are getting a higher pay rise. PC Bloggs has a point. Excellent Blog – added to my blogroll now. (Unfortunately, perhaps I am being thick, but I can’t work out how to link to the particular story on PC Bloggs’ blog – so I provide the link to the blog and you will have to scroll down if new stories have been added since my post.)

AND NOW TO BLAWGERS… What have they been up to this week?

I have already referred to Geeklawyer and VM. I am about to do a podcast with Head of Legal. I am also planning a podcast with Geeklawyer. Indeed, I had a most interesting communication via voicemail from him late last night. I could make out the word Mead. Head of Legal rejoices in the sanity of the English courts in a blasphemy ruling; contrasting it with the rather bizarre case of the Sudanese teddy bear.

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What About Clients? has a salutory Christmas Message for practitioners: “Do first-rate work for existing clients. That’s it. Nothing more.” WAC? is also nominated within the ABA Top 100 blogs. While I am unlikely to be nominated for anything …and even if I was … I would have to decline all forms of bestowed honour as I prefer trying to buy them or award them to myself – but that is getting difficult these days with two British serving Prime Ministers being interviewed by Plod for dodgy donations – I did vote for WAC? Help our cousin across the Pond J Dan Hull of WAC? by voting. (Vote early and often…as the Irish used to say.) You have to scroll down to find WAC? Life is never simple. AND …you have to hit the ‘Vote’ button to the left of the WAC? link… not the link itself which I did before I realised!)

As it happens, my blawg got a mention in the latest ‘Dante themed’ Blawg Review 137 – a masterpiece of writing and one which will be difficult to follow when I do my own hosting of Blawg Review on 7th January – which I am looking forward to putting together over Christmas. It will keep me in the pubs.

John Bolch of Family Lore has an interesting story about two Gods being summoned to appear before an Indian court. John reports: “…the judge has summoned the two gods to appear before the court next Tuesday to help resolve the dispute, the gods having inexplicably failed to respond to notices sent to them previously.”

Justin Patten of Human Law Mediation asks a rather pertinent question in a recent post: Do barristers help or hinder the mediation process? Norman Baird, writing on our Consilio Editor blog explains why Anglia Ruskin University declines. It is a fascinating Freedom of Information Act issue and, if you are into this sort of thing, worth reading. Information Overlord sighs about conferences at which experts plug their own products. Bystander JP of The Magistrates’ Blog reports: “The front page of today’s ‘Daily Express’, the soi-disant ‘World’s Greatest Newspaper’ carries no reference to Diana or Madeleine. What’s happening down at the D.Ex? Is Mr. Desmond off sick? Still, at least it’s got a house price scare.”

The Sunday Times usually does a “WHO SNUFFED IT THIS YEAR” review just after Christmas to allow us a moment of furtive pleasure to see if we know anyone on the list or approve of the Grim Reaper’s work in removing celebrities from our Earth. It appears that students are working very hard – because many of the student blogs on my blogroll have not been updated for some time – and a few practitioner blawgs have been very quiet. Corporate Blawger has not blawged since his Blaw Review post in July. Maybe I should do a “Which blawgs died in 2007 Review?”

Serious content blawg IMPACT continues to inform on a daily basis – as does the excellent Inner Temple information blog ( a truly useful daily updater) and the precisely drawn Clifford Chance LLP sponsored blog Conflict of Laws.

Law Minx reports in Catastrophic Gloombridges: “Life at the moment, blogwatchers, is frankly pretty shitty. I am bieng held hostage by the Smoking Donkey despite my lurid addiction to all manner of cough and cold remedies…”. Legally Blonde in London, in her trade mark ‘Pink’ script reports ‘Last year I reported my puzzlement with outlining’ – and is now using it in her studies.

Paranoid Pupil notes: “How time flies when you’re……actually doing some work for once!”

Pupil Blog appears to have done the blawgers equivalent of a private lap dancing club “Members only” policy and has gone ‘invited readers only”.

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Law Actually, in an amusing post complete with pic, reports that he “took a swing by Leo Laporte’s blog and found this picture of him readjusting his ‘trouser furniture’ during a break in filming.”

Liadnan reports that London Undergound have absolutely no sense of humour by sacking ‘Voice of London Undergound’ Emma Clarke for making spoof announcements.

Edinburgh advocate Reactionary Snob continues to keep me sane with his robust take on life.

And finally….

An amusing film of Hitler wanting to “Break Free”. Excellent stuff. Very clever lip synch to the music and words of the famous song – a must watch. Amused me on a wet and windy Saturday morning. And now… it is time for my lunch and a glass or two of Rioja at The Bollo. Although it is wet… I shall nip outside to continue my quest to smoke in the face of adversity, common sense and medical advice…

Have a good weekend.

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