Archive for April 5th, 2008

On a day when the arctic winds return to Britain… and West London once again faces the prospect of sleet and snow drifts, one of our judges has stirred things up today at a conference by claiming that ‘family meltdown’ will be as catastrophic as global warming.

6.15 pm is a bit early for me to be on the juice, so I read the BBC report with a degree of sobriety not often seen later on a Saturday evening. Sure enough, there it was, in black and white.

Mr Justice Coleridge of The Family Division, the BBC reports, has “hit out at the government over what he says is an “epidemic” of family failure that will have “catastrophic” effects.”

I quote from the BBC report: “In a speech in Brighton to lawyers from Resolution, formerly the Solicitors’ Family Law Association, the judge warned of a “cancerous” increase in broken families and said the government must take “comprehensive action”. The judge said those who witnessed the goings-on inside family courts would be aware of it being a “never ending carnival of human misery – a ceaseless river of human distress”.

Warming to his theme, Coleridge J went on to declare: “We are experiencing a period of family meltdown whose effects will be as catastrophic as the meltdown of the ice caps,” said the judge, who added that its effects pose “as big a threat to the future of our society as terrorism, street crime or drugs”.

Well, despite the fact that I am no expert on children, apart from being irritated by them when they accompany their parents into pubs, do not read much family law (apart from occasional forays on to Family Lore), and welcome global warming so that I can start growing Rioja plants in my back garden in West London – the judge is probably right – although I am not sure that is always wise for judges to stray from their territory and field of undoubted expertise into the choppy waters of politico-economic sociology and social athropology.

I must do a Freedom of Information request to find out how many government ministers and leading members of the opposition benches come from broken homes – to see if this may be the reason for the ills, plagues and pestilence our current crop of politicians are bestowing on our sceptred isle.

Moving on….

Tips from Nigella and a real woman:

Nigella’s Way
Cure for headaches: Take a lime, cut it in half and rub it on your forehead. The throbbing will go away.

The Real Woman’s Way
Cure for headaches: Take a lime, cut it in half and drop it in 8 ounces of vodka. Drink the vodka. You might still have the headache, but you won’t care!


The Daily Mail is not a newspaper I would ordinarily come across… but my attention was caught by their report that a “Muslim is spared a speeding ban so he can drive between his two wives”

The Mail reports: “Mohammed Anwar said a ban would make it difficult to commute between his two wives and fulfil his matrimonial duties.” The Court did not ban him, despite his exceeding the 30 mph speed limit by 34 mph and fined him 6 points and £200.

Law firm in fishnet stockings ban

Following a post on Legal Week the Daily Mail has excelled itself with a bit of in-depth investigative reporting: “A law firm’s decision to ban women wearing fishnets to work has left lawyers as neatly divided as a divorcing millionaire’s fortune. The unidentified firm has decreed that female lawyers in fishnets distract male colleagues and look unprofessional.”

Your man at the bar, with a copy of The Gazette rolled up in the pocket of his Aussie Drize-a-bone, risked ridicule as he flicked through The Daily Mail today. But… he did so in the pursuit of knowledge, of truth, of information. There were some truly astonishing quotes from solicitors about this fishnet ban….

“One solicitor, calling herself City Woman, fumed: “What a total load of tosh. My male partners openly coo when I’m wearing Jimmy Choos, short skirts and nicely cut tops as it all reinforces the image they wish to project about themselves, the people they work with and the quality of bird they’ve attracted to the partnership.”

“If I find a nicely polished pair of Churchs [a brand of men’s shoes] a ‘distraction’, does that mean I can get them banned too?”

“At my firm, our investment banking clients were always happy to see us girls at negotiation meetings in very short skirts.”

But… the quote I really enjoyed was this: “Some of our trainees and newly qualifieds look like lap-dancers. Maybe they’re just trying to snare a husband and don’t see a longterm future for themselves in the law but I know I wouldn’t take them to a client meeting looking like that.”

I have sent Matt Muttley of Muttley Dastardly LLP a note on this story.

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REDUX law… an idea

I’ve decided to open a blog to focus on legal news, analysis and commentary – leaving me free ‘qua Charon’, to run amok. My alter ego will do the stuff on serious news and The Law of Contract in ‘another place’. Only an idea at this stage…. we shall see what happens.

I am orf for a Guinness and a glass or two of rioja with a mate – to discuss the finer points of remoteness of damage in Contract and Tort – yeah right!. I’ll be back… on here, later tonight…. when I may get fired.

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