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Archive for December, 2008

22 December: Daily Legal News

The daily legal news and blawg update is now up on Insite Law

Christmas Period Friday 19th December 2008 – 5 January 2009

Insite Law will be updated regularly throughout the Christmas holiday period. The daily news podcasts will resume on 5th January

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Blawg Review
Blawg Review #191 is up at Likelihood of Confusion

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New pageflakes of blogs from Australia, New Zealand, Scotland and Ireland. All Pageflake law blog pages will be added to in the future and ‘dead’ blogs will be removed periodically.


Have a look at new Pageflake page for Australia, New Zealand, Scotland and Ireland law blogs

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Covent Garden, London

Podcast Version: Geeklawyer meeting in Covent Garden

It was shortly after 4.15 pm London time this afternoon when my mobile informed me that I had a message. The message read.. “I’m ite and abite .”

There are only two people I know who would say such a thing. One is the Duke of Edinburgh… the other is Geeklawyer.  I’d like to be able to say that it was The Duke of Edinburgh… but the Duke is rather busy wrapping Christmas presents at Sandringham.  It was Geeklawyer, making a quick trip to London from his lair *somewhere in Southern England*.

I met Geeklawyer outside Covent Garden tube station.  The place was heaving, writhing even, with shoppers, tourists and senior members of the legal profession and, quite possibly former Lord Chancellors and High Court Judges, doing their last minute Christmas shopping. (I did take a photograph, but as it was dark it was not a great pic.  So the pic above shows Covent Garden during daylight hours.)

I have been growing an arctic explorer beard… so….  ineluctably… the beard came with me, as did my Australian Drizeabone. I was standing there, waiting, smoking a woodbine… when I heard …. “Charon”… I turned, and there …. in the twilight mist of pre-Christmas London was … Geeklawyer.

I assume that many of my readers will be familiar with the Spielberg film Close Encounters….. well… think… alien coming down from the spaceship… the music… that was almost exactly what my encounter with Geeklawyer tonight in Covent Garden was like …. except there were no red necks or US Marines / National Guard (or, indeed, anyone) wanting to shoot, kill, arrest or extraordinarily rendite him… as often happens in Hollywood movies.

I gave Geeklawyer a Masonic handshake… but he did not respond. I like to do that when I meet people…. just to see if they are Masons. I’m not a Mason. I dabbled with it when I was young…. but the noose thing, bared breast and trousers rolled up was not for me.

Geeklawyer.. for those of you who need to know these things… was looking *Buff*.  Pour moi…. C’est ne pas faire rien.

We decided to have a cocktail first at Navajo Joe, a cocktail bar in a basement nearby. En route… and something which even I found mildly astonishing… Geeklawyer took off a green jacket he was wearing, walked over to a bin,  and put the jacket in the bin. I enquired as to why he was throwing his clothes in the bin.  He told me, despite the credit-crunch, despite the collapse of Lehman, Woolworth and MFI…  that he had purchased a new jacket from Paul Smith.  It was a purple jacket…. not suitable for court and therefore not tax deductible.  Some people like purple.  Nero and Caligula and  a whole host of roman emperors certainly had a taste for purple.  Chacun à son goût…. went through my mind.

Now wearing the purple Paul Smith jacket, Geeklawyer headed for an ATM in Longacre to get drinking vouchers and we arrived at Navajo Joe’s. Double vodka shots and then an excellent marguerita with added tequila, lime and salt each,  enabled us to cope with the pressures of Covent Garden on a mad pre-Christmas Saturday night – and we repaired (such a good word) to the Porterhouse Pub, also in Covent Garden.

The last time I was at The Porterhouse with Geeklawyer I ended up marrying him to @Jaffne from Twitter in a wonderfully tasteful ceremony, excercising my newly conferred powers as a Vicar of The World, granted by an excellent online institution in the US. I was, somewhat surprisingly, not called on to exercise these powers again tonight… but there we are.

Geeklawyer, not choosing to drink Strawberry flavoured beer, went for a German Weiss bier… I hit the house red.  And then we had another one as we stood outside so that I could smoke a woodbine or two.  We talked of many things – appraising the state of the UK Blawgosphere, politics, the concept of law generally and a most enjoyable early evening meet up it was.  For reasons of discretion I do not discuss what we discussed in any further detail.  Geeklawyer had to go to his meeting in High Holborn.  I escorted him to Holborn Tube, eschewing the delights of being a sardine on the Piccadilly Line.

I bade Geeklawyer goodbye,  watched him wander up the road, nipped back to Longacre, fished out  the green jacket he had thrown in the bin on Longacre and sold it on E-Bay just a few moments ago for £18,000.  WIN!

OK… I made the last bit up.  The jacket is still in the bin in Longacre.

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Podcast Version: Geeklawyer meeting in Covent Garden

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Today I am talking to Brian Tannebaum a US attorney who practises in Miami, Florida as a criminal defense lawyer. Brian is author of the Criminal Defense blog and has written a short book The Truth about hiring a Criminal Defense lawyer.  I use the structure of the book as a base for our podcast.  We discuss Fees, advertising, experience, Federal v State work, the death penalty lawyer  and cover a great deal of ground

Listen to Podcast 84: Brian Tannebaum, US Attorney on Criminal Defense in Miami, Florida

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Brian Tannebaum’s Criminal Defense blog | E-book: The Truth about hiring a Criminal Defense lawyer | Brian Tannebaum on Twitter

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Sicilian Avenue, Holborn London

Podcast version:  Charon on London (1)

I’ve always wanted to say that I was sitting, sipping sangiovese and smoking  in Sicilian Avenue this morning….. because I enjoy alliteration when I am in the mood.  I was in Sicilian Avenue this morning, early, for a meeting – but it was black coffee and a very pleasant way to spend half an hour.

I know the area well.  In another life, in my other guise, I helped found what is now the second largest law school in Britain and the law school was nearby in Theobalds Road.  In fact it is still nearby.  I watched as people rushed to work; some earnest,  some burdened by the cares of their day, others quite cheerful.  I waved at a few tourists.  It wasn’t particularly cold, but I was the only person sitting outside The Onion sandwich bar – a well known cafe. I was also the only person wearing an Australian Drizeabone stockman’s coat  and growing on my hitherto hair free face,  the makings of a very fine silver and black arctic explorer beard. My Panama hat was, perhaps, a bit excessive and certainly not quite right for winter – but….  I was a man on a mission and the paradox did not trouble me greatly.

A small group of about twenty Japanese tourists wandered by.  Three of them took photographs of me sitting there enjoying my coffee.  Thank god I was reading The Times and not The Sun or The Mirror.   I raised my hat.  I now know how people from far off lands must have felt when the first American, British and European tourists visited and took photographs of ‘quaint locals’.

One rather pleasant, elederly,  Japanese couple asked if they could have a photograph of me with them. I was more than happy to agree.  So… there I was, at 6ft 1″ in a long *How the West was Won* style of long coat, a panama hat, smoking a woodbine…  towering over the diminutive Japanese couple…  smiling like the Prime Minister, or ‘Prime Mentalist’ as Guido Fawkes calls him.  I shook hands, returned their bows – I even spoke a little Japanese.  (I did Karate and Kendo when I was a younger Charon) and wished them well for their whirlwind tour around Britain.  Shakespeare was next on their list.  I assured them that I knew Shakespeare well.   Language difficulties can be problematic and I had to agree with them that Shakespeare was, indeed, dead, but his spirit lived on…

I even gave them a favourite quote from my favourite play Richard III…

” And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
I am determined to prove a villain
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.”

Lest the new visitor to my blog should wonder why, on a law blog, I am prattling on about Sicilian Avenue, Japanese tourists and Richard III….  I should explain that I was about to attend a rather useful meeting with lawyers about law and law was discussed with enthusiasm.  And then, in the time honoured tradition of lawyers, I asked them to get their partnership wallet out.  I counted the notes most carefully.

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Podcast version:  Charon on London (1)

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A short film to give you a taste of what will follow on Christmas Day. There is news of advancement for Charon… possibly.

Watch the short movie

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