Archive for June 28th, 2009

Rothschild and Freshfields founders linked to slavery
Two of the biggest names in the City of London had previously undisclosed links to slavery in the British colonies, documents seen by the Financial Times have revealed.

Financial Times: Nathan Mayer Rothschild, the banking family’s 19th-century patriarch, and James William Freshfield, founder of Freshfields, the top City law firm, benefited financially from slavery, records from the National Archives show, even though both have often been portrayed as opponents of slavery.

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Beware of Greeks causing rifts

While the ethical standards of today should not be applied to the acquisitions and  ‘grabs’ of yesteryear,  the hardening of the Greek government line in demanding the return of the Elgin Marbles is likely to fall on deaf ears.  The Economist has an interesting take on this – inter museum loans between the museums of the world so that the greatest number of people can see the treasures of the world.  Britain is not alone in grabbing artefacts and treasures in times past.  The museums of Russia, Germany and elsewhere contain artefacts from other countries – the provenance of which is not known. Inter museum lending is unlikely to work if there is a concern  that the Greeks will simply seize the marbles should any ‘loan’ to the new museum in Athens be agreed.

World reaction to the sudden death of Michael Jackson has ranged from insane manic grief to contemptuous cynicism.  We must not forget, of course, the nutters and conspiracy theorists who are hinting (a) that he was killed by ‘dark forces’ (b) that he is not in fact dead but is flipping burgers with Elvis in some remote US town or, possibly in Whacko’s case, Area 51 (c) that he has been abducted by aliens, or in the alternative is in fact an alien and is simply returning home. The contemptuous cannot quite understand why the world is ‘mourning’  and it was only a matter of time after David Cameron paid ‘tribute’ that Gordon Brown would pop us to  say “The People’s Paedo’s death started in America.  It is a global problem…. zzzzzz”.  The Fat Bigot wonders why holding a microphone should cause such intense pain as to, yet again,  merit daily administration of pain killing medication.

Moving on… but I end with the idea I have seen on Twitter…. that if he was left in a cupboard for a while and then  returned to re-make Thriller, but this time as a Zombie… I’d watch that.

Legal Week Student

The Student section of Legal Week is developing into a useful resource for students with some practical, independent and useful content.  I’ve been doing the odd piece for Legal Week Village  – no money changes hands, unfortunately! – for some time and  now, with their Student Section, I am more than happy to contribute with relevant podcasts.  The good news is that Legal Week Student is now picking  up on other blogs –  although Alex Aldridge, who produces the student section, asks why it is that barristers and students tend to blog more than solicitors and ‘City go-getters’. Well.. that is not entirely true as there are many solicitor and academic bloggers out there as my Netvibes page of UK Law bloggers reveals.

I suppose, in a law blog, I should really try and shoehorn a bit of law in. So let’s kick off with a quick round up from a few blogs:  The Fat Bigot considers the matter of Lawyers and Lies.

In my last offering I relayed an anecdote from the dim and distant past, a snippet of my life as a barrister of moderate ability. It prompted a comment from one of the innumerable Messrs Mous. In a nutshell he alleged that lawyers lie for money. This is not just a matter of semantics, it is a matter of substance, so I want to explain why he is wrong.

It is an old chestnut for lawyers and trainees, but Fat Bigot does address concerns raised by those not trained in the law and its ways.

Twitter…..is the party over?

Binary Law asks: Has what looked like a great service, populated by eager early adopters with like motivations turned into a service polluted by egotists, marketeers and spam artists? Larry Bodine, questioning the value of Twitter as a marketing tool for lawyers, thinks so:

I’ve learned that it is a shouting post for relentless self-promoters, a dumping ground for press releases and advertising, a competition to amass followers, and a target for computer-automated Tweets.

To be frank, I am not remotely interested in what anyone thinks of Twitter.  For me, it is a social online chatroom.  I’ve met some amusing and interesting people, it keeps me out of bars (although I am often pissed late at night when I go go on to Twitter, it has to be said) and  I enjoy using it.  Even BabyBarista sees the advantages of Twitter! I shall not be highlighting any more articles – even if written by mates – about Twitter.  If you don’t want to read the shit from marketers… block ’em.  I did like the fact that Habitat got hauled over the Twitter coals by Twitter users for effectively tweeting their catalogue:  This article discusses the issue!

The parody…

MICHAEL JACKSON DEAD.  Come and see our range of household goods at www.habitat.co.uk amused me

Pupillage… handle with Care…

Simon Myerson AQC has a thoughtful article and warning… “The rules for all Chambers – whether in OLPAS or not – are clear. No offers can be made before 930am on 30th July and every offer must stay open for 14 days. Chambers not complying with those rules are cheating.

Pink Tape writes “Sigh….So many things I wanted to blog about this weekend and so little time…”

Bar of Bust sees some advantages to being a barrister: Food glorious food…

Despite previous reservations voiced by some over the quality of food at Middle Temple, the dinner laid on for this years scholars was indeed glorious. Foie Gras, Sea Bass, a strawberry something for dessert, and a superb cheese board were accompanied by a rather splendid selection of wines and rounded off by coffee and a rather decent port.

Law Actually has an amusing post about dumbed down self help law books: “…It should come as no surprise, then, that there is a genuine ‘Law School for Dummies’ – pitched at US law school. Perhaps it’s only a matter of time before a UK edition of an equivalent title rears its head?”

RollonFriday has an amusing news item: An email from the senior partner of a London law firm to the Law Society ranting about the promotion of homosexuality was leaked this week.

The partner emailed the Society after it issued a press release calling on lawyers to celebrate Gay Pride. He said that he had read the release “with horror”, and launched into an impressive rant about how disgraceful it was that so many organisations “seem to have been hijacked by the gays“.

He also claimed the Society has no mandate to promote diversity. “What on earth is going to happen next? Is someone at the Law Society going to tell all solicitors that they must promote to all their male heterosexual staff that they should trying becoming [sic] gay or bisexual or transvestites” he shrieked, hurling his handbag to the floor in disgust.

Courtesy of RollonFriday – you may read the entire rant here! Ludicrous.

Well… enough of Law for the moment… What is going on over  at The News of The World?  I can’t offer any judges and their rent boys this weekend as last…

Under the headline EXPLOSIVE JACKO FILES, the News of The Screws screams “Where’s Michael hidden his cash”? Apparently a nanny received a call from grieving relatives within hours… . Seemed perfectly sensible to me.  Whacko wasn’t going to need it… but there you are.

NOTW reveals that Katie Price Jordan is in crisis and Peter whatever his name is.. is a broken man… god help us…the things people get up to eh?  And Jade’s grieving hubby is being ‘comforted’ by a ‘stunning’ brunette. Even more astonishingly NOTW reveals  under the headline ‘My big enders aren’t real says sexy Kara”.  “Soap star confesses she stuffs her bra with chicken fillets.  With chicken fillets? I think need an injection…. just remember that NOTW is one of the most widely read newspapers in the World, along with sister publication The Sun and those readers have a vote in the next general election… and may god, accordingly, have mercy on our souls. Democracy is all… a fine principle… in theory.

I end with this observation by ‘Sexy Kara’… ”

The chicken fillets do like to escape. One flew out and hit the camera

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