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Archive for July 10th, 2009

Enough law…

I appear to have spent far too much of my time doing law related work this week and not nearly enough time being amused, so much so that I have resolved not to do any law whatsoever until Sunday – save for just reading Mr Justice Mann’s excellent judgment in Office of Fair Trading v Foxtons [2009] EWHC 1681 (Ch)

Contract law reports rarely offer laughs but being a Contract lecturer for 30 years I have to get them where I can.  Mann J did the business for me, not simply because he said “I therefore find the sales commission clause to be unfair for the purposes of the Regulations.” but for his, to my eye, wry comments.  Here is one of many

Mr Kent sought to argue that it was sufficiently flagged. I disagree – tucking something like this away in clause 5.1 of the small print, albeit under a heading “Sales Provisions”, is not flagging it at all….”

I used to live in Chiswick and the Fuxtons sales team slithered about in their Minis leaving an oil slick behind them.. and not just from their cars.  I am not a fan – but that is my right. I recall the BBC Whistleblower programme some years ago ago when the undercover reporter exposed such arcane practices as CHOP-CHOP.  The clauses in this particular Fuxtons contract are astonishing.

I haven’t enjoyed reading a law report so much for years.  Props to Mr Justice Mann for an excellent analysis and statement of the law relating to Unfair Contract Terms and for a few laughs – always a bonus when the senior Judiciary can provide those.

RollonFriday has an amusing story in their news section this week about a simple Offer & Acceptance issue.  A unlateral offer, it would seem.

Student sues lawyer for reneging on $1million offer

“A law student is suing a defence lawyer in the US, claiming that his promise of $1million on TV amounted to an offer capable of acceptance by a viewer. US lawyer James Cheney Mason was defending a client accused of murder. He claimed that the prosecution’s case relied on his client being able to get from the airport to his hotel, where he was seen on a CCTV camera, in just 28 minutes. Mason claimed that this was absolutely impossible and that therefore, the prosecution had no case against his client. And he was so sure of this that he offered $1million on national TV to anyone who could prove him wrong.”

Well… Dustin S Kolodziej did just that and now wants his million dollars. Carlill v Carbolic Smokeball may be of persuasive authority? I don’t know if Texas Contract Law is based on our common law or not.  Kolodziej v. Mason et al

Stray sperm?

Above the Law has a bizarre story: A mother is suing a hotel claiming her teenage daughter fell pregnant simply from using a hotel swimming pool. Magdalena Kwiatkowska says the 13-year-old conceived after coming into contact with ‘stray sperm’ in the water of an Egyptian resort.

And finally… a rather bizarre story from The Scotsman: Manager jailed for burning down workplace to avoid getting sack.

A TYRE centre manager who started a huge blaze at his work because he feared he would be fired has been jailed for 28 months. Colin McReadie, 22, drank 20 pints of lager before letting himself into the Budget Tyre Auto Centre in Edinburgh and setting fire to a rack of tyres using a gas torch. He then locked the building and went back to the pub, leaving the fire to cause £700,000 of damage.
I may be back later.. time to faff about on Twitter
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Legal Week covers BPP refusal to disclose QAA report… I have updated my original post of yesterday to reflect this.

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