Archive for March 26th, 2010

I had thought of moving my weekly ‘Rive Gauche’ post to Saturdays but why deprive myself of a little pleasure looking at the  more unusual side of the law on a Friday morning when there isn’t a lot of ‘hard law’ about?  I will try and shoehorn a bit of real law news in towards the end of the post.

So first up is the reassuring news that yobs have been around for some time and that ASBOS were being dished out years ago.

Pictured left is one of a number of Edwardian yobs The Sun has managed to find.  Magistrates punished these offenders by having them photographed and the posters distributed to local pub landlords. The Sun reports: “Offences punishable with the blacklist included being intoxicated to complete incompetence, riding a horse whilst under the influence or drink-driving a steam engine.”

“Intoxicated to complete incompetence?” I shall be using this phrase I am sure before too long.

Barrister standing for BNP at election loses post at chambers

Fascism is alive and well it seems – but the Brothers-in-law at Robert Grierson’s chambers were none too keen, it seems,  on having a ‘potential  fascist’ (there being absolutely no evidence that Mr Grierson is a fascist) in chambers – but since the BNP is widely regarded as holding ‘fascist and other unusual sentiments’ – guilt by association?).  The Guardian reports: “This afternoon St Philips chambers in Birmingham, where Grierson was a door tenant – an associated barrister working from different premises – annnounced that it had parted company with the lawyer

In a tersely worded statement, James Burbidge QC, head of St Philips, said: “Robert Grierson has resigned from his position as a door tenant of St Philips chambers from the 25 March 2010. He accepted that his candidacy in the forthcoming election was a distraction to the proper work and approach of St Philips chambers, its members and staff … St Philips chambers was not aware that Grierson was a member of the BNP … any views [he] purports to hold or express in the forthcoming election must be taken to be his own personal views and not that of [the] chambers or any of its members.”

Mr Grierson responded: “The BNP is a democratic political party. We have recently voted to allow in non-white members. I said [to chambers] that you should not discriminate against me and should not be removing me from chambers.

“The head of chambers said it would be much better if I resigned because the BNP is obviously a controversial issue with some people. So I took the view, out of consideration for other members of chambers and in order not to make their lives difficult, that I would resign.

“Notwithstanding that, my position is that I should not be discriminated against. I’m still a practising barrister, working out of my home address.”

Ever keen to report on bizarre events, I went and had a look at another report where assorted knuckle draggers were able to respond to this news and demonstrate their understanding of democracy in action.  I was not disappointed.. the comments are, truly, astonishing.  here is one to give you a ‘taste’…



We live in a free country.  Mr Grierson is perfectly entitled to stand as a BNP candidate.  Equally, we are perfectly entitled to say to him that we do not wish to associate with him and…. his Chambers have done just that.

As ever…cartoonist Peter Brookes sums it up nicely…

We got it very wrong, admits Law Society boss as ‘Tesco law’ founders

“Resisting calls for his resignation, Ian Smart, the Law Society president, admitted that the society had been given “a kick in the appropriate part of the anatomy”. The Times

We are talking about the Law Society of Scotland here.. not the Law Society…the one in Chancery Lane wot duz the biz for solicitors in England & Wales.

Delighted that I have been able to shoehorn some real law news into the post, I feel I can now escape and bring you a few delights from The Sun – the newspaper of choice for many who appear not to live on earth.

And just when we thought…after Byers, Hoon et al and their ludicrous behaviour exposed by Channel 4 that Gordon Brown might be given a bit of respite… not a bit of it. The Sun, hyperventilating and dribbling  with outrage and moral compasses,  screams…

We are also given the heart gladdening news that ‘Vanessa was given a kicking in court’ – a reference to the alleged  French serial shagger who dunnit with John Terry and da boys which ‘Team Bridge” did not approve of.

The Sun reports: “WAYNE Bridge’s ex Vanessa Perroncel is set to receive just HALF the pay-off she wanted after taking “a kicking” in court, it was claimed last night.”

My mate, John Bolch of Family Lore – who does not cover tasteless reports of celeb divorces will, no doubt, be grateful that I soil my hands so you don’t have to!

John has some amusing posts this week and a serious Family Lorecast –  Things that litigants in person shouldn’t do #3: Throw eggs at the judge and a rather good logo.

And so… it is probably time for a bit of Law. Yesterday, fellow tweeter  @infobunny drew my attention to an extraordinary story about a pharmacist who does not have to supply contraception on ‘religious grounds’.

New code allows religious pharmacists to opt out of prescribing contraception

This, I am afraid, so irritated me I just had to ‘kick off’ and asked on twitter if anyone fancied assorted acts of random fuckery on Chancery lane as a protest.  It provoked quite an amusing series of tweets…

This is ridiculous.  If a pharmacist doesn’t want to hand out lawful drugs and contraception why take up the profession?  It is not acceptable for members of the public to be denied contraception by a pharmacist in any event and while I am quite content,  as an atheist,  for others to practise their religions,  I would prefer they do it in a way which does not cause serious difficulties for others.

My comment on the matter summed up yesterday afternoon with this tweet…

On to other matters….

RollonFriday is offering guidance on how to forge your own payslips after reporting…“Former DLA Piper partner jailed for inflating salary”

“A former DLA Piper partner has been jailed for two months after lying about his salary in order to get a better job.

Back in 2006 Rudy Lim was a partner in the firm’s Singapore office, angling for a job with rival firm Duane Morris. In order to big up his prospects, Lim claimed he was earning over £500k a year – when in fact it was more like £200k. He also said that he took home an extra £100k a year as part of a profit share scheme, clearly trying to distinguish himself from DLA Piper’s many, many salaried partners.

And in case Duane Morris didn’t believe him, Lim rather unwisely took it a step further by forging a payroll statement setting out his alleged earnings. However, DLA Piper discovered this on his computer and reported him to the police….”

Well..there we are… a sunny Friday in London… time for coffee, read the newspapers and watch the  world go by at a cafe for a while…

I do read sensible law news… and here is something sensible to read… an excellent article by Richard Gordon QC in the Times…

It’s time for a written constitution – and real power to the people

AND FINALLY….. Thought for the day

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