Archive for June 6th, 2010

Dear Reader

I took a short break from Laws and Law this week to spend time with my wine bottles, paints and clay – it being half-term week and, it would seem, advertisers and others being away.  Normal service on some sensible analysis of law and legal events and ‘phenomena’ will resume this week.

I have seen some very smug people with their new iPads this week.  In fact, I had the pleasure of sitting near a table, outside a cafe I frequent, only the other morning and saw three people all with iPads propped up in front of them.  There they were, tapping away at the screen, not talking to each other – I can only assume they were emailing each other…. and one even went and had a look at a newspaper and announced to no-one in particular …. “Yeah!… look!…. The Times iPad edition…. “ I was reading The Times Non-iPad edition…. a paper thing which I had on the table in front of me.

I did find it amusing when one of the iPaddies had finished sending an email… which he could have done from his iPhone, solemnly took his iPhone out its case and made a phone call to tell his friend that he’d just “sent an email from the iPad”  I suppose we could have been on a train and I was… at least… saved from that… “I’m on a train” schtik. He managed to look even more smug as he said it.

This has inspired me, as a ‘homage’ to Dali, to superglue an old, but working,  Nokia to the bottom of a plastic lobster I have had for years.  I now have a very exclusive iCharonphone 5..  I did get a few unusual looks as I called a friend on it at the cafe this morning…. I shall be using it a lot, I suspect…

A quick Hat Tip to a few fellow law  bloggers >>>>>

Simple Justice: Through The Eyes of Scott Greenfield

I like Scott Greenfield… I like his Simple Justice blog (not that he would give a damn, rightly, if I didn’t…) and he always writes incisively with analysis and sometimes a bit of elegant rant to season.  Do take a look if you don’t already. I agree with his attitude to blogging…

I’d also like to mention two other friends of mine who do law blogs serious  (and I have done podcasts with these two law bloggers as well):  Carl Gardner, who writes The Head of Legal blog and JackofKent – whose law blog is a must read for anyone interest in Bad law, Libel and on privacy issues. And for a bit of subtle and mildly anarchic stuff… you have to see The White Rabbit… no law in it usually, though!

I shall be reviewing quite a few UK and other law bloggers this week.  Been a while since I did that… so that is enough for now.

I am beginning to develop a completely irrational antipathy to Mr Clegg – partly based on his perpetual smugness, partly – as Suzanne Moore of The Daily Mail and twitter observed – because he always sounds as if he is in a Leadership debate and partly because I can’t help feel that he is on the make for himself.  I far prefer the simmering curmudgeon Dr Vince Cable, a man of 67 years, who knows a few things who I very much hope will become the next leader of the Real Liberals, when Clegg and his dapper navy suit wearing cronies finally come out of the closet and admit that they are really Tories.

Cuts in the Law sector….

Talking of Dr Cable…. it seems that it falls to him to consider cuts for the University sector.  I have had a long and not always happy association with the public university sector when it comes to law schools.  There are some superb public sector law schools and there are some not so good ones.

I suggested at a conference some years ago that we might be well served if we closed down a few of the poor law schools at the bottom end of the league table and gave the money to the better law schools.  Well, as we don’t need any more law students at the moment, why not just close down a few bottom enders and be done with it.  Cutting from the top really doesn’t make sense.  Students from bottom end universities rarely make the cut when it comes to jobs – the LPC and BVC providers and the law firms and other employers want the best students they can get.  Rightly.   It is important that we provide education of high quality for our future – but I am, fairly certain, having looked at this sector for 30+ years that we could make cuts in the short term without damaging the very best universities or, indeed, the long term health of our country.

And while we are at it, ‘thinking the unthinkable’: Given that public money at the better universities is used to train students to go into this most wonderful and rapacious of professions, why not do a ‘levy’ on big law firms who get the benefit of well educated students coming from our better universities at no cost.  Yes – the law firms do have to pay for LPC  (and some sponsor the GDL stage) – they rarely do so for university students – and as these law firms are making significant profits from their associates and partners, why not run a ‘special education levy’! The big law firms make a great deal of money out of their capital – human capital, much of which is an asset they did not have to fund directly.   This, of course, is an argument which could be extended to other ‘commercial’ users of university graduates! If big business wants the best, why shouldn’t they pay a bit to get it?  I’ll get my coat…. anther lead balloon from Charon.

OK.. and here’s another idea…. The public pay for new laws, we pay for Courts and the entire justice system.  This is a major intellectual property asset.  We aren’t maximising the value. Why stop at levies in the criminal sector to help pay for the criminal justice system?  Why not charge ALL civil lawyers a levy each time they use ‘our law’ – a sort of performing rights society idea?  Yes, it will be passed on to the client because the law is, after all, a business, but it would certainly be one way of providing money to plough back into both civil and criminal legal aid?  Fortunately, I have two coats, so I’ll take both of them.

Moving on to less important matters….

Two days of heat, followed by a quick bit of thunder and lightning last night.  I sat at my desk last night, looking out over The Thames,  and saw some very pissed people on a Disco Boat.  No sign of the Israeli Navy though… unfortunately, in this instance.

It has been an enjoyable week…. a bit of work, a bit of ‘F**kART’ and a fairly relaxed time…. back to work next week…

Best, as always


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