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Archive for December, 2011

“Law is an imperfect profession in which success can rarely be achieved without some sacrifice of principle. Thus all practicing lawyers — and most others in the profession — will necessarily be imperfect, especially in the eyes of young idealists. There is no perfect justice, just as there is no absolute in ethics. But there is perfect injustice, and we know it when we see it.”

ALAN DERSHOWITZ, Letters to a Young Lawyer

Christmas passed in a blur of thinking and drinking…with the odd tweet thrown in (pictured left when I was being a Frenchie for the evening)   to create the illusion that I was still in touch with that alternate reality –  some call life.  Most enjoyable it was too – in splendid isolation… no phones, no emails and a break away from the law and laws of our land.  This latter was much needed.

As my word du jour is… Precatory..

prec·a·to·ry/ˈprekəˌtôrē/

Adjective:  1. Of, relating to, or expressing  a wish or request 2.  (in a will) Expressing a wish of intention of the testator

…I am able to announce that:

(a) I have written into my will that all bequests are conditional on some ‘Serious North Korean Stylee grieving action’  on the part of the recipients and beneficiaries – my solicitor will be taking video footage to prove satisfactory compliance with this condition,  and

(b) that I wish to return to serious legal commentary and analysis… but not quite yet.

And thanks to a fellow tweeter for this image link… which is a perfect summation of the night I was a Frenchie smoking Gauloises…. On the hunt now for Disque Bleu...  One day… I’ll be the guy in the red hat… I shall have to dye my Panama hat red… n’est pas unproblème“, c’est une véritable catastrophe?  Oui, Chef!

AND… another thing… time to take the gloves orf with nonsense in 2012…

And… I really do mean this… I despair of those who seek glory in blogging… for they sell their souls…. to the awarder of the  prizes. Those who award prizes are, in the main, pretty smug about themselves…. so.. hey.. let’s give the oiks a bauble – a bit like honours, really ?

Let us have a Blogging Spring in 2012… and take no prisoners ? VIVA! 

I’ll be back soon… there are holidays to enjoy.

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Boxing Day…. an observation…

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Two years ago, I amused myself by doing a “Charonasso Christmas” pastiche painting as part of my F*ckArt series.  This year, I thought I would do a Christmas post on an entirely random basis and use the ‘stream of consciousness’ technique used by many writers, including Virginia Wolfe.

The BBC was much occupied by the news of The Duke of Edinburgh’s visit to hospital to have treatment for a blocked heart artery with pointless footage of a reporter standing outside Papworth Hospital to reveal that knew nothing. Cut to rapporteur royale  Nicholas Witchell in the studio, a man more likely to induce apoplexy in the Royals by all accounts,  to reveal that he too knew nothing.

It seems only appropriate, given the Duke’s ability to come out with astonishing statements, to quote my favourite of his observations on our friends in other lands…

When asked if he would like to visit the Soviet Union

“The bastards murdered half my family”

But at least I had Morecambe & Wise and their classic 1971 Christmas Show with Andrew ‘Preview’ and Glenda Jackson to ward off a bit of boredom which was beginning to creep in.

Having a lazy afternoon…. easing myself into 2012 with a few glasses of rosso… Happy Christmas.

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Chrimbo with Charon (6): A carol….

Back later…

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Chrimbo with Charon (5) : Why lawyers are hated?

Going to trial with a lawyer who considers your whole life-style a Crime in Progress is not a happy prospect.
Hunter S. Thompson

Inforrm’s Blog adds to the Christmas cheer with a list of 105 legal tweeters who can be followed….

Solicitor David Allen Green, on his Jack of Kent blog, asks a question which perhaps he shouldn’t have asked: Why are lawyers hated?

AND….  gets an answer in the comments section from libertarian blogger and tweeter  Obnoxio The Clown – who is nothing if not direct…

“I can tell you why *you’re* hated, David.

It’s because you’re a self-obsessed, sanctimonious ****.

;o) ”

Well… there we are.  Can’t really ask for more at Christmas.

But some good news – RollonFriday.com reports: Exclusive: Ashurst in Christmas Party Pole Dancer Shock and… adds, at the foot of the post… “And insiders have told RollOnFriday that the managing director of a large legal aid firm was caught in a “compromising situation” with a female trainee in the firm’s board room.”

A couple of weeks away from law will do many a lot of good.  Tonight is the Winter Solstice and that is as good an excuse as any to have a glass… and, as I tweeted earlier…

….A duck has just rung me….singing “The Rioja and the Marlboro, When they are both full grown…Of all the bars that are in the town…the Staterooms bear the crown.”

Back tomorrow with a bit of Rive Gauche…

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But days until Santa arrives in British airspace.  You can even track his progress on the Norad website.

Two new judges – both men – have been appointed to the Supreme Court.  The Guardian has the details.  Jonathan Sumption QC is soon to take up his seat.  Joshua Rozenberg notes “Although there are four women in the Court of Appeal, the only one with sufficient seniority is Lady Justice Arden, 64. She was not regarded as a likely candidate this time round. Lady Justice Hallett, the next most senior woman in the court of appeal, is a candidate for lord chief justice when Lord Judge retires; her rivals are Lord Justice Leveson (if his inquiry goes well) and Sir John Thomas, president of the Queen’s Bench division.”

Carl Gardner has an interesting assessment: Al-Khawaja & Tahery v UK: Lord Irvine vindicated

In his lecture last night, Lord Irvine invited British judges to become more assertive in deciding human rights cases for themselves, agreeing or disagreeing with the European Court of Human Rights, as they see fit. Today’s judgment from the European Court in Al-Khawaja & Tahery v UK vindicates, at least in part, Lord Irvine’s claim that such assertiveness might succeed in influencing the Strasbourg court.

Lord Irvine’s speech: full text

Legal aid is safe where it matters most

Ken Clarke, Lord Chancellor, writing in The Guardian: My legal aid reforms – debated in the Lords tomorrow – pose a threat to a failing system and outdated practices, not the needy.

Access to justice is a fundamental part of a properly functioning democracy. Without legal aid, and the dedicated lawyers who deliver it, our system of justice would quite simply collapse. Few eyebrows should be raised at such statements of the obvious, and, if they are, it says something about the skewed nature of the debate that has developed around the government’s legal aid reforms. Because, as my proposals are considered in the House of Lords on Tuesday, there should be no doubt that the system is facing an existential crisis.

the full article is worth reading

We shall see what the Lords make of it.

The government has not, it seems, been paying lawyers quickly enough – ironic given the government stance in the past on businesses paying their invoices quickly. 

Peter Lodder QC has written a very blunt and direct letter to David Gauke MP, The Exchequer Secretary a a must read for all barristers, I would have thought?

 

Back on the morrow with rather more detailed comment and other news….

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