Archive for November 4th, 2013


(Photocredit Banksy)

Perhaps a rather unusual title for a blog post – but this is Blawg Review after all, and I am more than happy to fit in with the style for the Blawg Reviews celebrating Ed’s life.  Ed (Ed – short for Editor), sadly, died last week. 11 bloggers are writing final Blawg Reviews.  I am, I gather, the last blogger to post and I will link to Colin Samuels, the first blogger to post and he will link to the next in the chain.  Complicated?  Of course – why make it easy!

I enjoyed writing for Blawg Review – and very much appreciated the invitation from what is essentially a US blawg site. I maintain good contact with many Blawg Review writers to this day – as friends and fellow bloggers.

As I am a British law blogger and living in what so many are pleased to call Europe, I felt it only fair to draw attention to the stance taken by some on this side of the pond, in this edition of Blawg Review  to celebrate Ed’s work, by digging up an old ‘Charon after a glass’ pic to celebrate our differences…

Long has been the association between The United States of America and Great Britain. British prime ministers revel in the words ‘Special Relationship’.  Through the incompetence of a reigning monarch – I think it was George III who was having a go at misruling at the time – we managed to lose a much prized ‘possession’ and that nation  has gone on to greater things and influence world affairs.  We now, or some of us do, sit in our bunkers scorning association with Europe and threatening referenda to engineer a withdrawal.  Vive Britain… or what is left of it after the devolution mania which has hit our green and pleasant lands.   For my own part – I am pro-European and do not wish to leave ‘Europe’. Nor do I wish to see the United Kingdom separate into a group of four mismanaged countries.  Let’s stick with the wonderfully (?) mismanaged one we have is my view, for what that is worth. Mea culpa…

Read a biography about King George III. Discover how he lost the American colonies during his reign?

I am a Scot, part of the Scots diaspora – there are more Scots living outside Scotland than live in it – and we will have to sit on the sidelines (we of the diaspora are not allowed a vote)  and watch as Mr Salmond, First Minister of Scotland, steers his country to independence…. or not, as I suspect may be the case. Does it really matter if Scotland goes independent and Wales has a bash at independence, leaving England to watch – not as former colonies thrive as in days past, but as parts of previous ‘dominion’ – The United Kingdom – bugger orf and have a go at mismanaging their own affairs without English advice and experience on  and of mismanaging affairs?  Time will tell.  Future generations will have to bear the burden of failure or the success of this ‘plan’ if Mr Salmond get his way and leads the way in an  arc of economic prosperity from Iceland to Edinburgh. .

I am now 60 and marvel  (and enjoy the fact) that I have managed  to survive.  Although, I am pleased to admit,  that falling backwards into a bath while shaving three months ago, cracking my spine and breaking five ribs,  was just not a good enough effort to depart the mortal coil early and get a mention in the Darwin Awards.

Looking on the bright side – I do get to faff abart with a walking stick, a prop I may well keep for dramatic effect as I go about my business in future –  though there will be no need for a stick to walk with soon.

The good news is that I am still here – good news for me at least.  The bad news is that Ed of Blawg Review died last week and a number of us now join in writing Blawg Reviews to celebrate his work as the founder of Blawg Review and the wonderfully shadowy figure in the background who provided so much pleasure to the writers – and hopefully, readers – by hosting Blawg Review.

 I never met  Ed.  I received some marvellous emails from him – many  very amusing, some advisory on issues of the week.  I enjoyed my email exchanges with him and thank him, ex post facto, for the pleasure he gave me as a writer by allowing me to participate in what is essentially (and, pleasantly) a US centric Carnival of Law bloggers; introducing me to many US lawyers who blog with style and who are not afraid to shine a bright light where bright lights should be shone.  I value the friendship of those I talk to, meet and write to and with.  I value the pleasure of having read the writing of those on Blawg Review I have not met.

It is difficult to decide on the topics I should cover in this valedictory Blawg Review to celebrate the life of Ed…

I think a a bit of random suits my mood this weekend.  I am fairly sure that Ed would have approved of a bit of ‘random’.

First, my thoughts on twitter which many law bloggers (and lawyers) use, observed a few years ago – but which I still stick to….

It is difficult, in a valedictory Blawg Review –  to decide on what to write about – or whose blogs I should draw attention to.  As I hope you will read all of the Blawg Reviews to mark Ed’s death – I shall provide links to all of them at the foot when all the posts are published.

In the meantime – a rather good cartoon depicting the Lord Chancellor… my US friends and Blawg Review readers may recognise this as a pastiche of the statue which rises above our Central Criminal Court, the Old Bailey in London.

And a Charon After Dark pic of The Lord Chancellor should he wish to consider being an Archbishop next.  After all, if a legal qualification is not required to be Lord Chancellor and head up The Ministry of Justice in Britain – why should a lack of qualification in religion hold Archbishop Grayling back.  The man is, clearly, a “Legend” – which is rather better than “Bellend” which I heard used of him in polite legal company recently. Who said satire is dead?  The man is living proof that one politician can keep satire alive.

For the benefit of American readers and law students in England and Wales  who may not have followed, assiduously, the machinations of The Lord Chancellor on Legal Aid – here is a podcast I did with Michael Turner QC, then Chairman of the Criminal Bar Association.

That is probably enough of Mr Grayling for the time being – but I may return to the theme later.  In the meantime, you may wish to consider the Lord Chancellor’s thoughts as reported in The Telegraph:  Grayling’s manifesto to rescue justice from Europe

Press regulation is pre-occupying many in this country.  Carl Gardner, writing at his Head of Legal blog shares a few thoughts on: Press regulation Royal Charter, final draft: my detailed comments on the new provisions

The cynic in me – lurking a few feet below the surface of my thoughts – is not hopeful that the Press will be regulated, nor needs to be? – and the legislation and machinery may well not succeed.  We shall see in due course… or perhaps it will be sine die?

It would be remiss of me not to mention Human Rights…. we still have legislation covering this, thankfully,  despite the best endeavours of the rabid wing of the Tory party who are not partial to The Human Rights Act.  The UK Human Rights blog is the place to go for good and incisive coverage and commentary on the development of our law on this important subject.  Adam Wagner and his colleagues in Chambers have produced a labour of love – a very good and informative read.

And on a lighter note….

And where would we be without Roll on Friday?  I still read it.  I remember posting on it as Brigadier Grappa, whiling away endless hours – and, indeed, getting fairly over refreshed with other Rofers in the early part of the new millenium at various RoFpiss-ups.  They were good days – and I met some very amusing people.

So…from  Roll on Friday – a small selection of offerings for your delectation and delight…

Top lawyer bans partners from his own funeral : One of America’s most famous lawyers has taken his revenge on his former partners from beyond the grave.

Slaughter and May and Linklaters lovebirds face court for insider dealing: An ex-Slaughter and May associate and her ex-Linklaters associate boyfriend have lost their bid to have charges of insider trading dismissed.

Bonkers Law Firm Website of the Week: Chairman Edition: – well worth a look – surreal!

“The stars of this week’s Bonkers Law Firm Website refuse to disguise their lust for chairs.

On the face of it the lawyers at IP firm Rospatt Osten Pross are fairly unremarkable. Sure, their website includes an oddly poetic sales pitch describing how clients “experience wit as the fountain of our ideas, soul as the shelter of our knowledge, energy as the mainspring to expedite the matter” but otherwise it all looks fresh and modern. However something is simmering just beneath the civilized surface of Rospatt Osten Pross: chair love. Massive chair love, as the lawyers use their website profiles to demonstrate how to chat up a chair.”

Well… there we are.  RollonFriday – always worth a look.

Blawg Review was an inspired construction, driven by Ed and his ‘Sherpas’ – who helped with links, introductions and co-ordination.  While almost entirely US centric – others from Canada, Britain and elsewhere were invited to write.  I think I wrote five Blawg Reviews in all and each one was a real pleasure to write.   Blawg Review looked critically at law and practice and provided, always, food for thought.  I feel privileged to have been invited to write.  I read some wonderful law blogs, chatted by skype and email with some interesting and amusing lawyers and maintain, to this day, contact with a good number of the lawyers who wrote for Blawg Review

So… thanks Ed.  You did us proud and it was a pleasure and a privilege to have written for Blawg Review, to have ‘met’ you  and many good bloggers through Blawg Review.  RIP

A shorter post than usual from me  for matters Blawg Review – on the basis of a cracked spine and there is no need for a long post.  There are so many good Blawg Reviews on their website for you to read, should you wish to.  I hope that you will read the blogs of the other 10 bloggers who are participating in this tribute to Ed.

It gave me a great deal of pleasure to write for Blawg Review and gives me pleasure, to this day, to have the connection with so many fine law bloggers.

And to follow the chain to the other bloggers writing for this final edition of Blawg Review – I pass you on to a good friend, Colin Samuels who won five Blawg Reviews of the Year and acted as a sherpa.

Please do go to Colin Samuels Blawg Review – and follow the links to all the bloggers participating in this final edition.  As Colin is in California – his Blawg Review may not be visible when I publish mine because of the time zone differences – but it will be visible if you read this at a sane hour on Monday and not midnight UK time tonight.

I suspect I will put up a link to all the bloggers participating in this final Blawg Review  in the morning on this post – as I am getting a touch confused with publication timing and all the different time zones!   I will not be applying for a job as the “Speaking Clock”

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