Archive for the ‘Blawg Review #292’ Category

Blawg Review #292

It is always a pleasure to hear from Lord Shagger, a former Partner at Muttley Dastardly LLP. Made a working peer by a Labour government some years back, he appears to have done little work on behalf of the government, other than to tender advice on how to improve the tax laws of the United Kingdom from his Monaco tax haven lair.

The Knighthoods and other honours and awards are upon us yet again. The nation is up in arms that, yet again, Brucie Forsyth has been passed over for a Knighthood.   This year, a raft of people few have heard of have run off with the bulk of the loot and the Chairman of Centrica, which owns British Gas, a man who presided over the sale of Cadbury’s to the Americans and  substantial gas bill rises, has been shown the sword of glory.  I am sure it will be put to good use when making restaurant reservations.

I enjoyed Private Eye’s take on this…. “Arise, Sir Gas Bill”.

As I said, only the other day, if you feel left out – please help yourself to the *Charon QC 2010 Blogging & Drinking* award (Top Right). Believe me… you will have earned it by the time you reach the end (if you do) of this Blawg Review. If you simply want to check this Blawg Review to see if you are in it – you will find the search engine box at the top of my blog should do the business for you.

By the way.. you can always buy your own ‘Peerage’… for £21.95...online.. here. Fill yer boots.  I’ve got one.

And… one learns something every day… I discovered this from Twitter….

2011 is a prime number/sum of 11 consecutive primes  2011=157+163+167+173+179+181+191+193+197+199+211

So… on to Blawg Review #292…


Some say that twitter is killing blogging.  Judging by the evidence below, this is not the case.  Friend and fellow law blogger and skeptic,  Jack of Kent, might say that such a statement is ‘misconceived’  and, possibly, ‘illiberal’.   Some say that twitter is micro-blogging.  That is not just misconceived, it is nonsense. Judging by the evidence from the many blogs I visited to do this review, blogging takes time and effort and enthusiasm.  Twitter is great… but apart from the laboured efforts of  a very few twittersthetes… most tweets take no effort at all…and twitter provides a very different function from blogs….to inform, comment, natter,  amuse and, sometimes….. debate, argue, bicker and  fight…. a closer approximation to pub discussion than can be achieved on a blog and with a higher degree of immediacy.



This is my sixth Blawg Review (One co-hosted with Colin Samuels of Infamy or Praise). I said that I would not do another last year – but it is quiet at this time of year, I enjoy writing Blawg Review, and I want to push British and Irish law blogging!  So I emailed Ed of Blawg Review and asked if my usual slot – the first Blawg Review of the year – was still free.  It was…so here I am.  It is, of course, the time of The Lord of Misrule, the theme of my Blawg Review two years ago, and I see no reason not to run riot… so I shall… and I shall be giving a lot of prominence to British law blogs.

As these rather long Blawg Reviews of mine take a bit of time to put together, there will be moments of lucidity – one cannot drink Rioja all day – so there will be a mix of sense and insensibility… nay, even nonsense.  I won’t necessarily pick the most recent post from a blogger – I shall pick interesting posts to give you a flavour of the style and approach of the bloggers featured. [Lord of Misrule Rules – Rule 1.1]

It is also, apropos of nothing,  Cicero’s Birthday on the 3rd January… so as an artifice  I may well refer to Cicero throughout the Blawg Review.  This should go some way to explaining why there are random Cicero quotations dotted about the place. “Cicero was a Roman philosopher, statesman, lawyer, political theorist, and Roman constitutionalist.  He liked a bit of ‘Greek’ and, in fact, he introduced the Romans to the chief schools of Greek philosophy and created a Latin philosophical vocabulary (with neologisms such as humanitas, qualitas, quantitas, and essentia).”

If you have a garden and an iPad, you have everything you need. ~ Cicero

I studied Latin at a detention centre called Trinity College Glenalmond in Perthshire and spent many happy hours pointlessly (as I thought at the time), construing Latin into English. I always enjoyed the idea of ‘going into winter quarters’.  As it happens, in later life I found it most useful. My ex-wife used to roll her eyes when I said, as one does, non haec in foedera veni [Lord Radcliffe in Davis Contractors Ltd v. Fareham Urban District Council [1956] A.C. 696] in response to a suggestion that we go shopping. The maxim means… it was not this that I agreed to do.  Much better in Latin.  I am fairly sure that Cicero would have approved.

The issue of pronunciation of Latin provided some light relief.. Cicero: pronounced /ˈsɪsɨroʊ/; Classical Latin: /ˈkikeroː/.  The Latin master was a modern and was very easy to wind up by adopting classical latin pronunciation.  When asked why we were pronouncing Cicero as Kikero and Caeser and Keezar…. we would say that we were merely being classicists.  This was not the unpleasant teasing of a teacher.  The Latin master was a fine man with a wry sense of humour, who had the gift of illuminating with interest rather than resorting to the tactics of the mathematics master who used blackboard dusters as projectiles and the sharp end of a divider  to din basic theorems into dense/unwilling 13 and 14 year old heads. The Human Rights Act had not been passed when I was at school and I did not know any law, so an application to the International Criminal Court was out of the question.  At least he had not heard of waterboarding.

Neither can embellishments of language be found without arrangement and expression of thoughts, nor can thoughts be made to shine without the light of language. ~ Cicero

What follows may well confirm Cicero’s aphorism…..


I’m going to start with the land of my ancestors – Scotland….


‘Many a mickle makes (or ‘maks’) a muckle’ is a curious Scottish saying of antiquity, although it is also common in the North of England and not entirely unknown elsewhere. It is derived from ‘A wheen o’ mickles mak’s a muckle’, and means ‘many of one thing make another, larger, thing’. A simple lesson, but one which needs restating; one must always look after the pennies. Source

Over the year, tweeting with Scots lawyers @loveandgarbage and @PeatWorrier – which can be a (pleasingly)  surreal experience – I have started to take a keen interest in Scots Law and, from there, the writings of many good Scots law bloggers from the very experienced practitioners and academics to the keen and knowledgeable law students…

. . . that of all the propensities which teach mankind to torment themselves, that of causeless fear is the most irritating, busy, painful, and pitiable.

Sir Walter Scott

This famous quotation seems, to my eye, to be as good a way of introducing the Scots law blogs as any…apart from this great photograph which I could not resist

Lallands Peat Worrier considers the Sheridan perjury case…

On the perjuries of a satsuma socialist…

Law’s great brutality, and in many respects, its great achievement, is its artificial finality. Judge and jury cannot shrug. They can fail to be convinced, but they cannot avoid making a decision.

LoveandGarbage veers  between the sane and surreal – writing in depth about serious issues and then going off piste on the SNOW, one of his favourite topics in recent weeks… How politics works: Weather hysteria

And then LoveandGarbage was able to report from The Cabinet Rooms at Cowley Street… Cable speaks to the nation: Declaration of war on Rupert Murdoch

SCOTS LAW NEWS is a very good starting point to be kept abreast of law issues and topical matters… from Edinburgh University.

Megrahi update: “As 2010 comes to an end, with tales of Mr Megrahi’s imminent demise apparently somewhat exaggerated, time for an update on the rush of other stories on the subject that became public during December 2010……”

Ian Hamilton QC  – ‘a drunk man looks at the thistle’ is always worth a read even if you know nothing about law….

Her Majesty’s Advocate against Mr & Mrs Sheridan

The News of the World has at last won its vendetta against a left wing politician. It has done so with the connivance of the Lord Advocate. If at first you don’t succeed keep trying. Scottish justice has notched up another political miscarriage of justice alongside that of Al Megrahi and Muir of Huntershill.

This remains to be said. For the Lord Advocate to bring this case was a prostitution of Scots law. The Lord Advocate is a member of the Scottish government and the government was the pimp. The aim was not to seek justice but to placate Rupert Murdoch and the News of the World.

The Lockerbie Case

And if you really want to get to grips with The Lockerbie case…and it may be a good idea for US Senators to do so… then you can’t do much better than this… blog by Robert Black QC FRSE who became Professor of Scots Law in the University of Edinburgh in 1981 having previously been in practice at the Scots Bar.

Jonathan Mitchell QC considers… Judicial conduct and complaints: “Last month, the Scottish judiciary launched an excellent new website (even the reliably-bilious Peter Cherbi described it as ‘quite good’!). It has a great deal of material which was previously inaccessible, ranging from all travel and subsistence expenses claimed by individual salaried judicial office holders to summaries of significant sentencing statements in the courts; even a Twitter feed, for the benefit of journalists rather than lawyers or the public…..”

I am impressed that senior experienced practitioners and academics are writing about Injustice. A Diary of Injustice in Scotland (by Peter Cerbi) addresses this head on. Review of 2010 : Scots legal system ‘remains Victorian’, party litigants, court users & consumers face a continued battle for access to justice

Technollama has this warning! The Internet is dangerous

The Firm (Scots law magazine) focuses on topical issues and news.  For another useful resource on topical law matters: Absolvitor (Scots law magazine)

Jennie Law (by a self-styled “Library Monkey” from a law firm in Edinburgh) provides a sometimes acerbic view…

A latey, librariany, stereotypey shopping treasury

You! Yes, you! So you know a librarian? And you like stereotypes? And you want to buy them something for Christmas that fits in nicely to that stereotype?*

Well, let me help…


WardBlawgG has a look at law studies with: How to study law using mindmaps.

Scots Law Student (life and trials of learning law in Scotland) Life of a Scots Law Student (at Stirling)

Legaleaglemhm’s Blog Does what it says on the tin…. “Recording history as it happens – A paradigm shift in communications a new world of Law – help me to document it.”

And a few more excellent blogs for you to read from Scotland…

Alan Tench Public Law and Devolution: The constitutional provisions of the Scotland bill

Legal History blog: Scottish Chief Justice of Jamaica (18th Century) and his Court Reports

Eric Clive’s European Private Law News: Response by Federation of Small Businesses on European contract law

Edinburgh Commercial Law blog: Elf and Safety? A Christmas Data Protection Thought

General updating on Scots Law: Casecheck



I have her permission to link…. and I very much hope you will go and have a good look at her series of 365 pics – one pic a day for a year.  Many of the photographs are wonderful to look at.. others are surreal…. there are too many to pick a favourite… but I laughed when I saw the horsehead pics..and the blue plastic lad with the baseball bat hitting the raspberry appealed to my sense of the Dada and absurd.

View the picks here







Blogging lives…and, in fact, seems to be growing….

Being a keen fan of Test cricket, I could not let pass the fact that England retained The Ashes at The Melbourne Cricket Ground  last week and as this Blawg Review comes out I hope that we will win the series 3-1, defeating the Australians 3-1.  We shall have to see… cricket is a complex game.  The Fifth Test starts tonight….but The Aussies can’t win The Ashes, they can only square the series.  We haven’t retained The Ashes on Australian soil for 24 years.  Judging by reports in the Australian press…they are none to pleased with that and are laying into their own cricketers….

I don’t have too much sympathy for the Aussies about the cricket and my fellow blogger Peter Black  in Australia owes me a second virtual bottle of Rioja!  The picture above shows the victorious England cricket team doing The Sprinkler dance!

Australian Law Blogs a directory of blogs related to Australian law, the legal profession, Australian law firms or legal studies

Soldier, former banker, blogger and now training to be a lawyer…Oedipus Lex has a very fine blog. He wrote a guest post for my blog on Remembrance Sunday. Beautifully written and powerful. Remembrance Day – a guest post from OedipusLex

He is also a cricket fanatic.

To read The Sun, The Daily Mail and the banal utterings of some of our more right wing politicians one could be forgiven for thinking that The Human Rights Act is an unwelcome barrier to the administration of a good lynching. Fortunately, we have The UK Human Rights Blog to remind us with regular, informed, posts just why we need the Human Rights Act

Here is a selection of their Top 20 posts for 2010 from the members of 1 Crown Office Row on human rights

Obiter J is always on the button with his observations on topical legal issues : A Jewel Beyond Price … the Magistracy of England and Wales

And..talking of human rights… and the ideal of fair trials, presumption of innocence... Bystander JP of The Magistrates Blog makes a very good point with this…

Just A Minute…..

The police are dealing with the horrible Bristol murder, and we ought to let them get on with their job. A man is in custody, and investigations continue. If there is enough evidence the CPS will authorise charge, and the justice system will take its course….

A number of lawyers on twitter drew attention to The Contempt of Court Act 1981 and the CPS Guidelines on Thursday 30th December 2010 – only for some to deride us and talk about their right to freedom of speech.  Trial by twitter is worse than trial by mainstream media. At least with mainstream media there is recourse.  How can The Contempt of Court Act be enforced against thousands of tweeters who have made their minds up on guilt or innocence? We saw the same ‘trial by twitter and ‘meedja’ with Assange on the rape issue. I would rather see the rule of law and due process observed than give people the right to potentially prejudice a fair trial.  Old fashioned?

Another magistrate oriented blog, The Justice of The Peace blog, asks…..The Office for Judicial Complaints or The Spannish Inquisition?

Human Rights in Ireland is well worth reading.  The issues are similar and a broad perspective is always valuable. Another irish blog I enjoy…Cearta.ie – Irish for Rights… Legal Requirements of Christmas Cheer

Carl Gardner, ex government lawyer and author of The Head of Legal blog,  is always tough on detail and analysis when it comes to human rights and constitutional issues: LibCon: is the process fair to Julian Assange?

I did a podcast with Carl before Christmas on the Assange affair – and one with Assange’s lawyer, Mark Stephens.  This was analysis of the issues to date and did not prejudge the issue of guilt or innocence.  Lawcast 174: Carl Gardner on the Assange / Wikileaks Extradition

Garrulous Law has some interesting coverage: The Julian Assange Case: Frequently Asked Questions

Solicitor Art Li...in Art Li’s Mumblings considers the matter of student protests in Up the Creek?



Justice is the set and constant purpose which gives every man his due ~ Cicero

And here… it has to be BabyBarista first up…Tim Kevan’s wonderfully duplicitous creazione

“Earlier this week it was TheVamp suffering judicial ignorance. Today I had the pleasure of being subjected to the following judgment:

‘Mr BabyBarista tells me there is clear court of appeal authority to say that I cannot find for the proposition put forward by the other side. That may well be so. But this is the small claims court and we all know full well that in reality Mr BabyBarista’s insurance company is never going to appeal such a small case.’ He gave me a cruel smile before continuing, ‘Which of course means that I am not only completely free to disregard such high-minded authorities but very much intend to do so.’…..

From Kangaroo court

And then… there is Anonymous Assistant… the Diary of a down trodden solicitor: Party Politics : “The firm has reinstated the Christmas party.   I haven’t mentioned it before because I thought it was like the Coalition promising to retain universal Child Benefit: I never really thought it would happen.”  (I thoroughly enjoyed doing a podcast with AA some time ago… she put on a wonderful fake voice.  We did a fair bit of laughing in that podcast)

And… new blogger on the block…Magic Circle Minx… using the wonderful movie tool which  I enjoyed using some time back… Tis The Season To Train As A Lawyer

And… you just have to read The White Rabbit – written by a serious lawyer who rarely manages to even shoehorn a bit of law into his excellent blog – picking up on the ‘unusual’ things in life. This will give you a flavour… Okay I said ‘normal’ service…



In a year when sundry footballers and tedious celebrities have been misusing law to suppress publication of their antics….and corporates have been using libel laws to suppress and oppress…. thankfully, we have some excellent bloggers to keep us abreast of these ‘goings on’.

David Allen Green, aka Jack of Kent, is doing a series of posts on Libel and, hopefully reform is on the way…. Libel Reform Part I: the purpose of defamation law . The main page for this series on libel is here.

Inforrm – Top Posts of 2010

This blog will give you a very clear picture on media matters.  Essential reading if you are interested in this field.

Legal Bizzle gives a perspective on commercial law generally and writes: Dear Santa, please can I have some clients that don’t shout at me?

The Fat Bigot cannot be classified in any category – a retired barrister, he writes as he finds…. with precision and a degree of sardonic humour; Resigned or frustrated : “I find it hard to write anything these days. It’s not that there is nothing to write about, just in the last couple of weeks we’ve had the EU bullying Ireland at the behest of Germany, a multi-million pound talking shop farce in Mexico, the first guilty plea from a former MP who defrauded the public purse, the strengthening of the food police and people rioting about nothing in London. Yet I haven’t been stirred to action. I’m trying to work out why….”

Geeklawyer – whose blog was down for ‘essential maintenance’ when I visited, rather than being accidentally erased after several jugs of Mead, spends much of his time on Twitter these days.  When he does blog...always a laugh and by no means office safe.



After tastelessly tweeting that they could not believe that “Two people bought a #divorce from divorce-online.co.uk on Christmas Day”…. these chaps have gone one better and are now having a competition to let people WIN a divorce.

I suspect that the leading Family Law bloggers may be rather surprised at this.

“MARRIED couples facing the heartbreak of splitting up are being urged to enter a controversial competition – to win a divorce. Husbands and wives who have decided to go their separate ways are being invited to enter the contest by one of the UK’s leading do-it-yourself divorce experts. Divorce Online has organised the competition to highlight that ending your marriage does not have to be an unpleasant experience and should not cost couples thousands of pounds in solicitors’ fees.”  More….

Hat Tip to Brian Inkster of Scots law firm Inksters for tipping me off on this wondrous plan. Brian does a fair bit of tweeting – and provides useful information through twitter.

John Bolch of Family Lore, day in day out, come rain or shine, is at his post providing an excellent service to family lawyers with his blog, updates and podcasts (which he does with Natasha Philips of Researching Reform).  John Bolch also has a very comprehensive list of Family Law bloggers and commentators. As I now have a self awarded ASBO prohibiting me from going within 200 yards of a Register office, Church or other premises licensed to marriage, I tend not to spend a great deal of time reading family law blogs.

So while Divorce Online is holding competitions so people can get divorced free, the government is pushing people to stay married…

News Brief: Shock treatment: “The Telegraph reports the latest wheeze of Iain Duncan Smith in his on-going campaign to cure all of society’s ills by making couples stay together:

“Parents who are on the brink of splitting up could be told to “walk through” the impact that divorce would have on their children under a radical plan being considered by ministers.”

Pink Tape has a sharp incisive style to her blogging : Legal Aid Reforms – It’s Not Rocket Science Boys. Pink Tape writes: “I could spout on and on about all the things wrong with the Legal Aid reforms set out in the Green Paper published last month (and indeed I already have), but in fact Polly Curtis has already done it for me, in this recent article in The Guardian.

Jacqui Gilliat of ‘Bloody Relations’ doesn’t blog as often as she did on her own blog – but when she does it is a good read. The Dangers of Technology



I enjoy looking at old prints of judges and barristers from the past. I have several of these prints in The Staterooms.  This came from Collectorsprints.com.

UK Blawg Round Up celebrates its first birthday this week and Paul Hajek of Clutton Cox solicitors (with blog) will host the 5th edition…this coming week.   UK Blawg Round up is to be welcomed, providing a regular review of UK law blogging.

Melanie Hatton, an in-house lawyer, did the 4th Roundup: A Halloween Hoot.

Shireen Smith of Azrights has a look at the very topical issue of Wikileaks: Wikileaks: Technical sanctions by Service Providers.

Solicitor Peter Groves has a good look at domain name leasing and is now providing high quality CPD online: Domain name leasing. Peter is also bringing out a Dictionary of Intellectual Property. The dictionary  will be published in or about February 2011 by Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd.

Is this some new, unnecessary, dodgy activity? That was my first thought when a client asked me for my advice the other day. How do you lease something so nebulous as a domain name? The very idea of it brought out the grumpy old man in me….

The IPKat, produced by leading IP Prof Jeremy Phillips and his colleagues, is a remarkable resource for those who have an interest in Intellectual property: A tale for our time: Princess Ilonka and the Landeshauptmann

Barrister Jane Lambert’s NIPCLAW blog is a valuable resource for IP matters: Practice: More from Media CAT

Peninsulawyer asks...”Why would I spend my last post of 2010 writing about Baz Luhrmann’s song Everybody’s free (to wear sunscreen)? and exhorts … Class of 2011 (encrypt your data)

Andrew Sharpe of Charles Russel CRITique | Our Commercial Law blog :#TwitterJokeTrial: a Deconstruction of a Statutory Provision – a sharp observation on a difficult issue (mea culpa) and also uses twitter to engage and make useful comments on a range of topical issues.

If you have a conflict of laws interest, Conflict of Law.net will be a good place to look to keep up to date with developments in this field.

Clarinette – French and English intellectual property specialist discusses… Wikileaks and Freedom of internet

Lilian Edwards of Pangloss, a specialist in commercial matters digital,writes:  Wikileaks drips on: some responses.

Cyberpanda: A blog by Asma Vranaki which analyses important legal developments in the field of cyberspace including privacy, defamation, intellectual property, e-commerce and online property in the UK, EU, USA and the Far East.

Lex Ferenda: The regulation of video games: past, present and future


And now for some student and student oriented blogs…

Regular readers may be familiar with my Muttley Dastardly LLP posts.  I am advised, by some in the know, that fiction is pretty close to the truth….sometimes.

If you are thinking of a career in law, or are currently studying with a view to a career in law….you may wish to read…..

Partner and Director of Education, Muttley Dastardly LLP

On the other hand…. you will be better served, if you plan a career at the Bar, by reading two excellent blogs…

Simon Myerson QC and his Pupillage and How to get it: I won’t extract a particular post.  If you are thinking of going to the Bar – please read ALL of it. You will be both wiser and better informed.

You will also find this…most useful: The Pupillage Blog Returns

No longer a student… but with an excellent blog which he started while studying law…. Law Actually asks… Is the iPad culture killing blogging?

Another blog started while the blogger was studying – but still going strong…Android’s Reminiscences: Rejected QLTT Applications submitted before 31 August.

Travis The Trout has an interesting perspective on….Mentoring Schemes – another viable route to a job?

Alan Plawtridge chucks his hat into the ring with…. My two pennies on Legal Education

Not a blog, more of a resource and guide for law students – from City University Law School – LawBore

Future lawyer and cricket fanatic – who can teach Iain Dale a thing or two about cricket (as he demonstrated on Twitter the other night when Dale was being a bit ‘lofty’) –  Ashley Connick, writes about his remarkable experience at Christmas: In the bleak midwinter…a ray of sunshine

Former Bar student and supporter of many law blog…LAWMINX has returned to the fray… Minx and the Goblet Chariot of Fire…….

Barmaid’s hair has turned white:My Hair Turned White!

Lateforlawschool: In which we consider the future.

One of my biggest worries when I started my degree was whether I had left it too late to become a solicitor. I will be 36 when I finish, and 37 when I’ve done either of the vocational qualifications. Would I be too long in the tooth for someone to take on? Would I be doing an expensive degree only to find out the market had no use for me? In the end, I decided that this was something I’do always wanted to do, and even if it didn’t lead to anything, a good quality degree never hurts. Besides, I was doing this to prove to myself that I could. So I got on with it.



When you wish to instruct, be brief; that men’s minds take in quickly what you say, learn its lesson, and retain it faithfully. Every word that is unnecessary only pours over the side of a brimming mind. ~ Cicero

2011 will be a year of significant change for the legal profession. A number of bloggers focus on these reforms and changes and, of course, mainstream legal media: Legal Week, The Law Society Gazette and The Lawyer.

Professor Richard Moorhead of Cardiff University Law School keeps a close watch on developments in the profession and, most recently, writes: Business as usual? What next for the LSB?

Professor John Flood is another blogger who writes well on this topic.  His blog, Random Academic Thoughts (RATs) also goes off piste with amusing observations. This is not surprising.  John has a sideline as a stand up comedian.  True story!  A brave man!. A recent post:  Research Does Have Impact considers the issue of diversity in the profession.

Lawyers should be aware of a wide range of issues, including business, finance, politics and the economy.  Here are a couple of blogs which I read regularly and which I hope will be of value to you:  Pragmatist and Capitalists At Work.

And for up to date coverage of legal matters on the net and newsNick Holmes’ Infolaw and The Inner Temple Current Awareness service are essential references. Nick Holmes also writes the Binary Law blog: The hype cycle

Nick writes…“Apropos my social meeja blues I consulted the web. Turns out I can plot my disillusionment on Gartner’s hype cycle representing the maturity, adoption and social application of specific technologies.”

If you need to be briefed on the latest developments on technology for lawyersCharles Christian’s Legal Technology Insider is the place to go.

And no resource review is complete without Delia Venableswebsite on web resources.

Chrissie Lightfoot…not a blogger, but an enthusiastic tweeter, has a direct approach to marketing and innovation for lawyers…..

The Naked Lawyer


Julian Summerhayes says….Your Biggest Competitive Threat for 2011 (and it isn’t ‘Tesco law’)

If you are a bit ‘Hazy’ still on The Legal Services Act, solicitor Michael Scutt has just what you need.

And… for a very interesting viewpoint on the Irish economy from an Irish lawyer, Fergus O’Rourke…. It Was The Lending

The Time Blawg – The past, present and future of legal practice has landed: “A New Day, a New Year and a New Blawg materialises… The Time Blawg [The past, present and future practice of law], brought to you by Brian Inkster. Why Blawg? My interest in blogging has grown from my use of Twitter [@BrianInkster] which brought to my attention the many great blogs that are out there.

The Legal Brat writes: Why US lawyers don’t want their boss’s job

Informationoverlord is always worth a visit for …well….information: Free law book chapters

Combining law and medicine Dr Shibley Rahman has produced a useful blog:  Academic Law and Medicine

AND… the contribution of The Guardian to law news is very welcome and a must read and Afua Hirsch’s blog also



I’ve followed Nearly Legal since NL was ‘nearly legal’.  The blog is a very sophisticated resource now in housing law and related matters: Janus.

And this quote from the Janus post sums up much of what is good about the blogosphere generally… “While on thanks, a particular debt of gratitude is owed to Tessa Shepperson of landlordlaw, whose help and support in providing new server space has been invaluable for the last year and for the future. We do this for the love of it, but Tessa stepped in with material assistance when it was needed and that support has been hugely helpful.”

Tessa Shepperson’s Landlordlaw blog must be a first port of call for anyone practising in this field, let alone members of the public who need information: TRO Confidential – The case of catch me if you can

On conveyancing matters Paul Hajek of Cluttons Cox covers the ground…. thoroughly.

If you happen to be a bit worried about murder and evidence…you may find the Murder and Evidence blog of interest: Changes in the Defences to Murder


I enjoy reading…The law, as seen from the cheap seats…

And now… something for lawyer topers… The Jack Of Kent Drinking Game

From @Gaijinsan21… another reason why Twitter can be a very fruitful way of wasting industrial amounts of time… I do… I am up to nearly 70,000 tweets in just over two years…

The basis of the game is to drink the appropriate forfeit each time @DavidAllenGreen (aka Jack of Kent)mentions certain phrases. The basic phrases are as follows:
Illiberal – drink one shot / one finger of Chianti
Extraordinary – drink a large whisky
Misconceived – drink a double vodka (thanks to @andromedababe)
Illiberal and Misconceived – finish any and all drinks you have.

It must be time for a Cicero quote….

Never go to excess, but let moderation be your guide.
Marcus Tullius Cicero

Obviously… on this occasion, I am not able to support, condone or agree with such a ‘misconceived and illiberal’ statement from Cicero. Sláinte.

I am able, however, to attest to the fact the Gaijin-San has some penetrating analysis of more serious matters legal on the blog.

In the spirit of the ‘Drinking Game’… it must be time for another Cicero quote…

No sane man will dance.
Marcus Tullius Cicero

Returning to more complex legal matters…

Obiter J has two excellent posts written over the New Year celebrations: New Year 2011 – What lies ahead and a Toast to Health and Peace and Detention without charge

Barrister Bard writes on the important subject of Anonymity in criminal matters: ANONYMITY

It is obviously a quiet time for the Press and Media.  The snow and ice have gone, at least for the time being, and life is returning to some sort of normality.  The obvious exception is Northern Ireland, where burst pipes have reduced the flow of water to a trickle, but if they managed to survive thirty years of the IRA and the UDF, bombing and shooting their way to the negotiating table, they can survive anything. To fill the quiet time, the Press and Media have targeted the violent death of Joanna Yeates, a Bristol girl found strangled and dumped in woodlands over Christmas.  In the normal course of events, this would hardly merit a by-line, but with little else to report, it has become headline news……

I can recommend an excellent blog on matters relating to The Supreme Court and analysis of judgments: The UKSC blog: Lord Judge and the Public Bodies Bill



In a republic this rule ought to be observed: that the majority should not have the predominant power.
Marcus Tullius Cicero

Blawg Review has been running for five years. It is the creation of  Ed of Blawg Review and a raft of American law bloggers. Bloggers from other jurisdictions have been invited to host,  but most weeks the Blawg Review tends to focus on US law blogs which is understandable.

I have read most of the 291 Blawg Reviews and I have no hesitation in recommending that you dip into the blogs listed on Blawg Review if you wish to gain an insight into the quality of writing, the issues taken by bloggers, and the US legal system.

This week I have chosen to feature British blogs, a few Irish blogs I read regularly,  and draw your attention to the many Canadian blogs available.  My coverage of US blogs in this issue is limited, simply through time and concern that  my review may  already be  longer than a cricket wicket.

I am, therefore, going to draw attention to a few US blogs I read regularly, not because of their coverage of US Law, but because they are thought provoking, direct and address issues which are of universal application to all lawyers – and leave you to explore, should you wish to, the many excellent law blogs in the Blawg Review listing #1-291.

WhatAboutClients?, written by Dan Hull, a blog which transmogrifies into WhatAboutParis? at weekends, is quirky, provocative and eclectic – and very much focused on client service. Note to “Publius”: In 2011, resolve to grow a pair and use your real name on the Internet. “This blog’s policy is no-name no-publish. We’ve written about it a lot. Because, among other things, we need to know exactly how to address that summons or subpoena, you know?” (I am not within this rule because I am not anonymous, as my About Section makes clear)

Above The Law describes itself as a legal tabloid.  It really is worth reading, as is Overlawyered (Chronicling the high cost of (The US) legal system) ) – a wonderful mix of…shall we say… the ‘unusual aspects’ of the legal world.

AND…. if you really want some in depth analysis of what is going on in US blogs weekly – you just have to read Colin Samuels’ Infamy or Praise *Round Tuits*. Colin took a short break in December but he has notched up his 50 and can wave his bat towards the ‘barmy army’ and the dressing room.  The most recent RoundTuit from 1 December will give you a flavour.  Colin won all the annual awards for Blawg Review and is a pleasure to work with on my social satire West London Man – which returns in January.

US lawyer and artist Charles Fincher’s cartoons are always worth a view…and the Bitcher & Prickman, particularly relevant to modern legal practice.

Scott Greenfield, a US defense lawyer, writes regularly on his blog Simple Justice.

Social Media Trends For 2011

Being a cutting edge blawger, and therefore infallibly knowledgeable about all things social media, it struck me as critical that I keep abreast of trends in the coming year. After all, did I not move from LPs to 8 tracks almost immediately? 

My journey began at Social Media Today, which bills itself as the “web’s best thinkers on social media.”  I want to hear from the best thinkers, so I turned to Eric Rice….

Scott Greenfield can always be relied on to be amusing and provocative about social media ‘experts’…..rightly.

There are many excellent Canadian Law blogs.  We share many values in terms of the rule of law and common law and a visit to these blogs may well throw up an insight into how things are done in a different jurisdiction which will have to address issues with which we are familiar…. Rather than make a specific selection in this Blawg Review…. I thought it best to give you the list on the Lawblog.ca website…there are almost certainly more… have a look at the blogrolls on some of the blogs below for more.

I am, however, more than happy to draw your specific attention to three Canadian blogs I read regularly: Antonin Pribetic:  The Trial Warrior | Law21.ca (Jordan Furlong) with many insightful analyses on matters affecting the profession of general application | Slaw – an excellent and thoughtful blog run by Professor Simon Fodden and his colleagues.

I hope that my fellow bloggers from The United States will forgive that I did not highlight US blogs to any extent in this Blawg Review. I gave my reasons above.  It has been a pleasure to have been part of Blawg Review and I hope that the many US law bloggers will enjoy visiting some of the excellent blogs I have featured here.  I know that I will have missed other good blogs.  There is only so much time in a holiday period over Christmas and New Year and not appearing in this long review does not connote lack of interest on my part…simply that I ran out of time.
Have a good New Year…
I end with a quote from Cicero…. “I prefer tongue-tied knowledge to ignorant loquacity.” but I am not so sure I can agree with Cicero when he said…”Laws should be interpreted in a liberal sense so that their intention may be preserved.”  Parliament must learn to be precise in drafting laws, so that we know exactly what they mean and can, as an electorate, respond accordingly. Until then, thankfully, we have our Supreme Court to ensure that Parliament is clear in its intention and that governments comply with the rule of law.
Blawg Review has information about next week’s host, and instructions how to get your blawg posts reviewed in upcoming issues.


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