Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Weekly News

Legal News

Independent Insurance founder jailed for seven years for fraud
Michael Bright, the former chief executive of Independent Insurance has been sentenced to seven years for committing fraud that helped cause the collapse of the company. CPD Webinars

Employers face prosecution over crashes involving company car drivers
Companies that fail to make sure that their employees drive safely face prosecution under a new campaign by police to reduce the 1,000 fatal crashes a year involving work vehicles. Times

Lover wins court fight with dead tycoon's son
The lover of a wealthy businessman who committed suicide before fulfilling his promise to marry her on the Queen Mary 2 cruiseliner yesterday won a High Court battle with his family over his £3 million fortune. Telegraph

Councillor who offered staff paid Christmas shopping leave to prevent ‘skiving’ sacked
A councillor at Leicestershire County Council has been sacked for offering workers a fully paid afternoon off to do their Christmas shopping. Personnel Today

Senior judge calls for trust in jury system
Britain’s most senior judge has called for judges and the legal system to place more trust in the common sense of juries. Times

Disability qualification launched
The first qualification in disability awareness has been launched to help employers comply with disability legislation. HR Zone

Best of the Blogs

Jury service: should the Government turn the clock back?
Frances Gibb asks - do people in the legal profession influence the juries on which they sit and does having a police officer or lawyer make that jury less impartial? Times

BabyB takes on his next challenge. Baby Barista at the Times

Me and the Mob
It isn't often I get to arrest Real Criminals. In fact, I am not sure I have ever actually arrested a Real Criminal at all. PC Bloggs lists the signs that identify Real Criminals. PC Bloggs

Juries - Do we need them?
Brian St Louis and Nichola Higgins give their opinion on juries and the Bar Quality Advisory Panel. Bar Council Blog

'Convergence' is not an excuse to regulate the internet
The line between old and new media is becoming increasingly blurred. So why not do away with broadcast regulation altogether? asks Graham Smith. Times

'I spend my days preparing for life, not for death'
The former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal has spent 25 years on death row in the United States - despite strong evidence that he is innocent. In his first British interview, he talks to Laura Smith about life in solitary, how he has remained politically active, and why the Panthers are still relevant today. Guardian

And Finally...

Thief unstuck after cement mixer escape
A thief caught shoplifting in Germany failed to grasp the concept of a quick getaway when he jumped into a cement mixer to try to flee the scene of his crime. Sky

Widow sentenced to eternity with in-laws
A widow who does not want to be buried with her parents-in-law has failed in her attempt to have her husband's ashes dug up. Telegraph

Victims make burglar clean their house
A couple in the United States knew exactly what to do with the burglar they caught ransacking their home. They made him clean up - at gunpoint. Sky

Hitch hits mobile phone funeral
The family of a Montenegrin man whose dying wish was to be buried with his mobile phone are to dig him up again after discovering they had forgotten the SIM card. Ananova

Weird and wonderful foreign phrases
English is a rich and wonderful language - but sometimes it's just not good enough... Mirror

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Weekly News

Legal News

Asian detective wins victimisation claim
An Asian detective has won a claim of victimisation against the Metropolitan Police after an employment tribunal found he had been victimised by his bosses. CPD Webinars

Freshfields lawyer loses discrimination case
Peter Bloxham, the former head of restructuring at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, has lost his landmark £4.5 million age discrimination claim against the elite City law firm. Times

Widow loses bid to stop £100,000 payment to ex-wife
A woman whose husband died a few hours after their wedding ceremony failed today to stop his former wife inheriting a large chunk of his estate. Times

Inconvenient verdict delivered on Gore's climate change film
It's the box-office sensation credited with confronting the world with the honest reality of climate change. But a High Court judge in London has made some distinctly inconvenient criticisms of An Inconvenient Truth, the Oscar-winning documentary on global warming made by Al Gore. Independent

Employment Appeals Tribunal refuses 'powerful' new evidence
A worker has won the right to compensation for his sacking after being accused of poaching customers from his employer and starting up his own rival firm. The employer lost the case despite a tribunal finding 'powerful evidence' in the employer's favour. Out-Law

Bent Coppers' author wins libel battle
A journalist has been cleared of libelling a former police officer whom he suggested might be guilty of corruption at the Court of Appeal. Times

Best of the Blogs

BigMouth, CopyCat, blind leading the blind
BabyB continues with his dastardly deeds to get what he wants. Baby Barista at the Times

BPP Law School: Forget students, this college has 'clients'
Privately owned and with a tough work ethic, BPP is a university with a lot of differences, says Andy Sharman. Independent

Carly is mad
PC Bloggs says that it is the police's job to look after Carly. It is their job to ferry her to and from mental institutes, to stand at the doors of said institutes to bounce her back in when she escapes. PC Bloggs

Can the judges trust Jack Straw?
Frances Gibb asks - is Jack Straw managing to pull it off with the judges? This week the Justice Secretary, aka Lord Chancellor, was clearly proffering plentiful olive branches to ease the deadlock in the continuing discord between the judiciary and the executive. Times

The Rule of Law, the Bill, and BQAB
The legal year has opened and Parliament is back in session. And there will not now be an election any time soon. With all this excitement over, we can return to the serious business of representing the profession says Geoffrey Vos QC. Bar Council Blog

Tenant defending s21 claim under the DDA 1995
More landlord law from the landlord law blog. Landlord Law Blog

And Finally...

Doctors save man with vodka drip
Doctors have kept a man alive by feeding him vodka through a drip for three days. Mirror

DNA mix-up babies reunited with families
Two families who realised they had the wrong babies only after one couple took a DNA test to silence pub gossips have been reunited with their real children. Sky

Would-be president took short cut in marathon
A Mexican politician who 'won' the over-55s section of the Berlin Marathon was disqualified for taking a short cut. Ananova

Salesman gives up kidney
A US man spent four years waiting for a new kidney - only to find a donor through a chance knock on his door. Ananova

Man arrested over fake money
An American man has been arrested after he tried to pay for goods at a supermarket with a fake $1 million bill. Madasafish

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Recommended Reading

I have recently been reading an excellent book called Bad Thoughts: a guide to clear thinking by Jamie Whyte, a philosopher and occasional columnist in The Times.

The book is a guide to logical fallacies, explaining why many oft-heard arguments are logically fallacious, and exploring how such errors of reasoning have been increasingly creeping into our everyday discourse. It is powerfully argued, yet this does not detract from its entertainment value because the author manages to remain both witty and interesting throughout. He relies upon examples from, amongst other things, politics, religion and literature.

The many topics covered in the book include:why the pot actually can call the kettle black, why Pascal (in his Wager) backed a loser, why the American Declaration of Independence is wrong, why a duck is the most common score in cricket and how success in bond trading is largely based on coincidence.

It is also a subject matter that should be of great interest to barristers. I found that the book succeeded in its purpose, stated in the Preface, of helping the reader to identify such fallacies when they hear them. This is a useful tool in picking holes in opponent's arguments.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Legal News

Compensation for injured soldiers is “insulting”
The Ministry of Defence is being criticised for not looking after severely injured troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. The wife of a brain damaged soldier has said that the compensation offer is “insulting”. CPD Webinars

Pregnant woman loses unfair dismissal claim
An employment tribunal has cleared a company of unfairly sacking a pregnant employee but criticised its actions in carrying out the dismissal. Northampton Chronicle

Driver fined for smoking in lorry
A lorry driver has been prosecuted for smoking in his cab. A dog warden spotted him smoking and flicking the stub out of the lorry's window. He also received a fine for depositing litter with the stub. BBC

Good Samaritans face unfair dismissal claim
A couple who played Good Samaritan and gave work experience to a prisoner could have to pay up for unfair dismissal. This is Wiltshire

Man jailed over Facebook message
A husband banned from contacting his estranged wife was jailed after he inadvertently sent her a message on the social networking site Facebook. Telegraph

One in five job advertisements still fails to comply with age discrimination legislation
A year after age discrimination was outlawed in the workplace, one in five job advertisements still fails to comply with the rules. Personnel Today

Best of the Blogs

UK blawgs - where are we now?
Although a handful of UK law bloggers were active before 2006, it was only then that the UK blawgosphere started to take off. Since then, new law blogs have continued to appear at the rate of about one a week. There are now 125 UK law blogs. Binary Law

Playing his JackCard
BabyB's enjoying his new-found power as a tenant and gives some advice to a new pupil ‘Oh, it’s easy. Really. Just keep your head down, don’t cause any trouble and be nice to your fellow pupils.’ Baby Barista at the Times

When a judge poses a threat of serious harm . . .
There are good judges, there are mediocre judges and there are bad judges. But it is rare for an official body to conclude that a judge “poses a substantial threat of serious harm to the public and to the administration of justice” says David Pannick QC. Times

Why the record industry is terrified of Radiohead's new album
Radiohead are the latest – and greatest – (says Andy Gill) band to shun the conventional CD release. Their new album is available online – and you don't have to pay for it. Independent

The Magistrate comments on two major legal events going on at the moment, one the trial of the Metropolitan Police for 'health and safety' failures over the death of Jean-Charles de Menezes, and the other the Diana inquest. The Magistrate's Blog

Drinking makes you clever?…
Charon QC reports on some refreshing research. Charon QC

And Finally...

Officers hunt cardboard cut-out thief
A thief has stolen a cardboard cut-out of a policeman which was put in a store to deter shoplifters. Sky

Judge ridicules £100,000 cost of car legal battle
Greater love has no man than he who lays down the contents of his wallet for his dream motor. But even the most devout petrolhead would have been forced to agree with Lord Justice Ward when he described one man's feud with a dealership over his "red hot" sports car as "completely cuckoo". Independent

US law student ruins his job prospects
Read the email sent by a US law student who took less than kindly to being made to hang around all morning for a job interview. And the reply from the partner. Roll On Friday

The church that's too ugly to get married in
It will do for praising the Lord or holding funerals and christenings. But when it comes to getting married, St Michael and All Angels church might as well be in the wilderness. Mirror

Artists' secret shopping mall pad
Eight artists built and furnished a secret apartment inside a US shopping mall - and stayed there for four years. Ananova