Monday morning with Alex Williams’ cartoons

qccartoon
This cartoon is by Alex Williams who draws the Queen’s Counsel cartoons for The Times and in numerous books including The Queen’s Counsel Lawyer’s Omnibus. He offers almost all of his cartoons for sale at £120 for originals and £40 for copies and they can be obtained from this email info@qccartoon.com.

October 23, 2017 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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No Win No Fee is blamed for most things now! (For the Republic of Ireland)

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According to recent studies people who suffer harm, pain or loss through negligence when treated by a medical professional in the U.K. are now awarded more compensation per person in Medical Negligence claims than similar people in the supposedly “claim happy” U.S.A! The blame for this amazing statistic is put fairly and squarely on the “ambulance chasing” solicitors of the UK who offer such products as No Win No Fee agreements to entice people to make a claim for compensation.

Let us examine this in more detail. Anyone treated by a medical professional such as a doctor, a consultant, a surgeon, a nurse, a dentist etc is entitled to what is known as a “Duty of Care“. If by the negligence of medical professionals, you are harmed or hurt or injured in their care then you may be entitled to compensation due to the Medical Negligence.

Does this mean to us that the U. K’s legal profession is extremely aggressive, if not too aggressive or does it mean that our Medical profession is making too many errors and mistakes? Or is it a mixture of both these?

What a No Win No Fee agreement gives to everyone is the full access to the law for people that are not that financially well off. Although, No Win No Fee agreements are to be mainly found in the Personal Injury and Medical Negligence area of the law they are also now to be found in employment Law and in other types and kinds of litigation. In a No Win No Fee agreement the solicitor agrees only to charge the client in the event that they win their case for compensation. If they lose then under a No Win No Fee agreement the solicitor will not charge the client. 

A No Win No Fee agreement is a major advantage for people who in many cases are financially struggling after a medical procedure that went wrong or a miss diagnosis. Very often they are either too old or too ill to work and as a consequence money may well be very tight for them.

A No Win No Fee agreement also cuts out the possibility of a medical or dental patient possibly squandering their time and money on a Medical Negligence claim for compensation, as no solicitor in their right mind will take on a scenario where they risk losing and not earning their legal practice fees for fighting the losing case.

What is clear though is that these statistics could high light possibly the poor state of the health service in the U.K. If the rates per capita are higher than in the U.S.A. does this mean that the seriousness of the medical mistakes and the negligence in the U.K. is worth more than the compensation awarded in the U.S.A.?

We have this impression that there are hot shot lawyers in the U.S.A. that only go for the cases that will earn both their client’s huge compensation and themselves outlandish fees for medical procedures that went wrong or a miss diagnosis that caused the client major pain and harm. This may indeed be the case but they seem to be in the U.K. as well! It would certainly seem so as a No Win No fee agreement could it be argued increase the number of people claiming compensation for Medical Negligence but not the increase in per capita.

October 20, 2017 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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How to recover a debt in Spain

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Until a few years ago, when the consequences of the global financial crises were still visible, Spain’s credit profile wasn’t a good one. Things have changed as the economy started recovering, however, there are still companies and individuals who struggle to pay their debts. For those on the other side, who try to recover the amounts they are owed, the Civil Procedure Code and the Employment Law are quite strict about the procedure related to recovering debts. The Civil Procedure Code was also harmonized with the EU legislation and now provides for in-court debt recovery procedures no matter the amount.

The types of debt recovery legal procedures

There are two types of debt recovery procedures in Spain, one of them being the in-court process mentioned above. However, amicable debt collection procedures are also possible, as long as the parties agree. Even if the recovery starts amicably, most of the times the procedure ends up in a Spanish court of law. In both cases, the claimant can appeal to debt collection agencies or law firms for help in recovering a debt. During the amicable debt recovery procedure, the collecting agency can only contact by phone or email the debtor and then send the documents justifying the debt. As this method often fails and the debt is not retrieved, court proceedings are initiated.

Spain has a speedy in-court debt collection procedure

This type of process was introduced not long ago; however, it cannot start without a prior agreement between the parties. The accelerated debt collection procedure will usually start in a first instance court located in the defendant’s home town. There are also exceptions to this rule and they are applied when the debtor has failed to pay the amounts of money related to public utilities or has outstanding bills related to building management companies or public housing units.

The debt recovery process in Spain

Before filing the petition for the initiation of the debt collection procedure, the claimant must make sure he/she has all the documents supporting the claim. These include: invoices, delivery slips, summons and other documents which can prove the existence of a commercial relationship between the claimant and the defendant.

Then, the petition must state the addresses of both the petitioner and the defendant and the outstanding amount. Once the petition is filed, the defendant has 20 days to either pay the debt or file an opposition to the claim. After 20 days, no matter if the debtor has responded to the petition or not, the court will start the debt recovery procedure. This means that the court will issue an order of procedure which will be enforced by the financial institutions, debt recovery agencies, tax authorities or any other legal or natural persons, as indicated by the court.

Debt recovery under the Employment Law

This type of process was recently introduced in Spain and has as a main objective the recovery of outstanding payments related to employment relations. In other words, a worker can file a petition against an employer who fails to pay amounts up to 6,000 euros deriving from labor relations.

There are also a few exceptions to this process. Collective claims, petitions against insolvent or dissolved companies and Social Security authorities cannot be filed.

The debt recovery procedure has come a long way in Spain over the last few years and the process has been simplified a lot in order to not hamper courts of law with lengthy and costly proceedings.

October 20, 2017 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Top Careers in Criminal Justice

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Not too long ago, we talked about the top careers in law. There are some very interesting career paths just waiting to be explored, from a career in public administration to court reporting. The article garnered a lot of attention. Some of you are asking about other professions in the justice system that are just as interesting to explore.

To answer some of those questions, we thought we’d list another set of interesting careers in this field, specifically in the field of criminal justice. Here are the jobs and careers you can pursue if you want to make a difference.

Law Enforcement Officers

Law enforcement is still the most popular career in criminal justice. Law enforcement agencies across the country are hiring and expanding their forces to meet new challenges, which is why this career will always be a potential one to explore. Experts believe that the growth in different forces will open up thousands of new jobs over the next five to ten years.

Police officers and deputy sheriffs are the leading edge of law enforcement. Today, they are also responsible for crime prevention in most communities. You can expect exciting days and a rewarding career from this profession.

Becoming a law enforcement officer is a big commitment, but it is also a service to your country. Many with a military background now work in law enforcement as a way to continue serving this country and helping a bigger cause.

Forensic Accountants

Another interesting career in criminal justice is a career in forensic accounting or financial examination. As the number of white-collar crimes grows, the demand for better and more skilled financial examiners grows alongside it, making the profession one of the most rewarding in the country.

Universities such as the University of Cincinnati now make their masters in criminal justice programs more accessible through online and distance learning programs. You can pursue an online CJ degree as the first step towards the field of forensic accounting.

Naturally, you also need to have a good understanding of accounting and finance in general. Many who are successful in this field pursued a bachelor’s degree in accounting or financial management before acquiring an online MSCJ degree to enter the field.

Criminology Professor

There is one other profession that you can gain access to upon completing your online CJ degree, and that is a career as a criminology lecturer. As mentioned before, criminal justice is a growing field, which means there are more and more students choosing this field as their majors. You can help guide those students to the field of criminal justice.

The increasing popularity of online courses also means you can work out of an office and still teach students. On top of that, you can pursue a tenure in order to earn more and contribute more to the field. It is one of the best careers in criminal justice if you’re looking for long-term growth.

These aren’t the only careers you can explore, but they are some of the most interesting ones in the field of criminal justice. Complete your CJ degree and start a rewarding career in any of these fields.

October 19, 2017 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Monday morning with Alex Williams’ cartoons

qccartoon
This cartoon is by Alex Williams who draws the Queen’s Counsel cartoons for The Times and in numerous books including The Queen’s Counsel Lawyer’s Omnibus. He offers almost all of his cartoons for sale at £120 for originals and £40 for copies and they can be obtained from this email info@qccartoon.com.

October 16, 2017 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
Posted in: Uncategorized

Monday morning with Alex Williams’ cartoons

qccartoon
This cartoon is by Alex Williams who draws the Queen’s Counsel cartoons for The Times and in numerous books including The Queen’s Counsel Lawyer’s Omnibus. He offers almost all of his cartoons for sale at £120 for originals and £40 for copies and they can be obtained from this email info@qccartoon.com.

October 9, 2017 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
Posted in: Uncategorized

How to be Appointed as Litigation Friend

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A litigation friend is a person selected to speak or act on behalf of a child or as a representative of a person who is mentally incapacitated. Such person needs to be present at the court of law in the UK. If you are involved in a case like this, we remind that you can ask for legal advice, before making any movement, from a defence solicitor. He/she can also help you to prepare a Crown Court case in the UK for a positive result in your situation.

How a person is selected as a litigation friend

If you have been involved in a serious offence like robbery, theft, fraud or family violence and you cannot manage your own situation, if or not represented by an attorney, you may solicit the help of a litigation friend. According to the laws in the UK, a litigation friend may be solicited in civil cases or at the Court of Protection, but please consider that this kind of support is not the same as the legal assistance offered by an attorney. No matter the case you have been involved in and if you have been charged with serious offences, we recommend you to ask for legal representation at the police station and in the court of law from a criminal lawyer.

The methods of appointing a litigation friend

The court of law decides if a case requires a litigation friend for the persons involved in a trial, and then details will be solicited in this matter, in order to see the eligibility. Moreover, a litigation friend can be selected at the beginning of a trial or during the process, if the court of law considers it is necessary.

The responsibilities of a litigation friend

A litigation friend is the support of a person who is heard in the court of law for a particular case or situation, meaning he/she must take the best decisions, communicate with the attorney of the defendant and especially with the person who needed a litigation friend and who cannot speak on his/her behalf, for example, a child. As a short conclusion, a litigation friend needs to be the voice of an individual charged with offences, but who cannot express himself/herself, due to health problems or any other special status.

October 6, 2017 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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The Potential for Reducing Medical Mistakes through Machine Learning in Health Care

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Over the course of the last decade, artificial intelligence, sometimes referenced as machine learning, has become a buzzword in technology companies of all shapes and sizes. The use of AI in businesses cases is purported to help create more efficient processes through data interpretation that does not require human interaction. Instead, an algorithm mines information looking for trends it can build upon and respond to with speed and accuracy when the time comes. Tech firms focused on developing machine learning software and tools are at the forefront of countless industries throughout the world, both in consumer and enterprise driven fields. Even healthcare has been folded into the artificial intelligence mix, but with cautious optimism.

One of the world’s largest technology powerhouses, Google, owns a subsidiary called DeepMind which is focused on delivering AI research to meet the needs of complex organisations and their business problems. DeepMind Health, or DMH, has recently been in the news because of its partnership with the Royal Free hospital trust of London and its intent to improve the interaction between patients and medical staff in certain instances. DeepMind Health is not explicitly an AI program in the work it is doing with the NHS, but the future remains open as to what can be done in the healthcare environment with the help of machine learning. However, the first step into building specific technology to benefit the patient population has been met with serious opposition, given the fact that the Royal Free Trust shared confidential patient data with DeepMind Health in the development of the mobile application, Streams.

Understanding AKI and DeepMind’s Streams Application

The development of the Streams app was intended to help with the early detection of acute kidney injury, or AKI. Throughout the UK, 40,000 deaths are connected to AKI each year, due mainly to the abrupt damage that takes place in the kidneys with the onset of the medical condition. When the organs do not function properly, whether that is a minor loss or complete failure, temporary or lifelong dialysis may be required to bring the patient back to health. AKI is not a simple condition to identify as it can be the direct cause of a myriad of issues, including major surgery, severe burns, sepsis, or heart and another organ failure. Certain patients also experience AKI due to interaction with medications or pre-existing conditions with the kidney or urinary tract.

Because AKI shows few warning signs or symptoms, clinicians, doctors, and nurses must perform a slew of laboratory tests to determine the issue is present. In some cases, lab results can take hours to come back with definitive results, leaving patients at great risk of developing further medical problems because of a delayed AKI diagnosis or treatment. The Streams app offers alerts based on a standardised algorithm to nurses and clinicians that helps improve patient outcomes through speed and accuracy. The app does not utilise machine learning in its current state, but DeepMind has shared that AI-driven alerts could be part of the future of apps like Streams in hospital and critical care settings.

The partnership between the Royal Free Trust and DeepMind Health in the creation of the Streams app is promising in the diagnosis and treatment of AKI, but there are concerns among several healthcare advocates surrounding the development of the tool. In 2016, it was found that the NHS delivered more than 1 million patient records to DeepMind Health in an effort to help design Streams and its functionality. Those records, which now sit idle on Google-owned servers, include identifiable patient information, and the individuals whose information was shared did not give prior consent. Issues like these in the realm of healthcare privacy and the distribution of sensitive information are causing some to pause about the realistic implications of technology in the healthcare field moving forward.

Broad Implications for Technology in Medicine

With Streams, healthcare professionals have a more efficient way to view data, receive intelligent alerts, take clinical takes, and manage tasks throughout the patient care experience. While DeepMind Health has strongly stated its mission to improve patient outcomes through these technology-infused tools, the issues involving the compromise of data from the Royal Free Trust paints a slightly different picture. A legal team of medical negligence specialists shared that the wealth of data provided by Streams could be used to monitor and measure organisational responses to serious medical issues like AKI, as well as in events where patient harm occurs because of a delayed response. However, the use of technology in healthcare cannot come at the price of the deterioration of fundamental privacy rights afforded to all patients.

As more technology firms and app developers embrace the power of machine learning in the healthcare sector, there are several questions doctors, policymakers, and patients must seek to answer so that data compromises and other issues do not arise. First, it is necessary for each party involved to have an understanding of who or what will control and have access to individual patient data. The ability of AI to sort through millions of data points in a short period of time is beneficial in creating alerts and predictions as to who may be at risk for serious medical conditions, like a heart attack or a stroke. There is some evidence that points to similar promise in determining high-risk individuals who could develop diabetes, schizophrenia, or even certain cancers. None of these advanced detections should override informed consent or privacy issues, however.

October 4, 2017 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Top Careers in Law

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You don’t have to become a lawyer to enjoy a career in a law-related field. If you want to make a difference by helping to bring more justice into the world, you have a lot more options than you are probably aware of, a few of which are listed below. So, consider one of the following careers in the world of law when you are thinking about pursuing a job that will allow you to make a difference, while also making a good income.

Public Administration Professional

A career in public administration will open up a variety of doors to a wide range of job opportunities. You could, for example, pursue such job titles as an urban planner, budget analyst, political scientist, and city manager, to name a few. But, to get the highest paying and most exciting careers in the field, consider getting your online public administration degree from a reputable online MPA program. In this way, you will be able to immediately apply your valuable skills towards solving real-world issues that impact people in a variety of sectors, such as finance, healthcare, and nonprofits.

Legal Nurse Consultant

If you are working in the medical field but you would like to expand into the legal realm, consider becoming a legal nurse consultant. You could apply your expertise and advise lawyers on a variety of issues that are related to health and medicine. Plus, you could earn hundreds of dollars per hour! Basically, you will be able to work on screening new cases, interviewing medical experts, and serving as a liaison between those medical experts and the law firm.

Trial Consultant

Thanks to technology, a whole new profession has been created to better assist lawyers during a trial in a courtroom, and that is the exciting career of the trial consultant. In this field, you can combine the best of law, sociology, and psychology, as well as legal technology, to help any jury better understand even the most complex concepts. Plus, you will help lawyers communicate their messages more effectively.

Court Reporter

A court reporter is also known as a stenographer. In this position, you will be able to utilize special equipment to transcribe everything that is stated during the court proceedings. Stenographers can transcribe at a super fast rate of more than 200 words per minute! Beyond that, however, you will also be in charge of broadcast captioning, as well as reporting (in real-time) for webcasts. Because there is a shortage of qualified court reporters, you could get a job surprisingly easily and make a lot of money too.

Legal Assistant

If you are hoping to enter a fast-growing profession and help attorneys with their many daily tasks to win cases, you should consider becoming a legal assistant, also known as a paralegal. Opportunities in this field are quickly expanding, which means compensation is increasing.

As you can see, there are a variety of careers that you can pursue within the realm of law, and you don’t need to become a lawyer to help bring justice to those who deserve it.

October 3, 2017 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Monday morning with Alex Williams’ cartoons

qccartoon
This cartoon is by Alex Williams who draws the Queen’s Counsel cartoons for The Times and in numerous books including The Queen’s Counsel Lawyer’s Omnibus. He offers almost all of his cartoons for sale at £120 for originals and £40 for copies and they can be obtained from this email info@qccartoon.com.

October 2, 2017 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
Posted in: Uncategorized