Archive for November, 2013

Weekend Video: Career Advice On Becoming A Trainee Solicitor by Michael Kuznetsov

November 30, 2013 · babybarista · Comments Closed
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Book Recommendation: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Aged thirteen, Theo Decker, son of a devoted mother and a reckless, largely absent father, survives an accident that otherwise tears his life apart. Alone and rudderless in New York, he is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. He is tormented by an unbearable longing for his mother, and down the years clings to the thing that most reminds him of her: a small, strangely captivating painting that ultimately draws him into the criminal underworld. As he grows up, Theo learns to glide between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love – and his talisman, the painting, places him at the centre of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.

The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling power. Combining unforgettably vivid characters and thrilling suspense, it is a beautiful, addictive triumph – a sweeping story of loss and obsession, of survival and self-invention, of the deepest mysteries of love, identity and fate.

Available from Amazon

November 27, 2013 · babybarista · Comments Closed
Posted in: books

Mid-life crisis for lawyers

‘I’ve decided to specialise in human rights,’ said OldSmoothie in the clerk’s room today.

‘Will that be for or against?’ asked BusyBody.

‘It’s always been a particular passion of mine and I think it’s about time I started to reflect that in my practice,’ he replied, ignoring her dig.

‘This is just the mid-life crisis he has at the end of every cold dark winter,’ said UpTights. ‘Last year he said he was standing on an existential cliff looking into the vortex of time.’

‘Yes, and how did he put it the year before?’ said BusyBody. ‘Hanging in the balance between the weight of the paths untrodden and the thought of moving forward being like walking on thin ice.’

‘It’s always thin ice when you’re OldSmoothie,’ said UpTights.

‘Particularly with his stature,’ said BusyBody.

‘And each year he somehow resolves this deep conflict by having an affair with an instructing solicitor,’ said UpTights.

‘Or even a pupil,’ said BusyBody with a grimace.

‘So I assume your sudden interest in civil liberties has nothing to do with a certain conference which is coming up in the Caribbean?’ said TheBusker.

‘Or that you can then put the holiday you’ve already booked against tax if you just turn up for the first five minutes of the first day?’ said BusyBody.

‘Er, no, er…’ stammered OldSmoothie.

‘I’m afraid he’ll be a little disappointed if that’s what he intends to do,’ said UpTights. ‘They’ve made it absolutely clear that they will be publishing a list of delegates online and those that only turn up for part of it will be put in their hall of shame for all the tax authorities to read at their leisure.’

OldSmoothie’s mouth suddenly dropped open and UpTights gave him a sympathetic look. ‘I should know, my darling. I’ve been going to that conference for years.’

BabyBarista is a fictional account of a junior barrister practising at the English Bar, written by barrister and writer Tim Kevan. For more information and to read posts from the last few years visit babybarista.com. Cartoons by Alex Williams, author of 101 Ways to Leave the Law.

November 26, 2013 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Monday morning with Alex Williams’ cartoons,25th November 2013

qccartoon25nov2013

This cartoon is by Alex Williams who draws the Queen’s Counsel cartoons for The Times and in numerous books including Lawyers Uncovered. He also does the cartoons for BabyBarista and has had two more excellent books published recently: 101 Ways to Leave the Law and 101 Uses for a Useless Banker. 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.

November 25, 2013 · babybarista · Comments Closed
Posted in: Uncategorized

Weekend Video: Abha Dawesar: Life in the “digital now”

November 23, 2013 · babybarista · Comments Closed
Posted in: Uncategorized

Book Recommendation: The English Legal System: 2013-2014 by Gary Slapper and David Kelly

Slapper and Kelly’s The English Legal System explains and critically assesses how our law is made and applied. Annually updated, this authoritative textbook clearly describes the legal rules of England and Wales and their collective influence as a sociocultural institution.

This latest edition of The English Legal System presents and analyses changes made to the legal system and digests recent legislation and case law. The Protection of Freedom Act 2012, the Defamation Bill, the Justice and Security Bill 2012, the Mental Health (Discrimination) Bill 2012, and the July 2012 vote on Parliamentary reform are all incorporated into the text, and this edition also considers changes to the Crown Prosecution Service, Mediation and Judicial Diversity. The cases Alvi v Secretary of State for the Home Department (judicial review), AXA General Insurance Limited v The Lord Advocate (Scotland) (devolution), R v J, S, M and R v KS (jury tampering), and Rolf v De Guerin (mediation) are all digested in the text.

The text also includes the latest government papers on antisocial behaviour, and criminal justice reform, the Practice Direction on citing authorities in court, and the Leveson Inquiry.

Key learning features include:

      • a clear and logical structure with short, manageable, well-structured individual chapters;
      • useful chapter summaries which act as a good check point for students;
      • ‘food for thought’ sections help to deepen understanding of key issues in each chapter;
      • sources for further reading and suggested websites at the end of each chapter to point students towards further learning pathways;
      • an online skills network including how-to-do practical examples, tips, advice and interactive examples of English law in action.

Relied upon by generations of students, Slapper and Kelly’s The English Legal System is a permanent fixture in this ever evolving subject.

Available from Amazon

November 20, 2013 · babybarista · Comments Closed
Posted in: books

Controlling the narrative

“It’s all about taking control of the narrative,” said TheBusker to a group of pupils yesterday after they’d asked how he always manages to win his cases. “Simplify it down to a clear story and then tell it to the judge at every opportunity.”

“Oh, come on,” said TheVamp. “It’s a little more than that in your case. I don’t know how you do it but you always seems to find some way or other to brainwash the judge.”

“I was against him last week,” said BusyBody, “and he was doing his usual snake eyes at the judge. Turned out he’s a huge fan of Gardeners’ Question Time and so he produced a wheelbarrow full of gardening metaphors. He called a spade a spade, didn’t sit on the garden fence and was planting seeds of doubt all over the place. Meanwhile, the more he had the judge chuckling, all I could do was dig a big fat hole for myself every time I spoke.”

“I once won a case in front of that judge simply by asking after his Morning Glory,” said TheVamp.

“So long as you didn’t mention his Golden Rod,” said TheBusker.

“Or his Stinking Willie for that matter,” she replied.

“And it wouldn’t do to suggest that he hardened off his Scarlet Plume,” said BusyBody putting her indignation to one side.

“Sneezeweed and Snotty Gogs always made me chuckle,” said OldRuin. “For my wife it was always Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate.”

“I guess the lawyers’ favourite would be the Money Plant,” said TheBusker.

“Or the Venus Fly Trap in UpTights’s case,” said OldSmoothie.

“And most definitely Knobweed for you,” she replied.

BabyBarista is a fictional account of a junior barrister practising at the English Bar, written by barrister and writer Tim Kevan. For more information and to read posts from the last few years visit babybarista.com. Cartoons by Alex Williams, author of 101 Ways to Leave the Law.

November 19, 2013 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Monday morning with Alex Williams’ cartoons,18th November 2013

qccartoon18nov2013

This cartoon is by Alex Williams who draws the Queen’s Counsel cartoons for The Times and in numerous books including Lawyers Uncovered. He also does the cartoons for BabyBarista and has had two more excellent books published recently: 101 Ways to Leave the Law and 101 Uses for a Useless Banker. 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.

November 18, 2013 · babybarista · Comments Closed
Posted in: Uncategorized

Lawyers are just glorified car mechanics

Brought to you with the support of our friends at The Incorporated Council of Law Reporting

UpTights“All we are is glorified car mechanics,” said UpTights at Chambers tea today. “Just fixing minor errors caused by solicitors.”
“Except not so glorified,” said TheBusker.
“Yes, I doubt there’d be many mechanics who’d be pleased with the comparison,” said HeadofChambers.
“What’s the problem?” asked OldSmoothie. “Not had any trials of late?”
“I should be so lucky,” said UpTights. “Everything in sight just settles at the moment.”
“Do you think solicitors are just becoming more reasonable?” said TheCreep.
“Not in the slightest,” said UpTights. “Just more desperate not to risk their entitlement to costs.”
“Nice to hear that the client’s interests are continuing to prevail,” said BusyBody.
“Oh, it’s all self-justified on the basis that they don’t want to risk the client having to pay any costs,” said UpTights, “but with my solicitors I know full well that what they’re really worried about is getting something back themselves.”
“Serves you right for encouraging instructions from the likes of SlipperySlope’s firm,” said OldSmoothie.
“Well, even despite the odd bad egg, it’s still hard times at the moment,” said OldRuin, “what with the referral fee ban and fixed costs.”
“Not to mention the fact that there are big firms hovering and just waiting to gobble you up,” said UpTights.
“I quite like the idea of the law being the engine chugging away quietly under the bonnet of society,” said OldRuin.
“Or noisily in some people’s cases,” said OldSmoothie looking again at UpTights.
“So if that were the case, what would the ICLR be in those terms?” asked TheBusker.
“I guess it’d be the detailed car manual,” said TheVamp.
“For a top of the range luxury car,” said BusyBody, “with the ICLR online being the modern go to guide for all your mechanical needs.”

November 17, 2013 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
Posted in: ICLR, Sponsored

Weekend Video: Dr. Julian Bayliss: The Lost Forest of Mount Mabu

November 16, 2013 · babybarista · Comments Closed
Posted in: Uncategorized