“How’s Claire, BabyB?” It was OldRuin back in chambers again. “I’ve always had a soft spot for her, you know. Very fond of you she is, I’d say.”
“She’s very well, OldRuin. Building up a pretty successful practise as well.”
‘”Yes, I’ve no doubt about that. You know what stands out about her?”
“What’s that?”
“Impeccable manners, BabyB. Understated, modest and kind. I might sound old-fashioned when I say this but in my view it’s the key to success at the bar. With solicitors, with clients and above all with judges.”  He mused a little and then continued: “Many’s the time that I’ve had an opponent who I have to admit that I found more than a little irritating. But if he wanted to interrupt my submission in front of the judge then I would always give way. You know, the arrogant and rude will always stab themselves in the foot so long as you let them.  Hoisted up on their own petards.”

Then he did what he has often done in the past and alluded to knowing far more than he was letting on. “Let me take your former colleague TopFirst as a counter example to Claire. Even if he’d applied for tenancy at this chambers, he would never have been taken on.” He paused and gave one of his kindly looks again. “She’s a bright lady, our Claire. Got a lot to teach us all, BabyB.”

April 19, 2016 · Tim Kevan · 3 Comments
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Monday morning with Alex Williams’ cartoons

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

April 18, 2016 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Tips on Getting the Right Results From a Pardons Application in Canada

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Making mistakes is a natural part of life. For some people, the mistakes that they have made in the past continue to affect their lives on a daily basis. If you are among the many people out there with a criminal record, then you know how hard it can be to function in everyday life. There are a variety of things that can be done to fix this issue. In Canada, a person will be able to apply for a pardon that will wipe their record clean. Getting to know the Pardons Canada eligibility rules is the first course of action when trying to get one of these pardons. The following are some vital pieces of information regarding this process that may help you along the way.

Knowing How to File

When trying to get a pardon secured, the first thing that you will have to figure out is how to file the right paperwork. Some people with a bit legal knowledge may be able to do this type off work on their own, but it is usually best to get a bit of professional guidance. The more help you are able to get with this process, the simpler you will find it to get the results you are after.

Are You Eligible?

Another very important thing that you will have to think about when trying to get a pardon is whether or not you are eligible. In order to be eligible, your conviction has to be a past one and all of the fees associated with it have to be paid off. Before seeking out any professional help for this process, you have to make sure that your fees are paid down and the offense is at least five years old.

Get Comfortable With Waiting

If you are going to apply for a pardon, you need to realize that it will not be an overnight thing. Most of the time, it is a year before you will hear from the pardons board of Canada. If you are denied the first time around, then you need to remain persistent. Usually, you will be denied due to errors in your paperwork. These errors can be avoided if you use a professional to help you prepare it. The money that is paid to a professional for this type of work will be worth it considering the time and frustration it can save you.

The time and effort that is invested into this process will be more than worth it in the end.

April 13, 2016 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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BabyB LPlate improvedWent off to court today to be faced with someone who was very clearly a second six pupil on their first day in court. The biggest giveaway was the fact that despite it being a small claims track case the pupil turned up with both volumes of the White Book guide to civil procedure despite the fact that in a million years he wouldn’t be referring to either one. Then there was the skeleton argument which ran to about ten pages and included reference to “Donoghue v Stevenson: the law of negligence explained” and “Lord Atkin’s neighbour principle” explaining in intricate detail why one driver on “one of Her Majesty’s highways” owed a “common law duty of care” to another.


April 12, 2016 · Tim Kevan · 6 Comments
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Monday morning with Alex Williams’ cartoons

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

April 11, 2016 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Complicated made simple – take the headache out of batch printing

Consideration has been given for the editing and publishing of this post

The following is an infographic about batch printing.


April 6, 2016 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Do you know your rights in relation to drink driving offences?

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With March dominated by talk of the Budget, the recent government decision not to lower the drink driving limit has largely gone unnoticed. Despite groups campaigning for it to be lowered, the current limit still stands at 35 micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath, 80 milligrammes per 100 ml of blood and 107 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of urine in England and Wales (you can find out what the limits are Scotland by clicking here).

Drink driving is rightly viewed as a serious offence which is reflected by the range of penalties available to a Court from a disqualification of at least 12 months to a potential custodial sentence in the most serious cases. However, not all cases are straightforward. Many motorists are unaware of what their options are if charged with drink driving. What should you do if this occurs? What should you do if you think there’s been a mistake? Does it mean an automatic ban?

Read on if you’d like to know the answer to these questions…

1. What should I do if charged with drink-driving?

Like most charges, you should seek out the advice of a specialist solicitor before you do anything else. For many people, having a conviction for drink driving will have devastating consequences. A conviction of this type could affect future employment and travel plans not to mention the disruption caused by not being able to drive. Understanding exactly what your charge is and where you stand is crucial.

With this in mind, the more experienced your solicitor is with motoring offences the better, as they will have a clear idea of the strategies to be adopted to give you the best chance of avoiding conviction. For example, the team over at consists of dedicated legal professionals who have had over 300 cases dismissed by the courts since 2012 alone. To you, this could mean no conviction, no fine and no disqualification. It pays to have the right people on your side, and they’ll be able to tell if you have a case to defend the charge.

2. Will I will lose my driving licence?

There are some alcohol related motoring offences which do not carry a mandatory disqualification such as being in charge of a vehicle whilst over the prescribed limit or failure to provide having been in charge. These offences carry either penalty points or a discretionary disqualification. If a disqualification is imposed for being drunk in charge it is normally less than 12 months which is the minimum period for driving with excess alcohol (drink driving) and could be as short as 28 days.

Although most people fear losing their licence when charged with drink driving, there are often strategies that can be adopted to avoid this. It is vital if you feel there has been a wrong or inaccurate decision made or test taken, that you discuss this clearly with your solicitor. For example, if charged with a high alcohol level after a breathalyzer test but you suspect the machine to have taken an inaccurate reading, it could be possible that there is a fault with the machine.

Similarly, if you are charged with failure to provide a specimen for analysis in spite of having done everything to follow the instructions about how to blow into the device, an error with the machine itself or by the operator conducting the test may have occurred. This could provide you with a defence to the charge.

Or, if charged with the failure to provide samples, you could have a medical condition, such as a lung problem, which prevented you from giving the required sample. The most important thing is to gain the advice and assistant of a professional.

3. Do I have any rights of appeal from the decision of the Court?

No matter what the outcome of your case in the Magistrates’ Court, you’ll have the right to appeal to the Crown Court against a sentence or conviction of guilt. However, your appeal should be lodged within 21 days of the decision.

You may also appeal to the High Court if you think the decision of the Magistrates or Crown Court was wrong in law although such appeals are relatively rare.

Have you had a recent charge? Let us know your experience in the comments.

April 6, 2016 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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What Should You do when Your Long Term Disability Claim is Denied? (Toronto)

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You’ve worked hard all your life. Then, out of the blue, something bad happens to you and you are rendered unable to work. It can be the result of an illness, an accident, or injury. It doesn’t matter why – as long as the reason is one that isn’t excluded by your long term disability coverage.

Unfortunately, once your short-term disability benefits have been exhausted, the insurance company denies your application for long term disability. What do you do after you’ve had your long term disability claim denied?

The first step in the process is to look for long term disability lawyers in Toronto who know how the system works.

The sad truth is that many companies will deny your first bid for long-term disability out of hand. They’ll deny these claims with wrote allegations such as:

  • Disability is insufficient to warrant disability benefits.
  • Applicants aren’t actually disabled.
  • Applicants misrepresented scale or scope of injuries on insurance applications.

These wrongful denials themselves can serve to exacerbate existing injuries, illnesses, and psychological traumas while, at the same time, denying access to treatments and surgeries that are sorely needed.

A highly skilled and qualified Toronto attorney has the contacts to help you get the benefits you’ve paid for, in good faith, all these years for moments just like these.

What Should You Expect from Your Long-Term Disability Attorney?

Not all attorneys are created equal. There are a few things you should look for and expect from your long-term disability attorney, including the following.

Specific experience with long term disability cases. These can be very tricky as insurance companies are in business to make money and don’t like letting go of it if they don’t feel it is necessary. Their attorneys are practised at holding onto said money. Experienced attorneys will present stronger arguments on your behalf and be a voice of reason.

Find attorneys that treat you and your disability with compassion. If you don’t feel like a whole person with discussing your circumstances with your attorney, find one who will make you feel that way. It’s as simple as that. The denial of benefits you’ve paid for, so faithfully over the years, is a blow and can make you feel inferior by itself. Do not work with an attorney that makes you feel anything less than capable and whole regardless of your disability.

Understands the battle ahead of you. Long term disabilities are the result of injuries, illnesses, and conditions that are fairly catastrophic. That means that you do not have an easy road to recovery that will allow you to return to life as you know it anytime soon. You need to work with an attorney who understands what your battle will be like and can present that in court, with expert witnesses to speak up on your behalf.

The attorneys at Howie, Sacks and Henry have a long history of experience dealing with long term disability denials and more. We will go to bat for you so that you can get the peace of mind that comes with having those financial obligations met while you try to recover from your injuries.

April 6, 2016 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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OldSmoothieYou’d think with all the money they all earn and the self-important strutting which goes on, that members of chambers would all be blissfully happy. But sadly very often that couldn’t be further from the truth. Today it was OldSmoothie voicing his woes: “You know, BabyB, sometimes I wonder what on earth it’s all about.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, I like the money and let’s face it, there’s a lot.”  He laughed in an over-weight, greed sort of way. “It’s just the treadmill that goes with it. Fully equipped with expensive wife, big house, school fees and all the other necessities of a middle class life in London. What’s worse is the more you earn, the faster gets the treadmill. You know, only this month I’ve just paid out fifty grand on bills of one kind or another. Okay, it’s a bad month but it’s like the treadmill’s on full speed and I wouldn’t be able to jump off even if I wanted.”

Now don’t get me wrong, OldSmoothie doesn’t represent all lawyers and of course i’m sure there are even some happy lawyers. People who dance to work, whistling a merry tune about time sheets and limitation deadlines. People who actually enjoy taking technical points at the expense of justice or truth and maybe even people who put their clients first.

Well, maybe, anyway.

April 5, 2016 · Tim Kevan · 2 Comments
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Monday morning with Alex Williams’ cartoons

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

April 4, 2016 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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