ClicheClanger

My solicitor today was ClicheClanger who has spent so many years working in a job he despises that the thought bubbles which plague us all from time to time have slowly transformed themselves into unconscious speech bubbles.  Stuff he still thinks is being kept under wraps keeps slipping out like a gentle version of tourrette’s.  Kind of just leaks out.  As if the walls of his mind have slowly eroded away under the years of resentment and worry.

“Well, BabyB.  You know the score.  I don’t know why I even bother to write out the instructions.”

Which to be fair he hardly had.  All they said was, “Counsel is instructed to win the case.”  Anyway, he elaborate further in our telephone conversation,

“It’s all so petty and meaningless.  Who cares if he’s a malingerer anyway?  I mean I’d malinger given half the chance.”

Then.  Before I had the chance to give an awkward reply.

“You just go and bash him on the nose BabyB.  Hit him for six just for our insurer clients.  Add a bit more misery into our miserable world.”

Then he finished with,

“Yes, you give them their money’s worth, that’s a good lad.”

June 7, 2016 · Tim Kevan · 3 Comments
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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.

June 6, 2016 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Should I bother making a claim?

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The following is an infographic provided by ExpressSolicitors.co.uk.

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May 31, 2016 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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RackItUp

HeadClerkWhen I got up this morning I thought I was destined for a day trawling through papers in chambers.  All very relaxing.  No worries at all.  Until that was, I arrived in chambers to be confronted by HeadClerk looking particularly serious.

‘Mr BabyBarista.  I need you to get over to court 6 over the road in twenty minutes.  Million pound business dispute.  Just need you to hold the fort for RackItUp.’

Hold the fort?  Oh, the art of the understatement.  I got to court six at ten in the morning with no instructions or any particular idea what the case may even be about.  I rang HeadClerk and asked where I might find RackItUp.

‘Well, that’s a good question Mr BabyBarista.’  He paused.  ‘You see, he has a case in court 92 and another in court 20.  Oh, and then let’s see.  There’s another in court 56.’  He paused again.  ‘That’s in addition to yours.’

Now don’t get me wrong.  I’d already heard about RackItUp’s notorious money-making scheme whereby he gets juniors to do all the work and he just turns up for an hour each day on each of his cases, shows his faces, makes a point of looking deep in consultation with his junior and then dashing off to his next case.  It all tends to work quite smoothly on the whole.  Unless, that is, one of the juniors is ill.  That’s when the QC should be there to step in.  Unless that is you’re RackItUp and you’re already juggling too many cases.  That’s precisely what happened this morning when his junior in one case called in ill and left a huge gaping hole in his scheme to be filled by a BabyBarista who was completely out of his depth.

When I finally got hold of RackItUp, rushing between two of his courts, all he said was,
‘Don’t worry BabyB.  All you’ll have to do today is to sit tight whilst the other side cross-examine our witness.  Just keep a good note.  You’ll be alright.’

Which would have been okay were it not for the fact that my opponent stopped his cross-examination mid-morning.  The judge knew exactly what was going on and was clearly not amused. I asked for an adjournment in order that I might consult with RackItUp.
‘Mr BabyBarista.  Either you are prepared for this case which would mean that such an adjournment would be unnecessary.’  He peered at me over his glasses and then continued, ‘Or you are not sufficiently prepared in which case you would have been in breach of the Code of Conduct by accepting the instructions.’  He looked at me and smiled, a cruel, smug kind of smile which said everything.  I was skewered.

I stood up and tried to buy some time before my career came crashing to a premature end.
‘Er, My Lord. Er, if it pleases the court.  Er.’
‘Yes, Mr BabyBarista.  What is it to be.’

I stumbled on a little more before my solicitor tapped me on the shoulder.  I turned around and he handed me a note which said, ‘No further questions.  Call the next witness Mr James.’
‘Er, My Lord, I have no further questions from this witness.  Unless you have any questions My Lord, I would like to call the next witness Mr James.’

Given that I knew absolutely nothing about the case whatsoever, I don’t know how I even managed to get through to lunch given that my opponent was capitalising on my difficulties by keeping his own questions to a minimum.  To make matters worse, all that I got from RackItUp at lunchtime when I told him precisely where he could stick his case as far as the afternoon was concerned was,
‘There’s the spirit BabyB.  I knew I could rely on you.  I’ll take it from here.  Tally ho!’

My fee for the day:  £100.  RackItUp’s combined fees for the day with £3,000 refreshers on each case:  £12,000.

May 31, 2016 · Tim Kevan · 3 Comments
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AOL Toronto Helps Me Get Back On Track

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I was never a good student in school. I never applied myself or took my classes and studies seriously. I guess that would explain the horrible grades I was getting.  I never considered going to college due to the poor grades I had and my inability to stay focused on my studies. I was lucky to graduate.

After a year of just working here and there at low paying dead end jobs I had a wakeup call. I realized I better get my act together if I ever wanted to do something with my life.  How long can I count on my parents supporting me? It was then that I seriously started thinking about going to school. Not a 4 year college but somewhere that I can learn a trade or a skill that I can find a job and make decent money.

I have to say I did my research on and offline about various schools and programs. I came across a place called Academy of Learning Toronto otherwise known as AOL Toronto. One of my brother’s friend has been going there and he loves it.

I decided to go to one of their open houses to see the campus, the rooms and so on. The location would be perfect for me as it was near where we lived in Toronto. AOL Toronto was founded in 1988 in a great Yorkville location in downtown Toronto.

They have many programs to choose from but the one that I was interested in was the law clerk program. I always found law to be interesting. It may be due to all the shows that I enjoyed watching on TV.

Going to law school was not possible for me but who knows what the future may hold I am still young enough to make it happen. AOL Toronto was extremely helpful with my questions and made sure that all my needs were met. They helped me with a payment plan that was workable which I was happy about.

What I also liked was the class size would be small. This would mean more personal interaction with the professors.  The courses would be structured for today’s job market which is changing all the time.

With a law clerk degree or certification I will have the opportunity to do many different things which would be great. I will not be bored at all. I can work with Corporate Law, Litigation, and Estates and so on.

I have not been this excited about school in a very long time. The prospect of doing something that I like is very new to me. When I started looking for law clerk programs Toronto had to offer I remember seeing AOL pop up all the time. It must have been a signal. I can now make something out of my life. In less than a year I can start my career as a law clerk. How great is that?

May 30, 2016 · 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.

May 30, 2016 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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SnakesAndLadders

OldSmoothieAfter a terrible day at court yesterday OldSmoothie had some advice:
‘It’s like snakes and ladders BabyB.  You climb to the top of one ladder only to go hurtling down to the bottom just a few moves later.  Happens to us all.  You may have been a big cheese at university but as the most junior tenant you go back to being pondlife.  Which means that you’ll sometimes get treated as such.  RackItUp might be at the top of the ladder at the moment but give it a couple of years and he’ll be a judge and go hurtling down to the very bottom of the pond and be passed all the cases the others judges never even want to go near.  Just snakes and ladders BabyB.  That’s all it is.’

Small consolation I must say.

May 24, 2016 · Tim Kevan · 4 Comments
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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.

May 23, 2016 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Immigration Law developments by Danielle Cohen

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The substance of this post was first published on http://www.daniellecohenimmigration.com/

In the last year there have been some judgements in Immigration Law, Asylum Law, Practice/Procedure which deserve our attention.

One such case was Mehmood which concerned the application of the doctrine of substantive legitimate expectations in the context of a statutory appeal against the Secretary of State’s refusal to grant the appellant indefinite leave to remain. The appeal has its origins in a decision made on behalf of the Secretary of State for the Home Department in November 2013 to refuse the application of a Pakistani national for indefinite leave to remain in the capacity of a Tier 2 Migrant. The appeal to the First Tier Tribunal was refused and the permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal was confined to a single issue, namely whether the decision is unlawful as frustrating a substantive legitimate expectation generated in a written communication on behalf of the Secretary of State.

Lying at the heart of this appeal is an exchange of electronic communications between the appellant’s solicitors and the UK Border Agency in September 2011. The migrant was assigned COS with an expiry date of 26th April 2014 but his application for further leave to remain has been approved with the expiry date of 27th April 2013. The solicitors queried that, and the response was that the client got an extension for the period of time it needed to take him to the total stay in the UK of five years, where he would be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain. Ie., for the total of five years. However, the application for indefinite leave to remain was refused because the Secretary of State argued the appellant had no leave to remain in the UK between 2nd August 2010 and 7th September 2011, a total of 400 days. Therefore, he has not spent a continuous period of five years lawfully in the United Kingdom and the application for indefinite leave to remain was refused. This was the sole reason for refusing the application.

The appellant’s argument was that the communication of 10th October 2011 by the UKBA raised the appellant’s legitimate expectation that he would later, at the appropriate time, secure indefinite leave to remain. The appellant did not make the case that he is eligible for the grant of indefinite leave to remain under the Immigration Rules. Indeed the unexpressed premise of his case is that he does not satisfy the requirements of the Rules. Rather, he is driven to rely on a principle, or a doctrine of public law, in order to make good his case. This doctrine of legitimate expectation is the response of the Common Law to failure by public authorities to honour promises and assurance made to citizens. Its central tenants are fairness and abuse of power. These two basic ingredients of what the law has come to recognise as a substantive legitimate expectation are satisfied where there is an unambiguous promise or assurance by a public official and to which the affected citizen responded. The current thought on the subject is that in order for there to be a legitimate expectation the promise has to be a specific undertaking directed at a particular individual or group.

In this case the application of this test raises the question of whether the Secretary of State represented or promised, that upon the expiry of the authorised period of leave on 27th April 2013, the appellant would be granted indefinite leave to remain. The Judge considered that the UKBA communication fell short of satisfying this requirement. In other words it just stated the rationale underlying the grant of leave to remain to the appellant. There was no suggestion that this was other than a correct exposition of the Rules and related policy guidance operative when the statement was made.

Crucially the statement said nothing about continuous residence explicitly. In addition the UKBA communication was not made in a vacuum. Rather, the context included the relevant provisions of the Immigration Rules and therefore the Judge considered that the communications could not be construed as conveying that the continuous residence requirements of the Rules would, in the appellant’s particular case, be waived or relaxed. It contained no unambiguous or unqualified promise or assurance to this effect. Therefore the appeal was dismissed.

May 19, 2016 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Proposition to Raise Smoking Age To 21, Making Case For Intentionally Delaying Legality

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So, to rehash, you can get married, drive a car, and go to war to fight and die for your country, at the age of 18. What you can’t do is drink yourself silly, and now perhaps take a drag of a cigarette. There is a new proposition on the docket to make it illegal to smoke before the age of 21. How successful will it be and what is the reason behind upping the smoking ante?

What we see with the drinking age is that it does very little to curb teenage drinking. Much like guns, you can have all the laws on the books that you want, but if they aren’t enforced, it will do little to curb behaviors. Those who are pushing for the new laws believe that changing the age may not only affect teenage smokers, but it will create change for an entire generation of older smoking individuals.

Most people who begin smoking, do so in their teens and carry on for many decades until, and only when, they can kick the habit. Making stupid decisions when you are in your teens is nothing new, but smoking may be one that has some real and lasting consequences for the American public.

Statistics found by a family law attorney Dallas, shows that if it is possible to delay first-time smokers until they are past their teenage years, it will significantly impact their attitudes about smoking and whether they want to form the habit to begin with.

Many laws do little to change the behaviors of those who set out to do harm. The thing about smoking is that those who begin, often have no idea about the harms that they are doing. Not thinking about their future is the cornerstone of being in this age group.

So, one puff of a cigarette can’t possibly translate into their thinking as a lifetime of health consequences, monetary downfall, or the monkey on their back that follows them into adulthood and beyond. For them, it is just one puff of a cigarette.

California may be the second of many states to raise their legal smoking age for purchasing cigarettes to 21, up from 18, in hopes that it may stop the addiction that we see in this age group. Not only at stake are the cigarettes but the electronic ones as well.

Most teenagers think that E-cigs are nothing more than a fashion statement. Often left out of the campaign against tobacco, lawmakers are finally adding them to the naughty list. Just as unhealthy and addictive in nature, it is about time that someone included them.

In addition to the proposed hike in age, are restrictions on where cigarettes and e-cigs can be used. No longer can they be pulled out while you are trying to enjoy a good meal at a restaurant, e-cigs are now the target of regulation just as they should be. Also, there will be a hefty tax added to tobacco products in an attempt to dissuade many from partaking in them.

If the proposition passes, as many believe that it will, there will be an increase in cigarette taxes by $2 per pack. An enormous slug to the wallet of many, the only thing standing in the bill’s way is the signature of Gov. Gerry Brown, who has been on record as being for the new proposed changes.

Studies have shown that nicotine is not only a carcinogenic, but it can alter the cognition of young people when smoking. With statistics reported by the Institute of Medicine, that as many as 90 percent of all smokers begin before the age of 26, stopping kids access early on may be the biggest way to tackle the problem of smoking throughout their lifetime.

There are estimates that as many as 223,000 deaths can be prevented from moving the age from 18 to 21. That not only impacts our public health system significantly, but it also targets a real dilemma for our future generation.

Singing the praises for the new proposed changes are not only public health officials, but also reformed smokers who wish that someone had limited their access and saved them from years of monetary loss and health degradation.

Of course, there are those who believe that the new laws would infringe on the rights of 18 to 21-year-olds, but sometimes you have to save people from themselves, don’t you?

May 17, 2016 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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