Sneeze

Went off to court today and was against a very stuffy opponent who was immaculate in every way.  Even though I wasn’t out of the ordinary he made me feel like the scruffiest tramp ever to grave a courtroom.  Anyway it was open court and we were all decked out in our wigs and gowns.  As we waltzed into court, for just a second the flowing robes felt almost like a suit of armour all set for gladiatorial combat.  Such a shame then that by the end of the hearing even what little dignity with which I had started was in tatters.  You see, there I was.  Sitting opposite my opponent.  Looking all serious and intent when all of a sudden I got a terrible urge to sneeze.  Well, as you can imagine.  I suppressed it immediately.  Except it didn’t go away.  It was one of those sneaky little sneezes which slips around everything you throw at it and comes back even stronger for the next round.  At one point I gave in to it and held my head back about to sneeze as the whole courtroom looked at me and then as if it was just being mischievous it went away without actually happened.  But, you guessed it.  It hadn’t actually gone away.  It’d just side-stepped for a minute and was back in action and hit me without any warning with an almighty thunder.  Boy, I think it was so loud that they could hear it in the other courtrooms.  In itself though, that would probably have been okay.  I could just about have lived with that by burying my head in my notebook and imagining I wasn’t there.  The problem with this particular sneeze was that it had taken me unawares whilst wearing a wig.  The significance of this was that as my head was levered backwards I didn’t have time even to consider that in fact when it was triggered forward it would literally be bombs away.  You guessed it.  As I play it back in my mind, it is all in slow motion but at the time it happened in an instant.  Yes, my wig was displaced from my head and sent flying not onto the floor in front of me or anywhere so convenient.  It went flying through the air only to land on the judge’s desk, knocking over her jar of ink and her water glass and sending it all everywhere.  But just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, after having wiped off most of the water and ink, the judge then peered down at me and asked,
‘Mr BabyBarista.  Do you have an application which you would like to make.’

You what?  An application?  It was like having to go round to the next door neighbour’s and ask for your football back.
‘Er, yes, Your Honour.  Can I have my wig back.’
‘What’s the magic word, Mr BabyBarista?’
‘Please, Your Honour.  May I have my wig back.’
‘You may.’

Even at that stage I got no assistance from either the judge himself or her usher.  Instead, all concerned sat and watched as I had to make the long walk of shame up to the bench and slowly gather up my bit of horse hair.

So anyway.  On balance.  Wigs?  I still say get rid of them.

May 10, 2016 · Tim Kevan · One Comment
Posted in: Uncategorized

Reasons to Have a Civil Marriage Ceremony in Montreal, Canada

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

One of the most exciting times in a person’s life is getting engaged. Finding someone that you want to spend the rest of your life with is both great and a bit overwhelming when it comes time to plan the ceremony, There are so many different things that a person will need to think about when planning a wedding. In some cases, a mariage civil Montreal will be the best bet for a couple for a variety of reasons. The following are some of the reasons why a couple may want to have a civil ceremony rather than something more traditional.

Neither Person is Religiously Affiliated

One of the main reasons why a couple will want to have a civil marriage is due to the fact that they do not have a religion they follow. If neither of the people involved in the marriage is religious, then they will need to Contactez-nous pour disponibilité to get some help with their civil union. By getting this type of assistance, a person will be able to get the results they are after without having to do a lot of work in the process.

Different Religions

Another reason why a couple may have a civil marriage ceremony is due to the fact that they are from different religious backgrounds. In some instances, a couple will want to avoid a religious ceremony due to the religious differences, which is why they opt for something a bit simpler. There are times when the couple will incorporate some things from their religion into this ceremony in order to make a bit more personalized. Taking the time to talk with your partner is the only way to ensure that the right wedding is planned and executed.

For More Creativity

In some cases, the reasons for a civil ceremony will be based on the couple’s need to be more creative rather than religious with their nuptials. Having this type of ceremony can allow a couple to get their creative juices flowing and to have the wedding of a lifetime. Usually, the more creative a ceremony is, the more time it will take the couple to plan it. The energy that is invested in getting this type of wedding planned will pay off in the end. It can be of assistance to get some professional help with this type of ceremony due to the complexity that is involved.

May 9, 2016 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
Posted in: Uncategorized

Advice on Dealing with Ticketed Offenses in Canada

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

There are so many dangers that are on the roadways that people drive on everyday. As a result, many residents find themselves with tickets, wondering what their next move should be. While the optimum plan is to follow all laws and rules of the road, the fact is that this does not always happen, which is why you should know what to do when you are facing a ticket or other type of violation. Whether driving without a drivers licence or speeding, there are a variety of things you will need to consider.

The Point Assessment Process

In addition to facing a fine for a speeding ticket, you will also receive a certain number of points against your license. Even in instances where you are convicted of a vehicle related violation in some other state, points can still be accessed against your drivers license. The instances that this applies to include:

  • Drug or alcohol related offenses.
  • Leaving an accident scene that resulted in an injury.
  • Manslaughter or homicide that involves a vehicle.
  • The use of a vehicle during a felony crime.

Why Hire an Attorney?

When you are facing a speeding ticket, or some other type of vehicle violation, you may think you should simply pay the fine and get on with your life. However, when you pay the fine this is an admission of guilt, which means that you will face the penalties that are allowed within the law.

The first thing to understand is that the police officers who will pull you over are well-trained and they will usually appear if you decide to take your ticket to court. While they are reasonable and fair, they can also be reluctant to offer any type of reduction in your ticket. A common complaint from most traffic attorneys is the fact that it is challenging to predict what will happen when a case goes to court regarding a speeding violation.

The fact is that if you are able to afford the service of an attorney for your traffic case, this is something you may wish seriously to consider. This may help you with making the best from your particular case. By hiring the attorney, you will be able to get the professional guidance that you need to do this.

May 9, 2016 · 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.

May 9, 2016 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
Posted in: Uncategorized

How to Dress for a Legal Interview

Consideration was given for the editing and publishing of this post

When attending an interview for a legal position, how you appear can say a lot about you, your research into the company and how well you will fit into the organization. If you have been lucky enough to be asked for a legal interview, the below tips will help you to decide the most appropriate style to dress.

Dress for the Work, Not the Role
While it can be tempting to dress your best when it comes time for a job interview, it’s important to dress for the work you will be doing and the clients you will be seeing. If you will be representing or be serving clients of legal aid, dress in a way which is both professional and approachable. Wearing expensive pumps and a powerful suit matched with extensive jewelry or watches is likely to set you apart for the wrong reasons and can alienate your potential future clients.

Research the Company
Many firms or legal departments have internal dress codes and policies which will apply should you be accepted for the role. If an interviewer feels that this will be too much of an adjustment for you, it could be to your detriment. If possible, speak with current employees to gauge an idea of the type and style of clothing which the firm would prefer you to wear. At the least, speak with your interviewer in advance and obtain a copy of their policies, and ensure you stay within them.

Of Course, sometimes It’s Time to Dress Up
In contrast to the first tip, there are going to be instances where you will be speaking with businesses or working on legal proceedings for wealthy clients. Accordingly, these firms and their customers will expect you to look your best. This can often be hard for those just starting out and who are yet to earn a substantial income. To get your foot in the door, look to services like the Groupon Coupons page for Swarovski where you can buy expensive jewelry pieces for discounted prices. In keeping with our second tip, these organizations are also likely to have a dress code or policy.

It is not above modern firms to require their female employees always wear stocking and lipstick, along with male employees to always wear a tie, vest and suit jacket along with polished shoes. As mentioned above, obtain a copy of their policy and work within it.

What you choose to wear isn’t going to boost the skills on your resume, but it can certainly detract from them. So do your research, dress for your clients and dress for your hopeful workplace requirements.

May 6, 2016 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
Posted in: Uncategorized

Study Shows You May Need to Cut Hours to Keep Your Doors Open

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

Very few industries debate whether work-life balance is possible as much as the legal sector does. It’s not only a badge of honor to be swamped with work, it’s the expectation. Tenured lawyers fare far better than newcomers, but 60-80 workweeks are the norm. Even “part-time” lawyers put in a solid 35 each week. However, research recently released indicates that practices absolutely must cut back hours and switch direction, or they’ll lose lawyers and clients.

The Way Practices Operate is Changing

For decades, lawyers have griped about the hours they put in, if anything is said at all. It’s a lifestyle, not a career, and most understand this before they get into it. Even still, burnout is common. CNN did a story a while back, covering the high suicide rates of lawyers. The profession ranks fourth on the list for the highest rate of suicides, right behind dentists, pharmacists, and physicians. They also noted that lawyers are 3.6-times more-likely to be depressed. Other estimates note that approximately one-in-six lawyers have a problem with alcohol. The long hours worked by a Colorado immigration lawyer also take their toll. One study showed that people who work just 55 hours per week have higher mortality rates. Most lawyers would call 55 hours a slow week. It was bound to happen, and now it has. The profession as a whole is migrating away from this type of business model, and people are much happier in their careers as a result. This is great news for lawyers, but it’s not so great if your practice operates using the older model. Lawyers are now flocking to firms that use the new models, and they’re taking business with them.

There are Five Main Emerging Business Models

The Center for WorkLife Law recently released a study that explores the mass exodus from traditional law firm models. In an effort to obtain a better work-life balance, many lawyers are moving to one of five emerging business models.

Secondment Firms: These firms specialize in placing lawyers inside companies, generally as temporary or part-time help. While senior lawyers are generally placed alone and handle all a client’s legal needs, junior lawyers are often brought in to assist an in-house legal team on an as-needed basis.

Legal Advice Companies: Nowadays, more people try to do as much as they can solo, though they appreciate having an experienced legal resource to defer to. Advice and consultancy companies fulfill this need.

Virtual Law Firms: Although some people are moving their practices online entirely alone, large firms are going this route as well. Lawyers often agree to work 10-20 hours per week, and receive an hourly rate.

Accordion Companies: Similar to secondment firms, accordion companies provide temporary staffing to firms on an as-needed basis.

Concierge: Many doctors have switched over to the concierge model over the past few years, and it’s catching on in the legal sector as well. Clients sign on and pay a monthly fee to retain services, and have access to their legal team during designated hours. There are many alternates to this, with varying fee structures and limitations on service.

Migrating to a Progressive Platform May Be Essential

It’s obvious that a change is warranted, and companies that are shifting over are dominating. Take Axiom, for instance. While totally unknown just a few years ago, the company began matching their lawyers with general counsel for large corporations. Now, about half of the Fortune 100 companies turn to Axiom for help with legal services. About a third of the nation’s largest 25 corporations are using Counsel on Call, a company that grew from nothing to $50 million in about 15 years. These types of environments are incredibly attractive to lawyers, especially those who struggle to keep up with personal obligations while working in excess of 60 hours per week. The models are also popular for clients, who don’t want to support a full in-house legal team, or who simply prefer the comfort of knowing help is available as it’s needed.

While an average firm may have trouble shifting over to an exact replica of one of these models, an innovative mind is sure to uncover a variant that will provide a smooth transition. If nothing else, perhaps reducing hours is enough to keep standard law firms staffed, but to manage the shift in consumer need, offices must start considering new models.

May 6, 2016 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
Posted in: Uncategorized

The Impact of Medical Negligence in the UK [Infographic]

Consideration was given for the editing and publishing of this post

Medical negligence in the UK is an increasing issue, with the number of cases increasing by 80% since 2008. Numerous commentators have written about the billions of dollars that are spent by the NHS on medical negligence lawsuits each year, but the impacts on the individuals and families who suffer from these mistakes are less in the limelight.

When over 60% of people injured by medical negligence suffer from constant ongoing pain, the impact upon people of medical malpractice is not to be taken lightly. Medical negligence solicitors Patient Claim Line found that people often wait a long time before approaching a lawyer to deal with a medical negligence issue as they don’t want to make a fuss. But these people may face a lifetime of reduced earnings, and a serious injury that never goes away, and the focus needs to shift away from the government coffers, and onto the very real harm that medical negligence causes to individuals and families.

Print

May 5, 2016 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
Posted in: Uncategorized

BattleShips

Today I went along to a settlement conference with an insurer that usually instructs UpTights but got me today as she was already booked up. This is basically where both sides get together and chew over the fat on the case and eventually make offers to try and get rid of the case early on. Today though was different. UpTights had given me a warning about what might happen beforehand: “I’m afraid BabyB that you’ll find our insurer client today a little eccentric. Nothing I can do I’m afraid. He has his foibles and ultimately he’s the boss. Very frustrating though.”
“What sort of foibles?”
“Oh, you’ll find out soon enough.”

The conference was to take place along one particular floor in chambers so that people would be able to go off to their own private rooms for discussion and then return to the main room for negotiation. OldSmoothie was representing the other side and was there first. For some reason his clients were not in attendance. “I believe that you’re representing Sundance today. Shame UpTights isn’t here. I just know how you love these occasions.”

At which point Sundance the insurer himself appeared. “Ah, OldSmoothie, very good to see you. All set for a show down, I hope?”
“Been practicing all month Sundance. Shall we get down to it?”

OldSmoothie went over to the telephone and called down to the clerks: “Can you bring up the toys please?”

A few minutes later and FanciesHimself the junior clerk came into the room carrying a box in front of him like it was the crown jewels. I looked more closely. It was a game of Battleships. “Set ’em up then, OldSmoothie. Your turn to go first, I believe?”

At this point no-one had yet explained exactly what was going on but it was slowly starting to dawn on me. “Don’t worry BabyB,” said Sundance after they’d set it up. “This is no more random than putting your case in front of a judge and it’s a heck of a lot cheaper. We start with an agreed settlement range. Then if I beat OldSmoothie here at Battleships, he only gets the bottom of that range. If I lose, he gets the top end. Simple as that, really.”

He noticed that I looked slightly confused. “Why brief counsel on our own side you ask?”
“No, I wasn’t wanting to suggest…”
“I’ve known OldSmoothie here for years. Fought hundreds of cases against each other. He always insists that if we are to settle a case by Battleships. He’ll only do it if UpTights can be the referee. You’re just lucky enough to get the brief as her stand-in.”

OldSmoothie looked very pleased with himself. “Yes, she’s the most expense Battleships referee in the world ever.”

They both sat down at the table and stared at each other like it was high noon at the OK Corral. Silence descended and then the duel began.

On this occasion it was OldSmoothie who won the day and he rang his solicitor client from the room to report on what a tough negotiation he had been through.

May 3, 2016 · Tim Kevan · 3 Comments
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.

May 2, 2016 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
Posted in: Uncategorized

Do you need a lawyer to file your Canadian pardon application?

Consideration was given for the editing and publishing of this post

Let’s say you’ve been convicted of a crime under Canadian law and you find yourself with a criminal record. What now? After your sentence has been carried out, you can attempt to get on with your life as usual, but you’ll likely run into some roadblocks that could impede your life in many ways.  To lift those limitations, the best course of action is to apply for a pardon. But do you need a lawyer to help with pardon applications? Can you complete the process yourself? This article will attempt to answer those questions for you.

First, let’s examine what exactly is involved in the pardon application process. From there, we’ll look at whether hiring a lawyer to help is necessary. To do that, we’ll need to define clearly what a pardon actually is. Some people think that if you are granted a pardon your criminal record is erased. This is not the case. Essentially, a pardon means that your criminal record is set apart from, or “sealed” from the general database of criminal records held by the Canadian Police Information Centre. The conviction is not nullified or erased.

Almost anyone who has been convicted of a criminal offense in Canada is eligible to apply for a pardon once a predetermined ineligibility period has elapsed. The duration of this waiting period depends on the nature of your crime and other factors. In addition, to qualify for a pardon you must also:

Have served your full sentence, including probation and any other terms of your sentencing.

Submit to the Parole Board a correctly prepared application package along with all necessary support documentation

Not engaged in any further criminal activity since your sentence has been carried out and can show that you are living a generally honest and good life

The pardon application process does not involve going to court. You will not have to appear in front of a judge or any other body to prove yourself worthy. It is only necessary to meet the above-mentioned criteria and provide the necessary documentation. In that way, hiring a lawyer is not strictly necessary, unlike when you would appear in front of a judge to argue your side in a trial.

On the other side of the coin, however, is the fact that the application process and your likelihood of being successful in your application hinges largely on the proper gathering of necessary documents and the accurate completion of the application form itself. This can be very daunting and complex for the average layperson who is not used to navigating through the legal system in this way. That’s where a lawyer can come in very useful. That being said, lawyers can be very costly and it’s rare to find one who specializes in pardon applications. Instead, many people opt to enlist the help of a company that specializes in this type of application. They will have a very in-depth knowledge of the requirements, the application process, how to fill out the application form properly, and they will be able to knowledgeably answer any questions you have throughout the process.

April 29, 2016 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
Posted in: Uncategorized