Just a small point

ClicheClangerToday ClichéClanger my solicitor rang me “just to check a small point” about one of his cases. I always worry when a solicitor says that because it generally means two things. First, it is probably not a small point or they wouldn’t be ringing counsel in the first place. As OldSmoothie’s inverse rule as to sets of papers says: the smaller they come the longer they’ll take.

Second, by “small point” they actually mean, “please will you do this work for free”. I often wonder what my local supermarket would say if I went in and I said: “Hi there. I use you quite a lot despite all the competition around so do you think you could give me this week’s groceries for free please?”

September 7, 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 info@qccartoon.com.

September 5, 2016 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Why You shouldn’t wait to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer

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When you are injured, receiving medical treatment for these injuries is the first action to take. However, just as urgent is contacting a personal injury attorney for legal advice on these matters. It is not advised that you wait to contact an attorney when you suffer an injury since in many cases the statute of limitations will run out. Some of the specific reasons you should not wait to hire an attorney are highlighted here.

Statute of Limitations

This refers to the legal rule that requires that a lawsuit be filed within a certain period of time. While this may not apply to every type of personal injury situation, hiring a lawyer will help you know if it is applicable in your situation. If it is, and you fail to file within the specified amount of time, you will lose the right to ever pursue monetary compensation from the responsible party. Before choosing a particular lawyer, be sure to assess the following factors.

  • How much experience do they have handling cases like yours?
  • What is their success on these types of cases?
  • Do they offer a free consultation?
  • What are they going to charge for the help they provide?

Evidence may be Destroyed or Lost

The chances that you have to prevail in a personal injury case are in a large amount dependent on the strength of your actual evidence. However, the longer that you take to seek legal representation, the more likely that the important and crucial evidence will be lost or destroyed that could help prove the case. When an attorney is called they will begin to work right away to gather any crucial parts of evidence that are necessary to prove the case and recover financial compensation for the person who suffered from the injury.

Witness Memories May Fade

In most cases, especially when a slip and fall or auto accident occurs, the statements made by witnesses are invaluable. However, as time passes, chances are their memories will begin to fade, as well. As a result, you may not have crucial evidence that will help to prove your side of the story. However, when a lawyer is hired, you can feel confident that witnesses will be interviewed right away to ensure they have a clear memory about what happened. This may be the crucial element that helps your case turn out successful.

Remember, not all personal injury attorneys are created equally. When you are ready to hire a lawyer take some time to do some research about their background and the quality of services they have provided in the past. All of this is essential to ensure that quality results will be achieved for the case.

September 3, 2016 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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OldFatherTimeOldRuin was in chambers today and looking particularly sprightly which was a pleasure to see after all of his health scares last week. “I’ve got a get together with some old chums from the bar this evening. Ever decreasing number they are too, BabyB. Still, OldFatherTime keeps on going regardless.”

I told him that I had bumped into OldFatherTime in the bear garden the other day and that he had passed on his regards to OldRuin.
“They don’t make them like him, any more, BabyB. Legend has it that as a young man he was a friend of Lord Atkin and helped him draft the judgment in Donoghue v Stevenson after church and a particularly hearty Sunday lunch out in the shires. That’d make him older than would be imaginiable though. Definitely a great reformer BabyB.  In my time you could always tell which of the judgments of Lord Denning had been preceded by a visit of OldFatherTime to his home in Whitchurch, you know.”

He looked at me wistfully and then whispered as if he were passing on a secret: “You know, some say BabyB, that OldFatherTime has been around as long as the common law itself. Like some sort of legal Highlander. Silly really but his early years are so shrouded in colonial mystery that it’s left it open to speculation.” With a twinkle in his eye he smiled in a way that the French would describe as mi fig, mi raisin.  Only half-joking.

August 31, 2016 · Tim Kevan · 12 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 info@qccartoon.com.

August 30, 2016 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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How Driving Under the Influence Can Change Your Life (USA)

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A DUI, or driving under the influence, is a serious offense – as with any alleged crime, you are innocent until proven guilty. The ramifications of being convicted of a DUI can affect your job or school, not to mention your freedom and monetary penalties. It can also influence job opportunities in the future. You may receive a serious fine as well as a significant raise in your car insurance rates. 

Depending on the jurisdiction, the penalties for a conviction can vary. In all states, the first DUI offense is usually classified as a misdemeanor. 

Loss of driver’s license

There is a mandatory loss of driver’s license in every state. This can be initiated by the court or by the state of motor vehicles department. 

  • 90 days
  • One year
  • Three years

For a first offense, a driver’s license may be suspended for a period of 90 days. Subsequent DUIs require an increased amount of time for license suspension. A second DUI will put you at risk of losing your license for a year – and a third, three years or longer. 

Monetary consequences

DUIs are expensive. Attorney fees add up quickly – not to mention fines that are imposed even with a first offense. DUI fines of $500 up to $2000 are common.

Loss of freedom. Besides the costs of being convicted of a DUI, you may also be looking at a loss of freedom – jail time. Even for a first offense, some states require six-months of jail. 

  • Blood-alcohol test (BAC)
  • Breathalyzer
  • Urine test

These are three of the tests commonly given to someone who is suspected of a DUI. Refusal of these tests, in some states, can result in additional penalties. 

Many states take into consideration the blood-alcohol content, or BAC in determining sentencing. All states have set 0.08% BAC as the legal limit for a DUI. 

Laws and DUI

Even though you might be a minor – don’t expect a break in punishment if you are convicted of a DUI. Since the legal drinking age (in most states) is 21, being found guilty of driving while under age is a separate offense in itself. Underage drivers convicted of a DUI may in fact face adult sentences on minors for lower BACs.

Alternative penalties

Some states include alcohol education as part of their punishment. 

  • Drug/alcohol assessment/treatment
  • Restitution to victims
  • Community service

These alternative sentences may be included as part of the penalties for a DUI. These are usually included in a situation where the DUI conviction was for a first offense. 

Following a DUI, your future shouldn’t be left to chance. If you find yourself looking at charges for a DUI – seek the advice of an attorney who has experience and success defending these types of charges.

August 26, 2016 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Technology Can Win or Lose the Case

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The Internet: Best Friend and Worst Enemy

For those in a divorce proceeding, some of the best advice as regards the internet is: exercise extreme caution. Certainly spying on spouses isn’t advisable or even technically legal, but divorce gets nasty. When it comes down to division in the court, property, pets, and custody are going one way or the other. Be sure the opposing party will use everything in their power to ensure they win. Don’t give them ammunition by starting a Tinder profile! Even if the relationship petered off a year and a half before the divorce and both parties were experimenting extra-maritally, in the eyes of the court, only the one about whom sufficient evidence of wrongdoing may be demonstrated is going to bear the consequences. From Facebook to Tinder, email to search engine history to shared bills, there are many ways a spouse can find out about extra-marital activity; and not to use that in court? Unlikely. It takes extreme altruism and pain tolerance; furthermore, it might not be just. Sometimes the person seeking a divorce is the one who’s actually responsible for tearing apart the marriage. In such a scenario, information come by digitally would be very integral to the coming case.  

Laws Against Spying
On the other hand, what is and isn’t “illegal” activity monitoring changes based on the laws which follow technology. Reading a message that comes from an extra-marital lover on an e-mail account which someone shares with their soon-to-be-ex-spouse isn’t illegal; it can be argued as an observation of happenstance. It’s still very touchy, though, and depending on the defense counsel of your ex-partner, it could be seen negatively in the eyes of the court. In order to keep from accidentally sabotaging your divorce case, what makes the most sense is finding legal representation and following their advice as regards “snooping”/”spying”, etc. There are certainly scenarios where acquisition of information is not illegal; they are definitely going to be few and far between, however.

On the plus side, when there are custodial issues during a preceding which keep the rightful parents from seeing their children, through things like Skype and other camera-oriented technology, a relationship between children and parents can still be fostered. This also looks good during the subsequent trial.

The Bottom Line
The internet has several plusses and minuses. On the plus side of things:

  • It provides communication access to children who may be separated during a case.
  • It provides information about both parties.
  • The internet can expose fraud and swing jury sympathy.

On the minus side:

  • Clients can get in trouble for spying without meaning to.
  • Clients can lose the case after the relationship is over through revealed private information.
  • The internet is perpetually in the public eye.

Don’t ruin chances of being the rightful guardian of children or property as a result of too many drinks and a subsequent Facebook outing. Attorneys should be consulted regarding internet use throughout legal proceedings; especially in the case of divorce.

August 25, 2016 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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Blame and claim

PennyweatherJ_CircuitToday I had the pleasure of appearing in front of the notorious JudgeLooseCannon.  He’s a gruff northerner who never shies away from showing his disdain for the petty-fogging ways of the southerners who surround him in his surrogate home on the south east of England.  He’s also well know for spouting off on any old subject which happens to have taken his fancy that morning whilst reading the newspaper over breakfast.  Much of the time, he gets away with it because his comments are so irrelevant to the case in hand as not to affect the judgment one way or the other.  However, as I alluded to last week, many’s the judgment of JudgeLooseCannon which has been handed around the robing, not least because he takes great pleasure in sending the parties away for an hour at the end of the submissions and typing up a written judgment “for the avoidance of any doubt.”

Today I was representing an insurance company defending a claim against someone who had tripped over a hole in the pavement which was about an inch thick and certainly enough to prove liability.  Here’s just an extract from the judgment:
“I will no doubt be appealed for saying so, but nevertheless, I intend to put forward my real reason for dismissing this claim. It is simply that I am sick and tired of seeing queues of people trundling through this county court bringing claims for what was basically an unfortunate accident.  Something which when I was younger would have merited sympathy, perhaps a sweet cup of tea and beyond that a shrug of the shoulders. Just one of those things. I regret to say that nothing seems to be just one of those things any longer. It’s all blame and claim and, you’ll have to forgive the rhyming, but I say shame! and shame again! It’s time people starting taking responsibility for their own actions and if no-one is prepared to stand up and say so then we can start today, in this county court.  For this reason, I therefore dismiss this claim.”

He may or may not have a point but for today, I fear that my victory may be over-turned on appeal.

August 24, 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 info@qccartoon.com.

August 22, 2016 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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How much do Injury Lawyers Earn? (In the USA)

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Injury Lawyers, (often known as slipe and fall lawyers), can make quite a bit of money according to the type of lawyer they are, their experience, and of course what type of deal they make with their clients.

An attorney is a professional that provides legal advice to individuals. In the majority of cases, those that work for nonprofit, law firms, government, or corporations are often on a salary. Some can work on a self-employed situation meaning they work alone while others may have partners which mean their salaries will be different.

Most lawyers that work in an Injury law firm, or have a partner normally make a larger amount of money than an attorney that goes it alone. However, the type of lawyer can change the money they earn, such as a law firm that does not work with corporations will not make as much money. In the majority of cases, lawyers that truly want to make their mark in the law industry, even though they work with a law firm, will also work alone on some cases so they can build up their experience so they will be able to find employment with a larger firm or one become a lawyer that works with the government or another field of the law so their salaries are larger.

The average wages for a brand new lawyer are around $57,000 annually, while the average wages for any attorney are close to $94,000 each year.

What comes into play when it involves how much an attorney will earn each year include such things as experience, education level, if they have chosen a specialized field like corporate or criminal, the firm size, what state they are working in, (as larger cities attorney’s will make more money than a small town), and lastly the type of clients they have. Experience is often one of the most important things, as a new lawyer fresh out of law school is not going to earn as much as one that has been in the five years or more.

Most attorneys prefer to specialize in certain areas as they can then earn more and also find their own niche that they prefer to work with than working in several different areas. A few examples are criminal company laws, civil laws, family law, or environment laws. This is also how lawyers are divided up, by the type of specialization they are working in and how they stay on top ofstay on top of the newest laws and regulations in their specific area. Specialized lawyers do earn a bit more as well, with earnings for people like assault attorney’s averaging around $49,000 annually. Divorce attorneys have to handle such issues as support for the spouse, child custody, the division of property, and alimony. These lawyers normally earn between $48,000 to $80,000. Nursing home attorneys must be up to date on all law regarding nursing homes especially when it comes to abuse. These lawyers normally earn around $97,000 annually. For criminal attorney’s many factors come into play such as the law firm size, the town they are practicing in, their experience and the type of criminal law that are specialized in. The average annual earnings of a criminal lawyer working in a firm are close to 78,593 while those going it alone can make around $95,195 annually.

Attorney’s that work with intellectual property must have an excellent understanding of laws regarding intellectual property. These lawyers usually earn around $89,000 annually.

August 17, 2016 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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