Well, it beats just making it up

It was revealed earlier this year that top law firms are charging clients as much as £1,000 an hour, meaning a six minute toilet break could cost up to £100.

Nabarro’s ‘Time Recording Policy’, which was leaked to legal website RollOnFriday earlier this year, read: “Any short break, e.g. coffee break, of up to six minutes should still be recorded to the matter you are currently working on, on the basis that you would still be thinking about it”.

Making it up being what some have accused legal firms of doing.

Now they’re just flat out lying

Like TTIP, Ceta threatens to lock in privatisation, making renationalisation (of Britain’s railways, say) or attempts by cities to take control of failing public services (as Joseph Chamberlain did in Birmingham in the 19th century, laying the foundations for modern social provision) impossible.

It doesn’t say anything of the kind.

Here’s an example of what the cretins are actually complaining about:

One look at the practice of investment arbitration shows that concerns with regard to the respect for
human rights and environmental law during ISDS proceedings are not unfounded. Some investment
protection proceedings gave rise to conflicts with i.a. the right to health96, the right to water97 and
with general environmental rights.98 Also the current proceedings in Chevron v Ecuador99 show that
the (human) rights of third parties often receive only insufficient attention in arbitration proceedings.
In these proceedings, to which the arbitration rules of UNCITRAL100 apply and which were initiated on
grounds of a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) between the USA and Ecuador, Chevron objects to the
enforcement of a judgment by an Ecuadorian court which had convicted Chevron to a payment of
billions in damages to a group of plaintiffs.101 In several interim awards, the arbitration panel obliged
Ecuador to avert the enforcement of that judgment.102 This gave Ecuador the choice either to
interfere with the otherwise independent judiciary of the country in an unconstitutional manner or
to pay billions in penalties to Chevron. Thus the arbitration proceedings function additionally as an
authority which is de facto able to override even the decisions of the final courts of appeal103 and
which deprives the persons affected of the rights they have in legal proceedings without letting them
participate in the arbitration proceedings. The lacking consideration for the rights of third parties
who do not participate in the proceedings themselves is the focus of an intense debate in the
literature on investment protection law.104 A particular point of criticism is that such proceedings
may have the effect that states will not be able to comply with their responsibility to protect the
human rights of third parties, as investment arbitration tribunals pay no or very little attention to
these rights.105 This becomes also evident in proceedings regarding the privatisation of water. In
these cases, states claimed a duty to guarantee their own population the right to water, even if the
water supply had been privatised. Most arbitration tribunals, however, did not accept this
Ultimately, the two Vattenfall proceedings, in which the Swedish energy company sues the Federal
Republic of Germany for damages, also manifest the grave implications that arbitration proceedings
may have for matters concerning environmental law107 and how “a tension can arise between them
and the national constitution.”108 This result is shared by many authors dealing with the clash
between environmental matters and investment protection law.109 In addition, there are a number of
arbitration tribunals on the question whether environmental requirements constitute an indirect
expropriation or the violation of other investor rights. Legal practice shows that the arbitration
tribunals certainly apply a broad definition of indirect expropriation. The arbitration tribunal in the
case Metalclad v. Mexico110, for example, assumed that the prohibition to operate a landfill
constitutes an indirect expropriation.111

The Chevron case is the one where the lawyer bribed the judge and it turned out that the entire case was a complete fabrication from start to finish. Oh how terrible that ISDS provisions protected Chevron from that.

Vattenfall is even more fun. No one doubts at all that Germany can decide not to have nuclear power plants. But if at the stroke of a pen, by changing the law, you turn many billions of valuable power plant into expensive scrap then you’ve got to pay for it. Just as with all the other nationalisations and so on. You can nationalise anything you want. You’ve just got to pay for it.

So, speed limits then

Battery-powered bicycles are being modified to travel at almost 30mph – twice the speed permitted in public places – putting owners and pedestrians at risk.
Cyclists fit devices that override a speed sensor on the bikes that cuts the motor at the legal limit of 15.5mph.
Others are being sold bikes with motors that exceed the 250-watt power limit permitted on roads.

Something I have no clue about at all.

What are the speed limits for cyclists? Because 15.5 mph is easy enough to beat. I assume this limit is just for these electric bikes.

And has a cyclist ever been given a speeding ticket? I can imagine serious riders out barreling through a 20 mph limit easily enough….

Finally, why in buggery 15.5 mph for these things? What bureaucrat thought that up? Ah, it’s 25 kph, isn’t it?

Mistake by Trump here, mistake

Mrs Trump had notified the British newspaper and other news organisations on August 22 that she would take legal action, Trump’s attorney, Charles Harder, said in an email at the time, calling the reports “outright lying”.

“These defendants made several statements about Mrs. Trump that are 100% false and tremendously damaging to her personal and professional reputation,” he said in a statement on Thursday. The lawsuit was filed in state circuit court in Montgomery County, Maryland.

The lawsuit alleges that the Maryland blogger, Webster Griffin Tarpley, published “false and defamatory statements” about Mrs Trump, including that the former model had suffered from “a full-blown nervous breakdown”.

Suggesting that she was well, suggesting what they suggested, is damaging to the reputation of the wife of a Presidential candidate, yes, I think we would probably say that it was.

The mistake is filing the case in the US. She probably is a public figure in which case – umm, what is it, malice? something like that – has to be proven, not just defamation.

The piece was also published in England, so the English laws on libel apply. Should sue in England instead.

Libel jurisdiction depends upon where something is read.

Well, not really Guardian, not really

That the Hogan suit was strategically filed in Florida, where local law requires the company to immediately pay down the entire fatally expensive judgment, is hidden between paragraphs 6 and 7 of Thiel’s piece in the Times.

Hogan lives there, the original events took place there….

The Plain People of Britain don’t agree with me

Therefore the Plain People of Britain should have no say:

Why do away with one of the fundamentals of a decent justice system? Is the jury system not set up in order to better ensure fairness and justice, rather than relying on a crusty old Etonian in a wig?

Not in rape cases. If jurors were to receive the level of training and awareness-raising necessary to challenge the deep-rooted and highly persuasive myths about rape, the jury system would be more effective in dealing with sex crimes – but this would take more than a few words from the judge at the beginning of a trial, which is how it works at the moment.

That’s Julie Bindel and Julie Bindel can fuck right off.

For she’s missing the very point of the jury system itself. Justice must not only be done it must be seen to be done. And that means that the Plain People of Britain get to decide, each and every time, whether a crime has been committed and whether it was ‘im wot done it.

There is vast evidence from the past that juries would not convict of hanging offences, would downgrade the value of thefts for example. There are cases of jury nullification (I can think of at least one Official Secrets Act one) where it was quite obvious that ‘im done it and bang to rights Guv and the jury simply said fuck off, no crime.

That this happens in rape cases is not a fault of the jury system, it’s the very point. There are those out there, perhaps you know one or two Julie, who insist that any penetrative sexual act is either tantamount to rape or is it. That is not the opinion of the Plain People of Britain and it is both they who sit on the juries and also they for whom the justice system is run.

That is, the entire point of the jury system is to have people who are not in receipt of the level of training and awareness’raising necessary to challenge the deep-rooted and highly persuasive myths about rape making the ultimate decision. Because what is a crime and what is the proof of a crime are, quite deliberately, decided by and defined by what those Plain People generally think.

Yes, meeting 12 random Brits is a horrifying experience, entirely agreed, and to have your life in their hands quite terrifying. But that’s as nothing to having the criminal justice system taken over by the Single Issue Fanatics who then get to impose their standards of evidence, definition and procedure upon all.

In fact Julie, that’s what the jury system is for. To stop the government, or any other fanatic like you, imposing a definition of a crime upon actions which the Plain People of Britain do not think is one.

Juries will happily shout Guilty! at those bang to rights on rape. And not so much where it’s a he said, she said, both boozed up and no one quite recalls. And that’s the point, that’s what the jury is for.

What fun eh, what fun!

One of the country’s leading human-rights lawyers faces a criminal inquiry into claims Iraqi civilians ​were bribed ​to bring abuse claims against British soldiers, The Telegraph can reveal.

Phil Shiner is accused by legal regulators of ​knowing about the bribes which were allegedly disguised as expenses and then submitted as legal aid claims funded by the taxpayer.

The alleged scam works this way. Find random Iraqi. Give them money. They then bring complaint against British troops. File legal aid claim for “translation” and “expenses” to recoup bribe. Get paid nice legal aid daily rate to bring case against government. Possibly, take percentage of award for abuse.


Well, it sorta depends really

The former wife of a Russian oligarch is heading for the London courts to try to secure what experts predict could be a “stratospheric” settlement that would cement the UK’s reputation as the country favoured by the ultra-rich for their divorce disputes.

The larger the settlement the less one half of any future cases would like it to be heard in London.

She’s got a point

But when it came to citing the split on the grounds of his suspected adultery – although there was no evidence of infidelity – she was stunned to discover that the law says adultery can only happen between a man and a woman.
She told Sheron Boyle for the Sunday Mirror: ‘I’ve always believed he cheated. The law now accepts same-sex marriage.
‘Divorce needs to adjust for same-sex affairs.’
Sara added: ‘The law is out of sync with 21st century life.’
Instead, the couple reluctantly agreed to divorce in January for ‘unreasonable behaviour’.
Now the mother-of-three is campaigning for a change in the divorce rules, demanding that the process should be the same for all marriages.

More amusingly, is it the same the other way around? A heterosexual shag is not adultery in a homosexual marriage?

Reminds me of the story

A SHOCKING 700 people have come forward claiming to be superstar Prince’s half-siblings in a race to secure the singer’s multi-million dollar fortune.

The possibly apocryphal story of a bus with five people on it crashing somewhere in urban America and 70 people turning up claiming whiplash.

This isn’t an argument about rape

So, bird passes out, booze, bloke has oral sex, is this rape or not?


But the trial judge dismissed the case. And the appeals court ruling, on 24 March, affirmed that prosecutors could not apply the law to a victim who was incapacitated by alcohol.

“Forcible sodomy cannot occur where a victim is so intoxicated as to be completely unconscious at the time of the sexual act of oral copulation,” the decision read.

Cue outrage. Except that’s not quite it. This is:

Its reasoning, the court said, was that the statute listed several circumstances that constitute force, and yet was silent on incapacitation due to the victim drinking alcohol. “We will not, in order to justify prosecution of a person for an offense, enlarge a statute beyond the fair meaning of its language.”

The law says x, y, z. And as this isn’t x or y or z then it’s not covered. Seems about right to me to be honest.

Michelle Anderson, the dean of the CUNY School of Law who has written extensively about rape law, called the ruling “appropriate” but the law “archaic”.

“This is a call for the legislature to change the statute, which is entirely out of step with what other states have done in this area and what Oklahoma should do,” she said. “It creates a huge loophole for sexual abuse that makes no sense.”

Quite so, quite so.

The outcome is clearly ridiculous but then the law is an ass. The answer is to change the law, not ignore it or misconstrue it. Because for something to be a crime it actually has to be a crime.

Guido is wrong here

Some fool lawyer in The Times this morning claims that this blog is published everywhere in the world where it can be read. So presumably she thinks the North Koreans, Chinese and Iranians have legal jurisdiction over this website – as if Kim El John can suppress foreign press reports. There are no physical assets in the UK, there is no digital equivalent of a printing press, no device that can be seized or smashed. All the authorities can do is block access to the server, in the same way that China and Iran block access to the truth. Web users point their browsers at a server in the US and fetch the data back, we do not store published content in the UK.

Carter-Ruck have now instructed Johnsons, a Dublin law firm, and are threatening proceedings here in Ireland, which if they were to happen we would endeavour to fight. Courts in both California and New York have ruled that foreign court judgments involving free speech can be enforced in the United States only if the foreign nation recognises absolute free speech values compatible with the First Amendment – which guarantees that Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. Guido may have to travel to the US to inspect this website’s servers…

The law is indeed that it is where a story is read that matters, not where it was published. Long standing principle too.

Well, no, not really I think

The Archbishop’s mother, who married again and is now Lady Williams of Elvel, confirmed to her son that she had a liaison with Sir Anthony shortly before she married Welby, though neither she nor Welby had ever suspected there was a doubt about Justin’s paternity. In a statement last night, she said that the news had come as “an almost unbelievable shock”. Archbishop Welby, an only child, has also gained a half-sister, Jane, who is three years older than him.

The discovery gave Lambeth Palace cause to check canon law, as men born illegitimately were for centuries barred from becoming archbishops. A little-known change in the law dating to the Fifties removed that bar, leaving Archbishop Welby safe in his post.

Don’t we actually assume that a child born within marriage is legitimate as far as the law is concerned, whatever the actual story?

The lawyer who sued her law school has a cast iron case now

A jury in San Diego on Thursday rejected claims by a law graduate, Anna Alaburda, that the Thomas Jefferson School of Law enticed her to enroll by using misleading graduate employment figures.

In the first — and perhaps last — such case to reach the courtroom, Ms. Alaburda, 37, argued that the school reported a higher percentage of its graduates landed jobs after graduation than was actually the case, and that she relied on the bogus data to choose to attend the school.

After amassing more than $150,000 in debt to graduate in 2008, she has been unable to find a full-time, salaried job as a lawyer, she says.

A jury voted nine to three to reject her claims.

Sure, she lost, but she’ll obviously win the next round.

Either the school was negligent in not teaching her which cases to pursue, which could be won, or negligent in not teaching her how to win those that could be won.

That’ll be $5 million plus court fees please!

This is rather rich

A high-earning HR consultant is fighting for £4.2m in damages after she fractured her wrist tripping over a rope outside one of London’s best-known gastropubs.
Carmen Mazo, 43, was hurt when she stumbled over a low-lying beer garden marker rope at Notting Hill’s The Westbourne, which is run by the artist Sebastian Boyle.
She says the August 2009 injury destroyed her career and that her wrist scars have left her fearing being branded a self-harmer. She is claiming the damages payout in a case now set to go before three senior judges.

The damages should be whatever she has lost from the negligence, of course. But it’s difficult to see how a broken wrist is going to lead to the loss of a career spouting bullshit really.

Be interesting to see what the court says next. So far it’s only that she is allowed to argue for the larger damages one level up.

The UN And Assange’s Bail Conditions

It appears that the human rights part of the UN has a rather different version of the English language than the rest of us do.

In mid-2010, a Swedish Prosecutor commenced an investigation against Mr. Assange based on allegations of sexual misconduct. On 7 December 2010, pursuant to an international arrest warrant issued at the request of the Swedish Prosecutor, Mr. Assange was detained in Wandsworth Prison for 10 days in isolation. Thereafter, he was subjected to house arrest for 550 days. While under house arrest

The Working Group considered that Mr. Assange has been subjected to different forms of deprivation of liberty: initial detention in Wandsworth prison which was followed by house arrest and –

I’ve no idea whether he was held in solitary: sounds like something most unlikely unless it’s something that he requested for himself. But that house arrest. The actual conditions were:

When he sought asylum Assange was subject to bail conditions of living and sleeping each night at Ms Saunders home in Kent, report each day to a police station, and adhere to an electronically tagged curfew between 10pm and 8am.

That’s not house arrest. It’s an insistence that you lodge at a known address while on bail. And some address too, as above.

I think we can safely tell the UN to fuck off, can’t we?

Oh, and when we catch him, jug him good and hard. Because while it’s not quite on the books (aspects are, like perjury) there really is a punishable crime called taking the piss out of the legal system.