Thursday, 14 May 2009

Legal Research

One of the required elements of the BVC is legal research. You will be given a scenario by your over worked Pupil Master who has asked you to look into what will happen to their client. Its a case of dumping the file on your desk, leaving a note with a few questions on it, and then departing to the Caribbean for a month while they take a holiday, safe in the knowledge that you will discover everything necessary to get answer the problem.

Therein lies the problem with being a Barrister. How can you ever get on when your Pupil Master is an over optimistic idiot. Surely they know that you are an inept bumbling fool that shouldn't be left in charge of making a cup of tea, let alone offering an opinion on a legal issue.

OK, so first thing to do is to check if anyone has a number for the hotel in the Caribbean. Second thing is to let the wave of panic run its course through your veins. Third is to cry.

Opening the file, you will find that the problem isn't quite as bad as you feared. Then you read a bit further, and discover its so bloody complicated and has so many twists and turns that it might just be time to call it a day. You have bluffed your way this far, but you have met your match, you cannot keep up the pretense any longer. You realise that admitting defeat is sometimes an honourable thing to do.

Maybe, just maybe, and you will have to humour me here, its worth making a start? Write something down and see what happens. It might flow, it might convince someone that you know what to do. Stop that manic laughing, give it a go.

Summarise the problem. This is relatively easy, but not for the feint hearted. You have to read the 50 pages of bumf, and summarise it in a logical and easy to follow way.

OK, Mr Smith is a guilty scumbag and got drunk and beat up his wife. She is in hospital with broken ribs, and he says she fell down the stairs. He was arrested, and in the car on the way to the cop shop he said to the copper, I will give you ten thousand quid to let me do a runner. Copper accepts a cheque and lets him out the door as they slow for the traffic lights. As Mr Smith runs round the corner, her trips over a dangerous Pit Bull dog and cracks his head open on the pavement. The policeman realises that he can't turn up at the cop shop without a prisoner, so he goes to the park and arrests a deaf dumb and blind tramp called Kevin. Kevin thinks he is being mugged, so punches the copper who falls backwards and impails himself on the railings outside the parks public convenience. Two man gainfully employed in using a cubicle in the toilets for a pupose not specified to the Parks Committee, hear the screams of the dying policeman and rush outside and nick his wallet. As they run off, one of them gets hit by the ambulance rushing to assist the Policeman and dies. The Policeman is taken to the hospital where he is placed in a bed alongside Mrs Smith.

OK, that was OK. See how it all comes together once you make a stab at it.

Right, what does the idiotic Pupil Master want me to do? Ah, investigate the dangerous dogs act, and advise on what can be done to clean up the park.

Go online, check the cost of a flight to anywhere that doesn't have an extradition treaty with the UK, and go. Just go. Get out of here, because sometimes the law is a bitch and a complicated one at that.

Does anyone ever actually pass Legal Research? Seriously, is it possible?

Bloody hell, I can't read the cost of the tickets through my tears.

Friday, 1 May 2009

Swine Fever and OLPAS Fruits

Swiss is a worried man. Yes, truly worried.

Listening to the radio during breakfast this morning, he nearly choked on his bacon sarnie. Swine fever is at pandemic proportions. Apparently, the honeymooning coupe who first caught it have recovered and gone home, but they passed the lurgy to a friend who is now in hospital.

The figures announced were that FIVE are in hospital, but they still expect 750,000 deaths, and 1.5 Million hospital admissions. Swiss doesn't like to swear, but what the fuck? What sort of distortion of a story is that?

Knowing that the media have been allowed into Family Courts, he wonders at the sort of stories they will come up with for cases they are allowed to see, but are not allowed to report on. (What the fuck?)

Swiss allowed his mind to wander at how reporting would appear in the newspapers and on radio for the OLPAS Fruity Pupillage Portal. He can imagine reports of 250 Million applications being made for only 5 places. The Ministry of Justice has reported a Pandemic and the imminent collapse of justice in this country. All Judges will wear masks, and defendants will appear in Court in isolation tanks whipped from hospitals due to the risk of spreading disease. Solicitor Advoctes will be shipped to Mexico (so not all bad news then) and bacon sarnies will no longer be served in Court canteens.

The government will legislate on pork chops and dogs will no longer be allowed to eat pigs ears. Any child with a bedroom looking like a pig sty will be sent to a Youth Detention Centre until they mend their ways. Members of Parliament will be given an allowance for setting up decontamination facilities at their first, second and third homes.

Anyone caught giving a child a piggy back ride in public will be given an on the spot fine for £5000. If they are talking on their mobile at the time they will be shot.

You may wonder why Swiss is worried? He has heard that Gordon Brown, stateman, world saver and marvel of government has taken charge. Be worried. Be very worried. It is slowly dawning on Swiss why it is actually possible that what is currently only 5 people with the sniffles could result in 750,000 deaths. Gordon is dealing with it.

As if things couldn't get any worse, Swiss was emailed this article which has been released by the Bar Council.

"The Pupillage Portal has had its deadline extended. Whilst we accept that it has been open for applications for over a month, and we are seeking applicants with a bit of common sense to not wait until the deadline before crashing the system, potential barristers who understand the need to be prepared, to manage their time so that they can do what's important, to prioritise their lives, to bloody well meet deadlines, we will give them another days grace."

Swiss has said it before, he will say it again, 'what the fuck?'