Monday, 9 November 2009

Am I stupid?

A minor debate on facebook between me and a former LLB classmate.
Says that they are challenging a certain order, on the ground that it infringes Art 8 of the Human Rights Act.

My friend who is doing a masters in Human Rights Law. Has said that he hopes their appeal doesn't succeed on Art 8 of the Human Rights Act.

Am I therefore stupid to then point out that the Human Rights Act 1998, doesn't have an article 8? And is only merely referring to the European Convention on Human Rights?? I was referred to schedule 1 of the Act which merely lists the European Convention rights...

Have I lost the plot over a very small piece of law? I'm still almost absolutely certain that the HRA doesn't have articles!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Where has the fun gone?

So an update, what have I been doing with myself in the month or so since I last posted?
Well the answer really is not a lot, apart from trying to get on with my masters and thinking why the hell I am staying at my current university and not going to Le Bridge and getting slightly a bit too merry at a small staff drinks party.

The reason why I have been pondering as to whether it would have been better to have gone to Le Bridge is because most of my mates have moved on to pastures green. Current friends are off doing law conversion courses and asking me questions about contract law that I still don't know the answer to. It has all become a bit difficult to realise that I may have become a bit stagnant, apart from the main reasons I chose to stay at my current university, there are other factors now which I feel I should have taken into consideration, such as a social life!

There also seems to be a small part of me that wants more guidance as to how to be a "professional", a trend that I am picking up from blogs about the BVC is that this is instilled in you when you start the course, that it is the start of your professional life and the end of your student days. Why do my student days have to end now?!?! Where is the rolling in at 5am in the morning and going to tutorials severely hungover?!

I seem to be trapped in between being a post-grad masters student whilst also having the responsibility (or is it burden?!) of teaching undergraduates, with little guidance as to how I should be "behaving" professionally. I still have friends that are current undergraduates, yet I am now making friends with staff.

I wonder sometimes where I am to draw the line and getting perhaps slightly too paranoid about very small minor things that I am doing, which in my mind could possibly attract significant academic glare.

Whilst also re-learning criminal law to a sufficiently high standard that I can teach it, I also have the daunting aspect of writing a 20,000 word dissertation for my course.

Where has the fun gone from being a student?

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Children stopped under Terror Legislation


See BBC article here

I have sympathy for the man and his two children, I was stopped under s 44 Terrorism Act before my Middle Temple interview, the officers who stopped me when challenged were very shady on the law relating to stop and searches when I said I would not stop voluntarily as I was busy and when asked to explain what s44 actually said they didn't know..

I didn't make a complaint to the IPCC but next time I might do so.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Lost returns from the US of A



Morning Readers,

You may have noticed, or perhaps you didn't, that I had not posted anything of interest, or any crap either recently, this is because I turned 21, *queue shock and horror* and had a birthday trip to the States. I am now half a stone heavier for all my relaxing and site seeing, even though I did A LOT of walking.

I'd though I'd share some glorious pics with you..


Firstly I travelled to New York, New York and did nothing but walk up and down Broadway and all the other street names I cannot remember. The hotel I was
staying in was right on Broadway but unfortunately had very small rooms and funny low lighting which made it look like a very seedy repainted brothel.

From NY I went to Vegas, which was the highlight of my trip to the states, big shiney things everywhere. As some readers may know I'm a smoker, this backfired quite a bit in vegas where I lit a match blew it out then put it back in the match box, only to have it literally explode in my hand. I ended up with some nasty nasty blisters that I'm still trying to get rid of now!!

I gambled a bit, though only on the slot machines, card games IMO are too complicated and are probably fixed. I won approx $70 and have no idea how much I lost, but seeming as I was playing on the 25 c machine and betting max every time it could have been anything up to $100!! Gambling is fun and also addictive when waiters will come round and give you a FREE drink if you are gambling... FREE... I however only found this out on the night I was leaving Vegas, so unfortunately lost out to lots of free baileys.. hmm..


I then progressed onwards to San Francisco, which after Vegas (which was 40 degrees Celsius) seemed a bit cold at 19 degrees, but I managed to have enough time to visit Alcatraz and do the on island tour which was v.v. interesting. I went over the Golden Gate Bridge, which was VERY windy, and no surprise that the wind does not protect you from getting sunburnt!!

Now I am back in the UK and I am glad that I postponed my BVC studies, one friend commentated that BPP does seem to be evil as on induction day it had a death star feel about it, and even has a "marketing department" so that is where BPP's fees go to?!

I have gotten over the not going to Cambridge episode, in hindsight I only really wanted to go for the wrong reasons, and I extend my thanks to all the bloggers who helped me to pick my current choice.

I start my MA later this month, its a whopper of a 20,000
word piece of original research, and we get a lot of time to just get on with it, however I've landed a job teaching Criminal Law to undergraduates, so suprisingly a lot of my time will be spent revisiting a first year subject and knowing it in excruinatingly painful detail so I can be an effective teacher and also hopefully so I can answer some tough legal questions at pupillage interviews.

I'm loving this new blog design and am exciting about new and upcoming things and where this blog may/maynot be going as I have a side project that needs some serious thinking about.

Best of Luck to those of you starting the BVC.. and hope all is well with my usual readers.

Lost.


P.S all photos are (C) Lost London Law Student as they were taken by me.. hurrah

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Andro works her magic and TA DA!


Many many many Thanks to Andro who has very kindly redesigned my blog to be very much more pleasing to the aesthetic barrister wannabe eye.

Andro is a goddess of web design, and chambers are missing a trick for not giving her pupillage, think of all the website designing she could do!!

Thank you Andro

Lost

x

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Protect the NHS

Lost is slightly disgusted about certain American Media Distributors(not so very fantastic Mr Fox), ganging up on the NHS, to show its citizens that if President Obama's healthcare reforms went through, that they would end up all waiting on lists for years on end and would probably die before they got surgery.

Daniel Hannan in his interview on dirtbag tv, agreed with the presenter Glenn Beck, commentating that a nationalised healthcare system would be detrimental to the US as it hasn't worked in the UK. Whilst I liked his rant at Gordo, I do not support him at all when he is attacking an institution that is central to the UK, and is one of the biggest employers in the world (outside the Chinese Red Army..)

Fox News also had this treat that the NHS panders to terrorists. (edit: oops this video is over two years old!)

Seriously? Where the fuck do they come up with such ridiculous ideas? How far will they go to make sure that their fellow countrymen (all 40 million of them) who do not have healthcare, cannot get at least some sort of basic service from Obama's health care reform?

I am not saying that everything within the NHS is fine and dandy, there are a multitude of problems, but I believe it is unacceptable to spout these pathetic lies about the NHS, for no good reason.

Glenn Beck said "I hope you become Prime Minister one day" to Daniel Hannan, well I sure for one f'ing hope that he doesn't.


Monday, 10 August 2009

Should have become a dentist

Ok so I was going to post a picture to accompany this post, however if you type "bad teeth" into google it provokes a gut wrenching reaction (and my teeth are certainly not that bad)

Long story short, I went to the dentist today, after 3 years of not going since I went to university.
I now have a £500 bill to foot.

Goodbye (well earned) research money!

Moral of the story: see your dentist regularly at least every 6 months to a year....

Friday, 7 August 2009

A Box Ticking Exercise


I despair dear bloggers, at the amount of "box ticking" we have to do in order to make ourselves look more attractive. When I was eating lunch with one barrister, he said that in his day, the people who marshaled with judges were creepy, and not that many people did it. The judge I was shadowing said that they had so many marshals that they had to set up new rules about when marshals could sit and eat lunch with the other judges.. I would like to say for the record that I am not creepy, ok perhaps slightly, you'd have to ask Bar or Bust.

I suppose we are all looking for that special "spark" that will make us look good, make our CVs glow with fluorescent barristerial glee, that makes chambers go "Yes! We need him!" rather than "why do all these CVs look the same?" or "how do I choose between all these desperate people?"

I personally don't think (and have had the benefit of receiving independent views of those in the know) that Cambridge will give me that "spark" when applying for criminal pupillage, and it is for that reason that I have decided not to go, because I would rather do something I enjoy. Then again the more I think about it the more I feel a small stress tumour growing inside my head, but decisions have to be made, and with big decisions, there are always big consequences if they go wrong. I hereby fully accept the consequences of not going off to a world class university... (the tumour may have just expanded by several metres)

But my reasoning may be even political and perhaps it shouldn't. At the Scholarship Dinner, everyone placed immediately around me was from Oxbridge, five people all having being to an elite institution(s) was slightly disturbing (I mean no disrespect of course). I would have liked to have seen more diversity, especially from those who wish to go to the Bar now as recent graduates.

In regards to other box ticking, how many mini-pupillages do you have to do to show that you are committed to the profession? Yes they are interesting, but sometimes I have felt that I am in a driving lesson, however my instructor won't let me drive and I just have to sit there and watch. I want to drive the car! (In reality I am absolutely shit at driving, had so many lessons, but hated my driving instructor, perhaps why the analogy is so relevant as it explains my frustration)

I'm not sure how many more boxes there are left to tick and I haven't as of yet applied for pupillage, but I feel that there is considerable strain upon many a law student to fulfil ALL these boxes and perhaps maybe many more, before ever being considered for pupillage. Of course it differs on each individual set, but the bar (excuse the pun) is high, and the dedication we have to show I'm sure is more than any other profession(apart from medicine).. and for what? Months (once you tot it all up) spending free time to further our careers? In the idealic search for a pupillage when you are competing against maybe 100-200 other applicants, with the same achievements? Do chambers even care?

There is of course no point in doing things just to have them on your CV, (but we all secretly know that some of us HAVE to do things we don't like in order to have them on our CV.) I am beginning to feel that my desire to become a barrister has become a big, no sorry MASSIVE box ticking exercise, and I don't feel it should be.

-End-

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Cambridge v Other Uni


So today as I was checking to see if my lecturer had sent me back my research proposal, I found out that I have in fact got a place at Cambridge to study the M.Phil in Criminology.

Bugger..

I don't understand how the universe works with just dropping bombshells on you, or why it wants you to make impossible decisions all at once.

After editing my research proposal (down from 4 areas to just 1) I realised that I really do enjoy the Law of Evidence and that I am actually quite good at it. I did enjoy Criminology as an undergraduate, however a certain teacher who gave me 46% for an essay I spent two weeks on seriously pissed me off and from then on I did no work.

When it was suggested to me again at the beginning of this year as a possible post-grad option I was a bit repulsed, but gradually I got round to the idea that I had also enjoyed Criminology and it was really that I didn't like my teacher that put me off it.

I haven't got a confirmed place for my MA Res, however I don't see the problem with me getting in. My lecturer and I have discussed the research and he is happy to supervise me and I think my proposal would fascinate me non stop.

I know I've blogged about this before and sorry to all bore you with the Cambridge v Other Uni dichotomy, its just that I unfortunately keep getting things that I never thought I had a chance in hell of getting.

I have various options, but it depends whether I actually want to do a PHD, if not then it would be more beneficial to do the MA Res in Evidence. I am extremely tempted to go to Cambridge, you would have to be an idiot not to be! I am just not sure if I will enjoy it. However I am certain that I will enjoy my MA Res, but will i be kicking myself in years to come if I don't go?

Best of Luck to all of you who are underwaiting pupillage offers!


Wednesday, 29 July 2009

ohhh....

I have just given my research proposal for my MA Res to my lecturer for quick reading..
Apparently I have enough to cover 3 PHDs!!

Oh...

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Awards Galore!!!


A very kind Minx (and shall we say inspirational ) decided to dish out some awards and I won

The Criminal Silk Wannabe of the Year Award

"Goes without any SHADOW of a DOUBT to Lost London Law Student, whose NAKED Academic - Practitioner Ambitions in the field of Criminal Law invariably mean that he will likely be a Senior Judge sitting in the Bailey before you can say ‘antidisestablishmentarianism’ ."


How she knew I do my academic work naked I'll never know, but a very special THANK YOU to the Minx who has supported all of us time and time again.


Saturday, 11 July 2009

Academic v Practitioner

I am currently in a bit of a predicament, that were spurred on by a Judge's comments today, on my last day of marshalling.

I had to do some research for him, although I assumed he would already know the answer, and he had previously said that he had a problem with one pupil who didn't do the research and lied about it etc so I thought I would get it right. Turns out that my research was "excellent". The query at the end of the day was whether I was more inclined more towards academia than advocacy. According to particular Judge I didn't strike him much as an advocate, but was "obviously" a bright lad.

So as I was walking home, I found myself questioning whether or not I would want to at the Bar doing some very dull work in the first few years, that didn't contain much legal theory such as appellate work.

This had all been further confused by Cambridge sending me a letter asking for my final transcript. Of course I assumed that I had already not gotten in, so had asked a well known lecturer if I could do something with him for a year. If i do get into Cambridge which one do I choose between, the well known academic, or the well known university? Furthermore I still have a Middle Temple Scholarship, which I do not know how long I can defer for until I will actually have to give it up.

Minx and others have already suggested that I get something heavy weight under my belt.. hmm damn this scholarship if I didn't have it then I wouldn't feel so constrained to go and do the BVC!

Monday, 6 July 2009

Marshalling

'twas my first day of marshalling today.

The first day I actually leave early to get to where I need to be and I am stuck on the tube for 15 minutes waiting for a defective train ahead to be moved on! Luckily when I arrived the judge I was shadowing wasn't sitting.

I am currently sitting in on a Sex Offence case, gruesome to say the least. ABE videos are horrible and slightly soul destroying. Trying to remain emotionless throughout an outbreak of pure sadness, is really really difficult. I am not sure I am attracted to doing sex offence cases.

I have been given more responsibility on the research I am working on, whilst exciting is also a bit shit scary in case I mess it up!!

I am trying to decide the future of this blog, there have been a few comments left over time that indicate that people know who I am, whilst I don't particularly have a problem with a select few knowing my real identity, I am not so keen as for people to come onto the blog and recognise its me writing!! I shall either be editing/deleting the more unsuitable posts or if it comes to the worst perhaps deleting the blog and moving on.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

A Call for Change?

As some readers may know, I got my results on Monday and was fortunate enough to have got a 2:1 this year, along with 60% of my univeristy. Only about 20 people received 2:2s.

Now the problem that occurs with my 2:1 is that there are people who are above me, that have consistently got good grades even a couple of firsts but not a first over all, who have the same degree class as me, which I obviously think is unfair, and then there are people such as a certain friend who failed all their exams last year, resat them, only received bare passes got four 2:1s this year, and now has a 2:1.

There seems to be a general problem, when the 2:1 category has been expanded.
I would definitely call for some reform within Universitys and Nationally. There is too much discretion placed in the hands of the examination boards (whether for better or for worse)

To take one extreme case, in order to be considered for a first at my uni, you have to normally have three firsts out of your 8 grades from the second and third year. Now one girl this year did not get a first with three firsts, but her friend did with 3.5 overall. The huge difficulty was that infact in total the girl who did not get a first had a better average total mark then the girl who got a first.

You may be thinking? What you get a first with three firsts? Or Wow thats unfair, and yes it is.

With university students all now appearing to get 2:1s, and refering to the example above of someone who did absolutely no work in their second year, had to resit then very strangely did no work in their third year, and got a better average mark than myself (still bitter) what does this mean about the status of a 2:1?

Obviously people will now start looking at transcripts, but to those professions that don't check the transcripts this seems mightly unfair, on all of the people who are much above me on the 2:1 scale, and infact quite on fair on people like me, who have people below them on the 2:1 scale, who got away without doing any work.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Le Dinner de Con

Last night was the Middle Temple Scholarship Dinner, apparently the first of its kind or so Master Treasurer thought. The evening started off in a pub just off Middle Temple Lane meeting Bar or Bust, for a quick drink, or so that was the plan, however I was quite hungover from the previous day of boozing due to it being results day.

We set off for Middle Temple for the reception in the Garden, met a fantastic Lady Bencher(the first ever lady bencher at Middle Temple), 83 still smoking, the most fantastic voice you have ever heard who knew Lord Denning (or Tom as she called him) and Lord Diplock.

We sat down for the meal, and after 5 minutes of talking I discovered that I was surrounded by commercial barristers, oh, this would certainly not assist in showing off my law of evidence knowledge. What I was most surprised about was that all the people sitting around me had gone to Cambridge, the benchers, the barristers, the students, it felt like a huge over exaggeration, however that may just have been what the Bar was like when they joined.

I overheard some students next to me talking about Criminal pupillage, and where they wanted to go, so naturally after having not a lot to say to the commercial barristers I attempted to join in. I'm not entirely sure if it was because I was trying very desperately to talk to people instead of just staring into my wine glass whilst the benchers were chatting up the pretty lady scholars, and hence not interested in the slightly jewish looking boy, but I didn't feel them as entirely approachable.

Once the barristers had left and the domas' were said (still don't know what Domas means) I had a quick chat to the criminal wannabes again, but decidely left to someone I knew who wouldn't annoy me very much and headed off to get Bar or Bust, who was only sitting next to the woman who interviewed me.

The evening ended after Bob and I picked up the most dispirited and very very drunk aspirant, who was just a bit slightly mad.

I thought the evening was good, the barristers seemed fun enough. Whilst I am not an extraordinary people person, I really do hate networking and sucking up to people I do not know, there seemed to be lots of other people doing it, or maybe they were just like me and a bit out of their comfort zone and wanted to make the most of it.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Scholarship Dinner

Is anyone else going to Midde Temple Scholarship Dinner?

I have a ticket, and am currently going by myself, but I am very scared that I will just get very drunk and roll around in the garden.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Results

Update:

I have a 2:1...

Law of Evidence 72%
Medical Law 67% (ouchies, this hurt just a bit)
Company Law 62% (not really too bothered, ever answer was "shareholders")
Jurisprudence 56.5 %(realllllllly can't explain how annoyed I am at this mark without screaming expletives)

As I worked out on Monday I knew that I wouldn't get a 66% average to get into Cambridge. I have rung them up and told them, but it has to practically go through several people before a decision is reached. I think I may just do an MA in research with the lecturer I am currently a research assistant to(and plus its something I enjoy)

Middle Temple Scholarship Dinner tomorrow :)


.........................................................

Results are today, in 7 and 1/2 hours.
.....................
....................
....................

Well I already practically know that I haven't got in to do my masters, unless magically I was to get a 76% average from this year. Which even to my recent swotty standards seems completly inachievable and probably would be for the majority of TopFirsts that there are at my university.

If I haven't updated this posted by Tuesday, then assume that I have thrown myself infront of a bendy bus.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Presents for Lecturers

Ok, now I have been called a Swot in the past, but it is acceptable to get presents for lecturers? Or is it a tremendous faux pas that should be completely and utterly avoided?

This year I have come to know two lecturers quite well, I think they like me and I would like to show some gratitude for them teaching me (in addition to paying my tuition fees) and also helping me with extra-curricular stuff and always being very helpful with career advise (don't go to the criminal bar, is normally always repeated)

As they are both barristers, I am not sure how well it would go down. With one lecturer I expect it would be a delight (I think quite a few people are getting them something), with the other I can imagine it might be a bit awkward, as they already think I am a bit of suck up.

Advise please? Did anyone else treat their lecturers to chocolates and cheap booze? (about as much as I can afford)

P.S
I finally found out how my average grade is calculated. My law department is obsessed with giving out degree classifications based on how many of the same marks you have i.e 4 2:1s, providing other grades are ok means you will get a 2:1, you can be considered for a first if you have a minimum of three of them, and other grades are not too bad.

This means that my university will award me a 2:1 even though my average mark of the 2nd and 3rd year may be below 60%. (f'ing hope not!)

The average mark is calculated by adding up and averaging all 2nd and 3rd year grades. So I have calculated that unless I get three firsts this year, I really don't have much of a chance of getting into Cambridge. I thought that as the third year is said to count more, this would be true when it came to calculating your average grade, such as the third year counting for 60% and the second 40% but no its all equal!

Gah!

Monday, 8 June 2009

Being a Swot Pays off!!

Dear Blog Readers,

Just finished my mini-pupillage at a top criminal set. Was very interesting.
The set specialises in prosecuting, so no wonder I spent 4 days with prosecution counsel and one day with defence counsel.

I shadowed very junior counsel, who all told me not to bother with the average criminal barrister warning of "don't come to the criminal Bar". They said that they love their jobs, and if you realise that you won't be earning a shit ton of money then you can succeed at the criminal Bar.

The question of solicitor advocates was brought up, some are good, some are not good so I am told, (but I knew this already) one different aspect was whether they would make good Judges?
Also how isolated some solicitor advocates are, counsel told me that when they have very learned QC's just sitting down the corridor, it would be difficult for solicitor advocates to have that same kind of access to expertise if they need it.

Though some HCA's in some major city firms will be trained by silks, it is unlikely that criminal solicitor advocates will necessary have the same kind of resources to pool from.

In other news, I have just been asked to undertake some paid research on the law of evidence!!
Of course I said yes, I am not stupid enough to turn it down, especially as it is with one of my favourite lecturers, and it will be another booster on my CV!!

I had some marshalling planned, but I never heard back the particular court I applied to. Apparently a judge has been trying to get into contact with me for a long time, but the emails kept bouncing? Career mistake no 1#!!!

Results on the 22nd June, am nervous, I need my 66%. As you all may well know I wasn't a fantastic student in my first or second years, but this year I pulled my finger out and worked my ass off!!

Best of luck to everyone who is also awaiting results!!
Have a nice boozey summer of celebrating the past three years

Lost

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Psyched Out

I had my moot today.. needless to say we didn't win.
I am not so annoyed about not winning but the behaviour of the individual that did win.
I am nevertheless comforted by being reminded that you do not have to be an arrogant, tosser to succeed in life. The best people at the Bar as I am told are the ones who are nice and actually get on with people.

You do not have to be a fat head to succeed.
The best pupillage advice I have acquired so far, is learn when not to talk, don't piss people off because that's another vote against you at tenancy.

I am also slightly disappointed in the behaviour of the hosting moot team, in particular the timer of the moot who had no problem letting her hosting team continue once they had ran out of time, but began to furiously shake the piece of paper once I was seconds over mine.

This all seems quite bitter.
But now I know I have quite possibly met the most arrogant aspirant barrister yet.
I hope that when it comes to Bar School and Pupillage, that these people fall flat on their asses.
You don''t have to be mean, rude or arrogant to be successful.

Sigh.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Finished!


Haazaarrrrrrrrr

I finished my undergraduate life on Friday after two very stressful exams, that were slightly more challenging than what I expected. Law of Evidence went ok... I know that I did well in two questions, who knows about the other two. Medical Law and Ethics was really shittingly tough, a lot of people came out of the exam feeling like they did not have a clue what they were writing about and many people after leaving the exam hall were crying. Suffice to say I think I have done well/ok and hopefully this means I shall get into Cambridge, if not and I have done soo badly that I have got a 2:2 I shall be jumping infront of a bendy bus.

I've had a bad hangover the last few days as you can imagine, 8 hours in a pub with £1 a pint.. Thats a lot of pints....

Now I have my Semi Final moot to look forward to, its about UCTA, something again I have no idea about, though hopefully this means that I can apply to some mixed common law sets as I have mooted so much on contract this year, that I actually know bits of it quite well!

3 yrs have gone by really really quickly, and I was a bit sad for moment until I realised that my skeleton was in for tomorrow evening and I don't know anything about it!

Good luck for all of the readers who have finished their exams for this year!!

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Broken Piece of Sh*t!!!


Eurgh,

The story goes that I dropped my laptop over a month ago and completely smashed the screen.
I was not happy and I spent the whole day panicking.

Luckily someone gave me their desktop screen and that worked as a replacement.
Now that desktop screen has decided to fuck up and NOT SWITCH ON, or display what my laptop is trying to project. It made this squeaking noise every time I tried to turn it on, but normally after 5-10 goes it would light up and work.

Today it decided not to work, after two hours of trying to make it work it didn't, so I had to have an emergency visit to PC shit world, and get a new monitor, the only ones available were WIDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDEEEESCCCCCCCCREEEEEEEEEEEEN ones that make me feel ill!!

Now not only have I got a screen that makes me feel like I want to vomit, but also one of the pixels on the screen doesn't work!!!

EURGH, I am going to return it after my exams next week and hopefully I'll scrap enough money together to get a laptop, then I'll return it saying it makes me want to vom and the pixel doesn't work!

GARH.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Does lightning strike twice? Apparently so!


AHHHH!!!!
What a crazy day this has been!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not only have I for some reason been given a scholarship by Middle Temple but I have also been offered a place to study the M.Phil Criminology at Cambridge!
Ah!!!!!!!!

My conditional offer is that I need a 2:1 of at least (66%), so I am now enquiring to academic stuff as to how my average mark is calculated, and whether or not I'm actually allowed to know! Ahh! Scary!!

Lightning has definitely struck twice today!!

I has the precious!!

The Honourable (and probably slightly deluded) Society of Middle Temple, have given me a scholarship! Hazaar!!!!

I wasn't expecting one, in fact I repeatedly told my flat mate that I wasn't going to get one, and that my Lady GaGa poker face explanation of criminal practice to the learned panel had probably meant that I had "REJECT" stamped on me.

I thought my paper application was shite and I thought the interview was even worse, so I consider myself very fortunate to come out with something :)

I hope all the other Middle Templers(especially readers from Middle Temple Student Society on Facebook) got something too :)

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Re McE, the end of LPP?


In March 2009, the House of Lords handed down judgment in Re McE.

Facts:
The case concerned whether or not the appellants had a right to know whether their confidential conversations with their solicitors were being monitored or were under surveillance. The Police declined to tell them whether or not they were under surveillance and the appellants sought judicial review of the Police's refusal. The divisional court held that RIPA (Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act) applied to consultations between legal advisers and their clients. However they agreed that in the absence of an authorising regime such as that needed for intrusive surveillance the monitoring of the lawyer/client conversations could not be justified under Art 8(2) of the European Convention on Human Rights. The divisional court certified questions to the House of Lords, asking whether or not RIPA covers surveillance of legal professional privlege and other questions.

The House of Lords held unanimously by 4:1 that s 27(1) RIPA 2000, meant that RIPA applied to legal professional privilege, however in order for LPP situations to be covered it does need a higher level of authorisation (as mentioned by the divisional court) and will need to be classified as intrusive surveillance.

What does this mean?
Whilst previous authorities have made LPP almost sacra santé it appears that RIPA will now be able to pierce and undermine LPP.

This seems in conflict with the recent Court of Appeal authority R v Grant, where the Court quashed a conviction as an abuse of process, where Grant's exercise yard was bugged, and there was no evidence of any prejudicial effect (as noted by the trial judge who conducted a three week voire dire in relation to the bugging)

So now it appears that Grant no longer bites, and that there will be little argument for Abuse of Process where the conduct of the police has been to bug prisoner's confidential conversations with their solicitors. The only Abuse of Process argument that I can see could be made is whether the manner in which the surveillance was conducted was so (out of order?) then abuse of process might be preferred.

If Police can bug these conversations what effect will it have on LPP? Especially as one of the appeals involved a vulnerable adult with mental health problems, with the psychiatrist assessing whether he was fit for being interviewed requested to know whether it would be conducted without surveillance. The impact of this decision is likely to completely undermine LPP, with nothing to ensure that these conversations are private, should lawyers now advise their clients not to say too much?

However their Lordships seemed all to be agreed that even though the conduct may be permissible under RIPA (however unpalatable that is according to Baroness Hale), the evidence obtained from such conduct is very likely to be inadmissible and the trial judge remains the power to exclude it under s 78 PACE.

In addition the restrictions on admitting surveillance evidence under RIPA should also be remembered, for the Intelligence Services are not allowed to put in evidence that has been intercepted directly between A and B, but it is ok to admit evidence that is listened to from a recording device in a phone as this is not a "direct intercept"

What is most interesting is that according to Lord Neuberger, the Home Secretary had in fact been allowing surveillance of LPP despite the divisional court's ruling that whilst RIPA was lawful, the kind of surveillance of LPP needed a higher level of authorisation such as intrusive surveillance, so therefore unless it was reclassified as intrusive surveillance it was illegal and contrary to Art 8! Bad naughty cock up Jacqui-Smith has done it again!

This case is likely to go to the European Court of Human Rights, and as the government lost in AL-Khawaja and Tahery v UK (sole evidence of Hearsay is not adequate on which to base a criminal conviction) it may be likely that they would lose again on this one!

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Question Spotting


Now normally I would never condone such a practice, however it has come to my attention under the shear weight of jurisprudence revision, that it would be impossible to do more than 5 subjects coherently, for the exam.

This is a general agreement between all learned friends of my institution, that seeming it is obligatory to answer 4 questions, out of roughly 13 question, most of which contain an either or, so a perhaps a maximum of nearly 20 + questions. It seems quite apparent that it would be stupid to attempt more than 5 topics for revision, and is would be unnecessary to over do it, better to learn the topics in detail I say.

What I am slightly worried about is that I have delved into the exam papers past. The format was renewed in 2007, so that there were a lot more questions and choice why is good, seeming as we are taught something like 16 individual topics, that of course ALL interrelate because that's the jurisprudence world we live in (whereby learned professors write books, and never have to go into a real world of living, because they can simply make it all up and pretend to know what they are talking about, I call this the jurisprudence CONSPIRACY)

The 2007 paper had 13 questions, but only 5 of them were in part B of the paper, the 2008 paper had 6 topics, which accurately reflects how many topics were taught in the second term.
My worry is that unless they pick and choose which part of the paper has more questions, or it accurately reflects what is taught...

I am hoping that it is what is taught and the second half of the paper has 6 questions! For dear readers if it is FIVE, then I would probably be unable to answer a second question on that part of the paper.

So in conclusion - jurisprudence is hard and sucks.

Thursday, 30 April 2009

Rejection

My friends and I often make up very stupid jokes, about wearing scents of perfume that encompass certain emotions.

The most common ones are Rejeçtion, Desperation and Rage.. (of course all said with a french accent)

Today I despaired as yet another mini-pupillage rejection letter came through the door.

So therefore today I am completely and utterly miserable.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

They are out to get us..

*Update:*

*What did I say again about senior barristers leaving legal aid work?*

Many thanks to UK Barristers on Twitter for this one.


By they I of course mean the LSC, the dreaded legal services commission, that just happens to grant legal aid to cases. (In the photo the man represents the LSC obviously pointing and aiming at all the fat cat barristers, vulnerable families and people who may have committed a crime)

We have seen what has happened previously with the VHCC contract scheme, which many barristers including Simon Myerson refused to sign. The barristers that did sign it were referred to as "scabs".

Now why is it that the LSC is determined to undermine the livelihoods of those who practice at the publicly funded bar?

This story also popped into my inbox ,which was very familiar of Barrister Belle's story here.

Of course now more than ever public spending cuts have to be made, and such cuts will be justified because of the 'recession' however these plans I believe to cut legal aid have been going on for a long time, we've had the Lord Carter Report on Legal Aid and why should public spending cuts be to justice? Is this not integral and fundamental to our society?

One can only predict the various alternative futures that may happen due to legal aid cuts, senior members of the Bar no longer taking on legal aid work, a two tier profession developing where the Criminal and Family Bar no longer attract the best or brightest, and earn a fraction of their Civil Bar counterparts.


If there isn't enough money for criminal work then solicitor firms will be even further squeezed to do advocacy work in house then the criminal Bar will become what? In fluctuated with HCA's who may or may not be good should we then rename the criminal Bar to the Higher Court Advocates' Association? Because it certainly looks like it is going that way.

I sometimes feel like Cassandra saying that the sky is going to fall down, I mainly post on criminal matters and about wanting to go into practice, The Future of the Criminal Bar, and Not a good time to be a criminal barrister part I and partII all outline my thoughts on the matter..

So why isn't anyone doing anything about it? What can the Bar do to stop what will be in effect people receiving injustice from a system that is underpaid and overworked. There have been talks of strikes in the past of those doing criminal work, however reluctantly no one actually agrees...

Is it time to take a stand? To say actually no, this isn't the way forward...?!

Who knows? I don't.

Monday, 20 April 2009

New Anon Witness Case: R v Powar

R v Powar & Another [2009] All ER (D) 45 (Apr) in the Court of Appeal

Facts:
Two defendants were convicted of murder of the deceased.
The judge granted anonymity orders the Criminal Evidence (Witness Anonymity) Act 2008
(Soon to be in the Coroners and Justice Bill 2009)
Appeal was on three grounds
(1)Whether the order would have been given if at the time the statute was in place.
(2)Whether conditions A-C were met.
(3)Whether the conviction was unsafe

Held:
(1) Condition A
Anonymity orders should not just be defined to gangland killings or crimes of violence.
Condition A (s4(3) protect serious damage to witness or to property as further defined in subsection 6
subsection 6 (a) serious injury or death to the witness, or serious damage to the property.
R v Mayers applied.

(2) Condition B
In regards to a defendant having the right to know the identify of his accuser (big in R v Davis)
The court held that there was a delicate balance to be made between the rights of the witness (right to life and right to privacy)
and the rights of the defendant.
There was a strong case against the defendant's without the eye witness's evidence.
R v Mayers applied.

(3) Condition C
It was in the public interest to have the orders granted. They were unlikely to testify against the defendants if they were not granted (they lived on the same street as the defendants)


Commentary

The Court of Appeal seem to have got it right on this one, the second appeal case to come to the Court of Appeal on this particular act
Though as the Criminal Evidence (Witness Anonymity) Act 2008 is due to
expire in December 2009 I wonder how many new cases will come before the court.
In R v Davis the House of Lords held that witness anonymity was unlawful that the defendant had a right to face his accusers.
That a conviction based solely on the evidence of anonymous witnesses was unlawful and such convictions should be treated as unsafe.
Most of the House of Lord's concerns made it into the act, albeit into s 5(2) (a)-(f) which a judge only has to have reference to.
One does wonder how the new Act which is tabled to for the Coroners and Justice Bill will turn out and whether Parliament will give it any more detail and be slightly more fleshed out.
It was if you remember passed 3 days after the House's ruling in R v Davis.

Conditions A-C must be met otherwise an order will not be treated as lawful, however it does appear that to a certain degree they will always be met quite easily.
Condition A - which refers to the safety of witnesses or serious damage to property.
Will likely always be satisfied, whether or not there is a reasonable fear or being harmed.
Is it a good thing that it can be easily satisfied?

Condition B - the right to a fair trial - the Court has described this as a delicate balancing act.
A fair trial (and I agreed with their Lordships in R v Davis) cannot take place if the conviction of a defendant rests solely on evidence from anon witnesses.
Who the defendant cannot effectively probe to see if they are lying or in the case of multiple witnesses against the defendant,
cross examine to see if they have been collaborating.(Though covered by s 5(2)(e) however Judges must only have regard to it)

Condition C - says Courts must regard that (a) it is important that the witness testifies, and (b) that the witness would not testify if the order was made(but for causal question to think about)

So it seems likely in any case that an anonymity order will be upheld.

The only successful appeal against conviction (under the new act) using anonymous evidence, was R v Mayers (conjoined appeals, 4 appeals from defendants, one from the prosecution)
(Mayer's conviction was unsafe because of a dodgey witness)

Friday, 17 April 2009

Official! I am a terrorist & the Scholarship Interview


Yes I am a terrorist...

Yesterday at Mile End station I was stopped under the Terrorism Act 2000. As I was walking into the station to see if they had a photo booth so I could partake in some rather ugly photos of myself to give to the scholarship panel at Middle Temple the next day.

I admit I did look a bit suspicious, a 6ft man with glasses wearing a duffle coat with the hood up because it was raining outside.

The police officer approached me
"Excuse me Sir?"
"Yes" I replied.
"We are asking people to have a voluntary stop and search"
"Right ok.... do you not need a reasonable suspicion to stop and search me voluntarily?"
"No we are stopping you under the Terrorism Act"
"Ah, I see, and what section of the Terrorism Act?"
"Section 44.."
"and what does that say?"
"erm... well basically we can stop you...."


As I seemed to become a nuisance to the police officers (whom I believe were not actual police officers, for they had those funny yellow patches on their uniform.) I was pulled aside by another officer who explained that they wouldn't take my details only my description (one assumes so as not to appear to be targeting the young asian youths that populate Mile End)

After they checked my bag I was free to go, and I walked out of the tube station, which they might of thought of as weird, but I didn't even want to use the tube!

The Scholarship Interview
It went ok.. I arrived just in the nick of time, as I had to make an unexpected change at Bank because of the escalator works.. got there on time and found Middle Temple(which I had never visited before) went up to the main building and asked the very nice gentleman.
"Excuse me do you know where Porter's Lodge is?"
To which they replied "ermm hmmm....." looking directly at the sign that said "Porters Lodge".. I felt a bit stupid however I was glad I was in the right place and just in time too!

As I went to sit outside the interview room whilst the lovely clerk went to photograph my BVC offer letter I could hear the panel talking about how good the girl was who went before me! Nothing like extreme competition to make you more nervous.

I went in they introduced themselves, and lucky me there was a criminal practitioner in there!
They asked me general questions about my work at the LAC, why would I make a good barrister.. what area I was interested in, what the most important thing I had learnt on my mini-pupillage, any interesting legal stories, then about a DNA database.

If I were the panel I would have probably scored me half marks... I had a rather tricky situation of trying to use something creative that I learnt on my mini-pupillage the idea of a "poker face" That when the prosecution is cross examining defendant witnesses a defence barrister will make certain faces in shot of the jury to suggest that the questioning was harsh or uncalled for.

The panel instead said "so the opposite of a poker face?" and I humbly agreed with them.

I then talked about the G20 protest in which the man died, I was asked what charge I would bring against the officer, I said common assault, to which the male barrister said "not manslaughter then?" COMPLETELY forgetting that the man had actually died.

They asked which Law would i reform in the Criminal Justice System and I replied with RIPA. Which caught the attention of the criminal practitioner.

Perhaps a better moment was when I was asked how do I think junior practionners cope at the Bar..

I answered it from a Criminal perspective said with the usual miss match of saying it was very competitive, there aren't a lot of pupillage about(slightly irrelevant) and the impact of the Lord Carter reforms for those people doing legal aid and the fact that it will become a struggle until one is more established...


Though I was a bit weak on the DNA database question, what is a reason for not keeping the DNA evidence if I were completely exonerated of a crime... questions followed from that what is the difference between CCTV and DNA database to which I replied that CCTV doesn't work and DNA is quite specific, which repeatedly came out of my dry mouth as SPASIFIC.

There was no chance to mention my mooting! So after the panel had concluded I managed to slip in that I was a semi finalist in a national mooting competition. The male barrister replied with" oh good you can moot for Middle Temple next year!"

I'm not sure how it all went, the more I think about it the more I try to nit pick and decide that I was crap... I shall have to see when I get the results in a few weeks!

Until then more revision!

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Legal Aid Work


Barrister Belle Turner in a recent article for the times found here explains how she can no longer afford to take on legal aid work.

The article does discuss some rather interesting points for any of us who are considering legally aided based careers such as those of us who want to do Criminal work (Bar or Bust, Rock n Roll Law and myself included)

£5.90 an hour? I am not sure if this is the same for criminal cases as I am currently ignorant of what rates people actually get paid.

But this is more discerning for those of us who want to do legal aid work.
As Simon Myerson QC says on his blog - there may well be a case that legal aided work no longer attracts the best and brightest.

Now I realised that choosing a career in Criminal Law wouldn't be extremely glamorous I am more interested in it because the law interests me more than anything else, its people orientated and sometimes people are innocent and need good representation, but how can anyone want to represent a client for £5.90 an hour? Whilst I didn't expect to be rolling around in Louis Vitton bedsheets, I did expect that I would make a reasonable living after all I have racked up a HUGE amount of debt already and I am still yet to embark on the BVC.

There was a report elsewhere that most barristers would drop legally aided work if the Carter reforms were implemented as it simply would not be worth their while. Of course the LSC would refute this and say that people will always continue to do work.. yes I gather that people would still continue to do the work, but not senior members of the bar who are best equipped to do it, rather junior members trying to pay off their extortionate fees.. moreover if there is such little money going about it really looks like the criminal Bar will dissolve rather sadly.

This is all rather worrying after being told repeatedly by a very senior academic that he is always told that the Criminal Bar is dying and now seeing what this barrister is actually being paid it really does make me think is it all worth it?? I want to be a barrister but do I want to be a barrister THAT badly...

Then again I had a look on the pupillage portal and there are some sets that do purely crime that are offering £15k-30k during pupillage...? What does this mean? I am caught between two conflicting ideas one that says you can have a medicore life but will not be earning shit loads unlike a civil barrister and one that says you will basically be paid less than a cleaner...

Perhaps I'll become a lecturer instead...

Thursday, 9 April 2009

RAGE


I can only express my EXTREME disappointment with the organisers of the moot competition am I in.

They have given us yet ANOTHER contract law problem again concerning UCTA. Now this was somewhat covered in the 2nd round moot, and I am surprised it has returned again to rear its horrifically ugly head.

Surprisingly all my knowledge of contract law comes from mooting as being a juvenile in my first year I decided that I would not need to know about it when pursuing a career in Criminal Law.

Alas I now wish I had done more... the moot is next month after my exams so hopefully I will have enough time to celebrate finishing university (is that celebrate or cry uncontrobally about having to now be a responsible adult?)

The moot must go on!

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Mooting Do's and Dont's

*Editing of my profound attack on the english language in this post will commence shortly*

Perhaps BoB can collaborate on a project with me entitled Mooting: A novice's guide however for the time being escaping from the bore that is jurisprudence revision (or is that learning) I shall suggest some Mooting Don'ts, many of which I have learned from past experience and dare I suggest what I have learnt from the mistakes of other mooters.

Mooting Dont's to being with

1. Do not under prepare your bundle.
Your bundle should include.
(a) FULL COPIES of the cases that you are using from the LAW REPORTS.
Only in extreme circumstances should you be permitted to use a print off from Westlaw or any other such Law software. PDFs of the Law Reports themselves can be found on Westlaw at the top right hand side of the case you are viewing. Click "Download in PDF format" and TA DA it appears as if by magic to be a scanned copy of the Law report you are using.

Print offs from Westlaw look well... shit.. not only are you putting yourself at a disadvantage for marks down on your bundle you are also looking unprofessional. If you can't find the PDF on Westlaw then go to the library and photocopy it from the law report itself. There is simply no excuse unless the case is from 1600-1850.

Using print offs from Westlaw can lead to extreme annoyance of the opposition viciously swearing and getting into a tantrum because if you are using a joint bundle they cannot find the correct quotes due to it not being in the same format.

(b) Tabs - these tabs should be either numbered or alphabetised (numbered is prefered) and a contents page should be at the front of the bundle indicating what is at each tab. Again it is not really acceptable to label your tabs "Hadley v Baxendale" or "Victoria Newman Industries" they should be numbered.

(c) A copy of your skeleton argument - now it depends which mooting competition you are in but a mooting argument should really just be what court your hypothetical case is in, grounds of appeal and under each Ground of appeal your submissions, under each submission the authorities you intend to rely upon and learned articles. Neither I or my moot partner believe in reiterating the facts of the present case. A concise skeleton has no need for being more than a page long.

2. Do not read from a speech.

(a) Mooting is really a conversation between you and the judge. It should be a relaxed conversation though sometimes you are put on the spot and it can get heated. You should however be aiming to guide the judge through the law, not just reading him your essay.
(b) This is something I am very guilty of, I often very sneakily only completed my speech the night before a moot, this has several disadvantages. In reality you should finish your moot speech at least a few days before you're actual moot. You then have time to go through it, get some rest rethink it and tweak it if it does not sound right.
(c) Even if you have started off with a speech you can considerably change it down after a few attempts at practising it to bullet points with just the key quotations you need to use, if a speech is well practised then this will be easy.
(d) Cue Cards - not liked by Mr Myerson QC, favoured by all the mooting books. My own opinion, it would be easier to stick to what my mooting partner calls an "expanded skeleton" which is a simplified version of what he is going to say on 4 pieces of paper with all his key quotes on. If this is how you work best then that's fine, however flicking through cue cards at speed is quite difficult, shifting through 4 pieces of paper isn't.

3. Do not read out the moot problem question
(a) When asking the learned judge if he/she is aware of the facts of the case before them and they say a "brief" summary, that is what they want, a brief summary. Please try and refrain from reading out the entire moot problem as it was given to you!
(b) This also applies to any other case you are citing, unless the case includes Top Grade Pigs, if in that instance it does, the facts of the case must deservedly be fully read out as they are stated in the actual case.

4. Do not tell a judge you will come onto the point they have just asked you about later.
(a) By all means you might tell the judge that you were going to address that specific point later on, however as the point as now been raised you will address his lordship on the point. Merely acknowledging that they have asked you a question and then saying "yes but I would like to continue with my own submissions" is not good practice. Some judges like to test your flexibility.

Please note: that not all judges liked being told that were going to be addressed on that point and you are going to it now, but would prefer you to just deal with the point.

5. Don't stay up all night drinking red bull to get it done.
(a) You will be a shaking nervous wreck, if your voice doesn't sound nervous your hands will definitely give away that you have been up all night.
(b) You should have done enough work spread across a longer period of time to enable that you get all your work done at least a few days before your moot.
(c) I am guilty of both of the above and lost an important moot because of it.

6. Don't play with your quotes.
(a) Don't put emphasis on particular lines of your quotes, read as is. Whilst it may sound (to you) that the law is in your favour a judge may ask you at the end of quoting your passage to read the paragraph properly.
(b) This also applies when you skip words.
(c) This also applies to when you stop a quote before the judgment then considers that the above reasoning is wrong and should be overruled.
(d) To read a long passage or not? - I still don't have enough mooting experience for this and I gather than each individual judge would be different, seeking permission to quote a huge piece of text is advisable, you can point their lordships to the paragraph and particular lines they should be looking to. I was recently told that I shouldn't ask if I could read out the passage, because a judge might turn around and say "no" then where would you be? A few minutes short of your time, unable to put your point across?" If in doubt just read. Though passages should not be to lengthy and normally a judge will ask you "whats the point of this passage Mr X?"

That's it for the time being :)

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Another Win!!!!!


Last night myself and my most glorious super lovely partner progressed past the third round of the OUP and are now in the Quarter Finals!!

It was much less intense than mooting in front of Mr Myerson QC, in fact I wasn't asked a single question!

Nor did I have the opportunity to say "Yes m'lord Top Grade Pigs!" which my partner now suggests that I put into every moot speech!

According to the Judge it was close, my lecturer on the other hand said differently.
I think that had the judge not been travelling around 4 different cities that day he might have been less tired and more interested in what I was saying.

In fact I actually caught him NOT paying attention to my learned self. He was flicking through the bundle in a despondent manner as I was reading out a passage from a case I had cited. I proceeded to politely remind his Lordship at which Tab and page we were at to which he was grateful for.

So Yay! We are through to the Quarter Finals!! If only it was the same competition as Bar or Bust then there could have been an epic battle of the bloggers but alas no, different competitions!
I am so determined to get through to the Semi Final's and then the finals!! I was told that I would have made the Finals of my own internal competition if not for having been up all night and had not been shaking from too many red bulls!!

I doubt any moot will top what happened in Leeds though.. but we will have to see..

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Advice # 3


Sometimes dear Bloggers, Blaggers and Blawgers,

I feel as if my entire life is a continuous repeat of trial and error. Though more occasionally, I feel there are less trials and certainly more errors. Advice # 3 is based on this.

Always know who you are dealing with at all times. Someone whom I recently mooted in front of was not a junior but was actually made a QC back in February.

I am most noticeably annoyed that the serial stalking of him on Chambers website did not turn up this very crucial piece of information!!

Of course unless you see the Barrister who has taken the rich and equally more swishhy Silk (or perhaps it does not swish like Junior Counsel's robes but glides or floats above the ground as if by magic) how the devil are you supposed to know WHO(or is that whom) you are talking to?

Lost has been very confused lately by solicitor advocate robes as well, as they look quite similar to a QC's robes, or so he thinks. This inability to tell the difference between the Bigger Boys who demand vast sums of money and the junior ones who will get you off a Robbery Conviction for a £5 has left him feeling very puzzled indeed.

Lost is glad that he did not make the mistake of being terribly drunk in front of one of the Queen's Counsel and that he suitably sucked up.. I mean "networked" (I HATE networking) afterwards.

But a lesson to always be learnt is always treat people with the same respect and kindness that you would want to be treated with, for with people at the Bar I gather reputation of being a bastard will surely spread on your circuit very quickly.

With remembering what I have just said I shall hereby also make a promise to NEVER take advantage of the free wine/champers/beer at any social event ever again. For as one lecturer recently remarked when I was trying to be polite but eventually dug myself a HUGE cataclysmic hole "I think he's had too much to drink", which taken with the previous "there is a word for people like you.. a swot" I generally take that as I am not considered good company to keep?

The Shame.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Moot Hell


I have a moot on Monday and the skeleton is in for tomorrow.
Despite my usual competitiveness, it is the end of term and I have lost all drive to complete my skeleton which will be unusually complex as all the case law is against us.

The moot is on Williams v Roffey, and whether Dave can bind Company X to a promise, which effectively had no consideration. Williams v Roffey says - yes there is a practical benefit that amounts to consideration. However with the part payment of debt and Re SelectMove that says no Williams v Roffey is not compatible with Foakes v Beer..

I'll come up with a decent argument turn up on Monday and hopefully I won't have to use notes.. so this is not a promise. I just want this moot over so I can actually get on with some revision or is that learning?

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Tricked, no Irish Cream at the Old Bailey


Yesterday I and some other hardcore aspirant Barristers had the privilege(as did the rest of the public) to sit in on a case at the Old Bailey.

We witnessed the Jury being sworn in and the opening of the prosecution case, which as we discussed latterly made us all rethink a career in criminal law. For if every day was similar to what we witnessed we would rather opt to do something more exciting. We gathered that the pace of the speech was due to everything being said having to be translated, R v Mizra comes to mind here. Further reflecting on the case we concluded that it would probably be a lot more interesting if we were involved.

Currently I trying not to think of my next external moot or the last few weeks as an undegrad!! Lost does not want to grow up and refuses to believe that there are work days that consist of 9-5, rather than 2-4. I'm applying for a rather expensive M.phil at a certain prestigious university so *fingers crossed* I'll get in, if not then I don't really feel ready for the BVC and would prefer to do something else before wasting a year of my life and then spending the year after, unlearning newly learnt skills.

Hope all is well with the fellow bloggers!

Friday, 13 February 2009

Humble Pie


Last night I was booted out of the internal mooting competition. Suffice to say that I am now eating humble pie. After thinking that I was the shit after my external moot perhaps it was a good thing, I hadn't prepared as vigorously as I had hoped and I came over nervous. Bit disappointing really after my lecturer and mooting couch came to view me and I didn't win.

Perhaps it was the lack of sleep, and numerous amounts of red bull. Nerves so I am told can effect ones practice at the Bar, getting nervous in a magistrate's court when you weren't nervous in the Court of Appeal the week before.

A humbling experience really, and I'm glad that the other two went through, there was one really good mooter who stood out and I was told that it was between me and the second girl.

Currently I am relieved that its over! I don't think I could have possibly managed preparing for a semi-final moot competition, the third round of the OUP, the LAC and 4 subjects.. but I am disappointed that I didn't get any further, I would have loved to go to the final and face a 3 Court of Appeal Judge bench!!

Ah well...

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Check out some fresh blood

For a while Uni Looney was the newbie, however there are now more!!

http://commonlawgirl.blogspot.com

and

http://philiprmorgan.blogspot.com/

Who has described himself as a radical and wants to reform the pupillage application process!

Check them out.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Pupillage Advice # 2


After my very helpful, Pupillage Advice# 1 which was about stamping out the "ums and ers"
I have more pupillage advice for you all.

GOOD SHOES (Ok so perhaps not glitzy like Dorothy's but a good pair of kickers nonetheless)


The Bar is obsessed with shoes so I am told. When I wore what I considered my nicest if not slightly knackered pair of Hudson's woven black leather shoes to my moot last Wednesday I was informed there after that I should have polished my shoes and infact that I needed new ones.

I was slightly annoyed as I thought my shoes were fab, obviously not, despite the fact that I had polished them too..

So if one is going to a pupillage interview, or attending a mini-pupillage one should always wear your bestest shoesies, for fear of being judged as not being "serious".....

P.S Could BarBoy Please invite me so I can read his blog?

Saturday, 31 January 2009

External Moot

On Wednesday I took the 12 o clock train to Leeds to compete in a national mooting competition.
With five days to prepare for it instead of the month and a half everyone else had I was a bit flustered, I had prepared a script, which everyone in mooting says "don't use a script! Use cue cards instead" Thankfully a faithful Alie of the script approach said for me to stick to what I know how to do, know what you are going to say well enough so that you don't have to read off it.

We pulled into Leeds about 2pm, and went into Leeds University, got lost on the campus, eventually found the building and then I sneaked off for about 3 cigarettes in the freezing cold (the weather was against me) as I tried to calm down my nerves for the moot.

About 4pm the bundle arrived which the hosting team were supposed to prepare. I turned to the copy of Hadley v Baxendale to highlight it and found that it was a print off from Westlaw.
"That's ok" I thought, Hadley is a very old case from the 1850's I wasn't going to berate the other team for not having a copy of it. Then to my horror all the cases were print offs from Westlaw!!! Bad Bad Hosting team. After the hosting team left the room, I went absolutely mental, apologising to my lecturer for my use of fairly prolific language, calmed down and tried to find all my paragraphs in the relevant pages, which took about 20 minutes longer than I had expected due to having to number every page and then scrawl through the text to find my quotes.

The moot:
We awaited in the mock court room, myself being very nervous awaiting the moot judge Mr Simon Myerson QC, so I was doubly shitting myself. He arrived and we got straight onto it, however I forgot where I was and sat down immediately instead of waiting for Mr Myerson to sit down give the judicial nod so that we may rest our tired buttocks. My partner quickly said "Lost stand up!" No doubt the lecturer who accompanied us was slightly dying inside of shame.

The lead respondent for the hosting team started first and I was second. Their argument didn't follow their skeleton which we had been given, so I had lost my 5 minutes of very carefully planned rebuttals. Not too bad I thought, given that Mr Myerson was perhaps the most interventionist judge I have ever encountered whilst mooting, I'm sure it wasn't going to make much difference.

I got up to speak "May it please your Lordship my name is Lost and I appear for the respondents on the first ground of appeal" I referred his Lordship to the first case, and my first highlighted passage, and then all chaos broke loose! "Mr Lost I know the test in Hadley, how does it apply here to what the appellant's have said" "Well my Lord I was going to cover this in my second submission" and then I paused for thought flicked through my pages of notes and said "Yes my Lord if I may refer your Lordship to the case of Victoria Laundry".

It all went well, I think I must have been grilled for about 20-25 minutes, perhaps the low light of it all was being asked to re-read a passage substituting words with the facts of the present case, as I had to then look up the passage and get my stressful head around how to say it!

My highlight, well not until I found out afterwards was a certain emphasis on a particular phrase, which made my lecturer no longer worried about my performance and my partner wet himself slightly.
"If I may refer your Lordship to the case of H Parsons v Uttley Ingham Co, is your Lordship aware of the facts of this case?"
"No I'm not"
"The defendants..."
"Oh yes the Pig case"
"Yes my Lord top grade pigs"

All went well until the final point of my last submission which to be fair was pretty poor and thought up the night before.
"My Lord it is not disproportionate to place a burden of liability on party x, because ... etc"
"Well yes Mr Lost however that isn't a very good point is it?...."
"Yes My Lord, however it is my last point.."
To which I got a laugh and a "Very well Mr Lost"

When I sat down my partner had written me a very sweet note that read "That was magnificent" to which then my face lit up like a beam of hope and I couldn't stop smiling.

Judgement was delivered and we were declared the winners! (Of course we knew this from beginning ;) All in all a good moot, with lots of experience to draw from for the quarter finals of my internal mooting competition, where I shall be mooting in front of QCs/Barristers again!

Lets hope they are just as nice as Mr Myerson and buy us a drink afterwards too!