31.7.13

Book Recommendation: The End of Lawyers?: Rethinking the nature of legal services

This widely acclaimed legal bestseller has provoked a tidal wave of debate within the legal profession, being hailed as an inspiration by some and as heresy by others. Susskind lays down a challenge to all lawyers, and indeed all those in a professional service environment. He urges them to ask themselves, with their hands on their hearts, what elements of their current workload could be undertaken differently - more quickly, cheaply, efficiently, or to a higher quality - using alternative methods of working. The challenge for legal readers is to identify their distinctive skills and talents, the capabilities that they possess that cannot, crudely, be replaced by advanced systems or by less costly workers supported by technology or standard processes, or by lay people armed with online self-help tools. In the extended new preface to this revised paperback edition, Richard Susskind updates his views on legal process outsourcing, courtroom technology, access to justice, e-learning for lawyers, and the impact of the recession on the practice of law. He analyses the four main pressures that lawyers now face (to charge less, to work differently, to embrace technology, and to deregulate), and reveals common fallacies associated with each. And, in an entirely new line of thinking, Susskind argues that law firms and in-house departments will have four business models from which to choose in the future, and he provides some new tools and techniques to help lawyers plan for their future. Susskind argues that the market is increasingly unlikely to tolerate expensive lawyers for tasks (guiding, advising, drafting, researching, problem-solving, and more) that can equally or better be discharged, directly or indirectly, by smart systems and processes. It follows, the book claims, that the jobs of many traditional lawyers will be substantially eroded and often eliminated. Two forces propel the legal profession towards this scenario: a market pull towards commoditisation and a pervasive development and uptake of information technology. At the same time, the book foresees new law jobs emerging which may be highly rewarding, even if very different from those of today. The End of Lawyers represents a compelling vision of the future of the legal profession and a must-read for all lawyers. Indeed this book should be read by all those whose work touches on the law, and it offers much food for thought for anyone working in a professional environment.

Available from Amazon

24.7.13

Book Recommendation: How to Make Partner and Still Have a Life: How to Get Ahead in Professional Services

The ultimate prize in the world of professional services is making partner. But how do you achieve this ambition? This is the definitive guide to fulfilling your potential, becoming a successful partner - and still having a life outside work.

Available from Amazon

19.7.13

When do personal injury claims arise?

Brought to you by our friends at Geoffrey Leaver Accident Claims,
Personal Injury Solicitors in Milton Keynes

There are so many different ways in which personal injury claims can arise. This article provides an introduction to some of these.

Road traffic accidents
Sadly one of the most common ways in which a personal injury claim arises is through a road traffic accident caused by someone else's negligence. This might be as a driver, passenger, pedestrian or in some other capacity on the road. A common form of at-fault accident is a rear end shunt which can cause injuries to the passengers in the car which is hit such as whiplash or lower back pain. A key part of a lawyer's armoury when fighting such a case on liability is the simple Highway Code.

Highway accidents
Related to this and another common type of accident is that which happens on the highway. Sometimes this might be covered by the Highways Act 1980 which puts a duty on the Highway Authority to maintain the highway. Issues which arise here might be as to the systems in place by the Highways Authority as well as the records which are kept and the like and whether any defect in the highway could have or should have been picked up and remedied.

Accidents at work
As well as duties which employers may owe to their employees under both contract and at common law the law also adds additional duties in certain circumstances. These often arise from particular regulations of which there are many such as The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (revised in 2002) and The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.

Occupiers liability
Occupiers may be liable for accidents on their property both at common law, possibly under contract and also by virtue of the Occupiers Liability Act 1957. This might include, for example, trips or slips in supermarkets and the like. Again issues can revolve around systems and whether defects could and should have been picked up and remedied.

Other types of claims
The above are just some of the types of situation which can give rise to personal injury claims. There are quite a few others such as product liability claims and Animals Act claims. However, the above probably provides a basic introduction to some of the main types which can arise.

17.7.13

Book Recommendation: Anonymous Lawyer

A wickedly funny novel about a high-powered lawyer whose shockingly candid blog about life inside his firm threatens to destroy him.

Available from Amazon

10.7.13

Book Recommendation: The Art of Justice: The Judge's Perspective

This book presents a unique and intriguing collection of drawings of courtroom scenes. Entering the courtroom wearing his robe, Judge Pierre Cavellat literally had a secret up his sleeve. Hidden in it were pens and pencils, which he used to sketch the scenes he observed from his bench. Throughout a 40-year judicial career in one of France's more important regional appellate courts, Cavellat produced hundreds of illuminating drawings and paintings depicting the court proceedings but also the main actors: the prosecutors, defence counsel, his fellow judges, the defendants, witnesses, policemen, the general public, as well as the courtroom itself and its architecture. The resulting vivid and uncensored impressions give an unprecedented insight into how a judge perceives his profession and the institution of justice as a whole. Given the scarcity of written autobiographies by judges, and their reluctance to lay bare their inner feelings and thinking, the images reveal, in a candid and immediate fashion, the deeply hidden emotions, ambiguities and fantasies of a judge going about his work. The author, a judge herself, interprets the images through the lens of her own judicial experience, exploring how judges think and act and how their thinking is constructed through their education, professional training, gender and class. In doing so she exposes how personal background, history and experience play an additional, sometimes conflicting, role in 'judgecraft'. While relevant to both practitioners and students of law this book should also appeal to the wider public.

Available from Amazon

3.7.13

Book Recommendation: Portrait Of A Judge

What does an elderly judge do when he is confronted by a man who wants to kill him for a death sentence he had given out years before?

Available from Amazon