You come across some very odd legal issues when working as a case officer in a legal team. I had a colleague who had to look into a motor accident where a lady driving her son to school suddenly stopped her car and reversed back into the car behind. Both cars pulled over in a safe spot and the front driver denied any responsibility. It could have been the second one driving into the back of her but fortunately, it was a busy school run – several willing witnesses came forward and two people had dashcams operating. What a marvellous tool that is when fixed properly and the images are clear and unambiguous! The case itself was interesting – it turns out the guilty party had false number plates on the car so when the claimant gave the details to her insurance company, they kept insisting she’d made an error. Fortunately again, her son had taken snaps of the damage and location etc. on his phone and one of the witnesses had also got that detail – all clearly showing her number plates. The subsequent court case was much more interesting for the legal teams and my chum, who’d had the case papers to work on.
With the current mess over in or out of europe going on here in the UK, it is confusing for most of us as to what happens if we do actually come out fully. The referendum was in hindsight, absolutely useless and caused utter chaos – there was no forward planning; no real thought had been applied to the possibility that some of the country might just vote to come out – the arrogance of the leaders at that time was amazing, now we look back after 3 years. So we are now left with arguments, battle lines firmly cemented and the rest of europe all looking on in amusement and horror. The outcome is critical from our legal point of view – we voted to leave the eu and this is where we currently get our laws and statutes from. There will be much work to do to patch up the holes in every area – but civil law needs care before we have too many unsolvable challenges to our system.
When anyone finds themselves in dispute with anybody, be it neighbours, employers, the police, once things get to a certain point, they either get settled or if resolution fails, they resort to court action. In the case of trouble with the police, then certainly legal representation is needed before a case can be made. When you sit and analyse just how many different situations call for actions by a legal team, you can then see that a career in law can be extremely varied. If you choose to become a local country solicitor, this may involve a really huge variety of cases from property conveyancing, divorce and family court matters, criminal law, chancery matters etc. On tv programmes you ony see a solicitor sitting in with a possible felon in a police interview room, sometimes we get to court, but then it’s handed over to the barrister. But a career as a family solicitor can be much more exciting than it might first appear.
For the most part, we live our lives quite stress free where it comes to matters of the law. Unless we go out of our way to break the law or otherwise cause us to need the services of a legal team, then we probably never have dealings with one beyond normal house conveyancing or other property matters. There are situations however when knowing how to reach a good lawyer is critical. When disputes arise at work on either side, if the usual forms of dispute resolution i.e. arbitration, have been tried to past exhaustion, then recourse to the courts becomes necessary. Legals teams work in specialisms. So an employment specialist will deal with any dispute that involves employee/employer dispute and contractual laws. Civil teams will deal with criminal cases and actual breaking of he law. A large city centre practice will have experts in every field of litigation, whatever the problem.
There have been some fantastic tales in the newspapers of late. Many of them concerning celebrities who have made the classic error of committing a minor infringement of normally accepted practice – say got a little too saucy with a colleague and things gotten a wee bit out of hand. Much later on, the other party tells someone, may or may not be deliberate – and then a massive snowball effect erups. It gets into the press and we all know, don’t we, the press never gives up. Unless an injunction is put in place to make them toe a certain line. This is the point when legal teams are so necessary – although whether this is the correct use of their expertise and knowledge of the law can be debatable. As soon as I read the phrase “A.N.Other denies any wrong doing . . . .” , a few days later, I expect to be reading that they have resigned or admitted telling lies!
Knowing just how to set about finding a good legal eagle in times of trouble is something very very few of us every have to worry ourselves about. There are hundreds of crime programmes on tv – most of the troublemakers get taken into custody and we see them being verbally grilled in the interview room. We witness the highs and lows of their sarcastic responses to the CID questioning and then we see little else. There are rarely sections showing the next stage on, where the custody team get hold of duty lawyers and the papers go off to CPS for decisions on prosecution etc. These are the kinds of things that real law firms get involved with and why it’s so necessary to have the fully independent legal system we enjoy in our country. Being able to rely on unbiased assistance, free from government interference is something we are rightly proud of.
When a youngster at school is choosing their A levels, they will have thought about this for years leading up to the ‘6th form’ exams by selecting the right combination of gcses first. It’s not possible to just sit the subjects you like and know you’ll pass, without having a clear idea of what outcome you want to achieve at the end. The school will require the student to choose wisely to get the absolute maximum payback in terms of ‘points’ scored for each pass and for each successful entry on to university. That is why a student wanting to study law at university needs to also look ahead a really know what stream of legal expertise they want to undertake. Perhaps they wish to be a provincial solicitor, or have desires to be called to the Bar. From there will possibly be appointment at a circuit judge or recorder, by the Lord Chamberlain…….
There hav been months and months of discussions concerning the changes to our law making processess that will come about if the brexit negotiations ever come to a conclusion. Many folk voted to leave europe for the very reason that they want us to take back the power to set our own laws and rules again, just as we had for the hundreds of years before we entered europe in the 1970s. I hear the shouting and barracking going on. The remainers seem to completely forget that we existed and ran a very successful country – we immensely well respected the world over. In fact our legal system has been championed as the best example as has our parliament – the mother of all parliaments. Our aged rituals, pomp and ceremonies will continue – in all their rather bizarre grandeur and we will decide how we wish to apply the justice of our land. Well, that’s the plan anyway!
When I go visiting heritiage properties, I am always reminded just how important my stomping ground has been to the making of this country as a whole. The rise of Oliver Cromwell and his The new model army flourished in a town only 20 miles from here. Before that, the gunpowder plot was organised in my neck of the woods – there are all sorts of building that belonged to catholic sympathisers and plotters. The family seats are still available to visit and the monuments to these brave but somewhat foolhardy souls are all about. This leads on to there being a lot of civil war stuff here too. The major battlefields are within spitting distance of my home and there are so many little reminders of how we came to be the rich, historic but now law abiding country we are today. So much loss of life and families torn assunder by different loyalties.