The Law Society Gazette,
29 June 2006
Minister denies ‘tyranny’ of bill
The minister responsible for the Legal Services Bill this week vehemently denied that the bill is a ‘short step to tyranny’ as she faced a grilling by the joint parliamentary committee scrutinising the proposed legislation. Department for Constitutional Affairs minister Bridget Prentice said that the bill is not just about making sure that the legal professions are independent of government, but also addressing consumers’ concerns that regulation of legal services should be independent of the profession.
30 June 1976
The jury’s award of £34,000 damages in Telly (‘Kojak’) Savalas against the owners of the Daily Mail was inevitably a fine headline sensation. Of more concern to lawyers is the letter from the foreman of the jury published in The Times. ‘Where a jury has to decide,’ he wrote, ‘as men and women of the world “how much?”, the degree of uncertainty is so great that a random answer, consistent only with a total lack of any sort of yardstick, can be expected. Their lordships would do as well to use an Electronic Random Number Indicating Engine.’
Who steals my purse steals trash…
On 1 May 1966 the Sunday Express published an article by Mr A.J.P. Taylor entitled ‘The scandal of the lawyers’ closed shop…’. A critical article about lawyers with a suitably provocative title in the pages of this newspaper surprises no one. This particular article was, however, surprising for two reasons. First its author, though eminent in other fields, seems singularly ill-informed in matters affecting the law and the legal profession and, secondly, it is unfair and, in our view, irresponsible.
It is far better for the advocate, be the case civil or criminal, to be as detached as possible from his client. If fusion were effected, this could hardly be possible. A solicitor, in close contact with his client, may very easily come to see the case through his client’s eyes, instead of with the detachment which is so indispensible. The client may pay more, but in the long run he is better served.