Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Life on Mars and employment law

My name is Sam Tyler. I had an accident and I woke up in 1973. Am I mad, in a coma or back in time

Sam's (excellently portrayed by John Simm) a 21st century detective, who mysteriously finds himself working as a cop in the 1970s

Gene, (superbly played by Philip Glenister) his DCI is an old style cop, not scared of throwing a few punches to get a result.

I watched the last episode of Life on Mars 2 on Sky last night. What a fantastic series... and a cracking ending. If you haven't seen it - get the dvd's, well worth it. Best thing on TV for ages.

Working for a law firm i'm well aware of the recent beneficial changes in employment law - racial discrimination, sex discrimination, religious discrimination, age discrimination, disability regulations, bullying, no smoking in the workplace etc

Take one look at Life on Mars and you can see why the changes were brought about!

Work is undertaken in a dense fog of smoke, a fag is in the hand of every detective, sexual innuendos are bantered around the office, women are treated MUCH less favourably and Gene Hunt is a BULLY!

How things change.

Sam Tyler may have decided to go back to 1973, but i'm quite happy with my smoke free office and lack of bum smacking from male colleagues thank you very much!

However, there were some fantastic quotes especially from Gene Hunt

Sam Tyler: I need you to connect me to a Virgin mobile number -
Don't you start that sexy business with me, young man. I can trace this call.

Sam Tyler:
This place is like Guantanamo Bay.
Gene Hunt: Give over, it's nothing like Spain.

[To a handful of kids, staring at his car]
Gene Hunt:
Anything happens to this motor, I'll come 'round your houses and stamp on all your toys. Got it? Good kids.

[To another police officer examining blood on the floor]
Gene Hunt: Oi! Hairy Mary, shift yourself. You're in the way.

Gene Hunt: Grab your coat luv, you've pulled


For those of you who are fans of the series and Gene's quotes you can download ringtones here. I've got to admit - i have the "pick up the bleeding phone" ringtone!

Of course, as a law firm we do advise on all employment law issues for the employee as well as the employer, see here for our employment page. Nick Poole is our expert, scroll down this page for his details.

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Deadline Looming - the End of Enduring Powers of Attorney

Just to remind you that Enduring Power of Attorneys are to be replaced with Lasting Powers of Attorney. See here

An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) is a legal document which i think of an a sort of insurance policy. I say now, who i want to deal with my financial affairs if in the future i can't deal with them personally.

From 1st October EPA's can no longer be made. However, EPA's in place at 1st October will be operative.
LPA's are more expensive and lengthier.

At the moment an EPA may cost around £110 + VAT for single, £200 + VAT for double.
For an LPA estimates from lawyers vary - the figures i've heard are between £700 + VAT + £1500 + VAT

Anne Elliott, Partner at Latimer Hinks explains why you should arrange a Power of Attorney asap.
Click here
Act now - you could save alot of money and provide yourself with peace of mind.

Thursday, 23 August 2007

To translate or not to translate...

As you know, i have recently returned from a holiday to Costa Tropical - Almunecar to be precise (in Spain). Almunecar is a spanish working town, by the sea. It isn't very touristy - you won't find an english translation of a Spanish sign or menu.
Luckily i was armed with the trusty "Rough Guide to Spanish". It was great fun dechiphering the spanish tapas menus. Darling daughter got into the swing of it and even attempted converstations!

Li'l monster however, not quite up to reading standards kept asking Darling daughter for translations. She soon got fed up and when asked that the spanish was for "dog" she replied "la rata" instead of "la perro" (the dog L'il monster was looking at was a Chihuahua).

We had to quickly refrain Li'l monster from saying "bonito rata" (beautiful rat - well that's what we thought it meant).

I have found, however that it is not only foreign languages one requires a dictionary for - it's also all of the blessed internet/communication terms.

Has anyone developed a dictionary dedicated to this? If not, i think there would definitely be a market for it!

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

In Plain English...

Solicitors are often asked to speak in "plain english". Forget the herewith, herein etc - plain, simple, easy to understand english is what Clients crave. At Latimer Hinks (according to Client satisfaction feedback) that is what we provide.

Web 2, blogoshpere, widgets, blidgets, wikis etc - this is NOT plain english. Ask anyone to explain the above and they probably find it quite difficult to explain in plain english ... until i came across LeeLefever of Common Craft. He produces short and simple online videos. According to LeLefever their "videos help make sense of complex ideas using a simple format called Paperworks."

The videos remind me of Tony Hart and his little charachter
Morph. They are excellent - no computer gimmickry, just paper, marker and a hand!
I have watched 4 of his "in plain english videos" and i wish i'd watched them before i started blogging. It would have made life so much easier.

So if you want to learn about :

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

I'm Back!!!! and boy am I cold!

Well, our holiday was great. Excellent weather (of course), fabulous accomodation ... and the kids were pretty much well behaved throughout. BUT the downside of any holiday is returning to the UK weather.

We landed in Newcastle around 2am Monday, luckily it wasn't raining. The pilot warned that the temperature we were to be greeted with was 10 degrees. We noted that previous early mornings (1/2am) spent in Almunecar enjoying the local fiesta provided us with an extremely pleasant 32 degrees. Quite a difference!

Now i'm back at my desk with purple feet (i just HAD to wear my sandals and my feet aren't too keen on the cold) and the heating has been "switched back on" temporarily until i thaw out.

Five cups of tea later (rather than ice cold water) and I've now sifted through my emails and discovered that Judiths Divorce Blog is performing pretty well according to the stats and email communications.

  1. Delia Venables of has contacted Judith and other family law bloggers with regard to producing an article on Family Law Blogs for the award winning Internet Newsletter for Lawyers. This page provides a comprehensive list of family lawyers in alphabetical order, thanks to Delia for the listing and once the newsletter is completed i will post a link.

  2. The Journal has contacted our PR agency, Recognition. They would like Judith to consider being one of their bloggers! It's a joint collaboration with the Evening Gazette so should provide great local publicity. We're waiting for passwords etc but should be up and running fairly soon.

  3. Judiths Divorce Blog has been added to the Top Divorce Blogs section of Wikivorce as well as being listed on the resources section.

  4. When Judith corresponds via email to Clients a link to the blog is provided. We are now receiving positive comments from Clients with regard to the blog (and of course Judith's excellent service)

All in all i think we're getting there. I'm sure we still have a lot to learn but we will keep at it!

Friday, 3 August 2007

Social Networking Guineapig Temporarily Unavailable

I'll shortly be popping off to sunnier climes. The wet weekend weather of the past month has really "cheesed me off". Why does it always seem to be a weekend that the sun does not even decide to "peep" through the clouds?

However, Tuesday this week Dramaqueen (darling daughter) had a little outing to the dental hospital in Newcastle, along with L'il monster (dearest son) and of course, myself. The sun was shining, the sky was blue - it was gorgeous, it was also a shame that we were in the hospital for a couple of hours!

On release from the hospital we walked further into Newcastle and ordered an icecream sundae which was eaten outside in the sun. Totally glorious but for the fact that the cafe we found was opposite the bus station. Not such a healthy place to sit and eat with carbon monoxide fumes floating in close vicinity... we live and learn - they were very special sundaes!

However, i do not think for one moment that we will have the same problem in Puerto Cabopino or even Almunecar (Costa del Sol) where we are hoping for a fortnight of blue skies.
I am also NOT allowed to go anywhere near a computer! - i will have withdrawal symptoms by the time i return, though i should have plenty to "blog" about!

So, as of 5pm today i am offically on holiday - i'll get back to you all 21st August!

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Essential Articles Every Serious Blogger Should Read

I have been advised by John of Family Lore that the best way to gain more hits to my blogs is to create links (and he should know as Family Lore receives around 2000 hits per month - he's obviously doing something right).

I also came across an article by Matt Huggins - 55 Essential Articles Every Serious Blogger Should Read via Del.ici.ous and have been slowly going through the list. Most of the information is very straight forward and there are further links to relevant sites. It's an excellent list as everything in in one place.

Take a look and i'm sure you'll discover something you didn't already know!