Capturing interesting conversations in the course of my work...
Friday, 20 May 2011
catching up withLouise Restell this week was a revelation. Louise has been involved with the legal profession for a number of years, her interest beginning when she worked for consumer organisation Which? and had a key role in the consumer working party pushing for legal reform that ultimately led to Legal Services Act. When I caught up with her this week, she had just started her new role at The Law Society, on a project exploring the profession's interaction with its various stakeholders.
Over coffee she took me through the detail of a lunchtime talk she was about to give staff at the Legal Services Board. She had been invited to share her thoughts and experience of the profession, and how it interacts with consumers in particular. Phew! She wasn't holding anything back! She has strong views about lawyers' delusions, particularly at High Street firm level, that they are intrinsically better at 'quality of service' than any of these newfangled, Legal-Services-Act-enabled, alternative legal-services-providers could ever hope to be.
On the way back to the office I tweeted Louise wouldn't be pulling any punches in her talk to LSB staff, and the inimitable Jon Busby immediately tweeted back:
@ClareRodway @Louise-Restell Uzi 9mm would be my suggest ;) rather than punches
A story that shocked us all this week was Justice Secretary Ken Clarke's incrediblePR gaffdiscussing the concept of rape sentence reductions for early guilty pleas onBBC Radio 5 Live. Impossible position to defend, trying to describe a supposed line between serious and non-serious rape. What with theStrauss-Kahnfiasco in the same week and theBerlusconitrial coming up. Judging by these astonishing attitudes to women crawling out of the woodwork, from educated men who should know better, I did wonder at one point this week whether I had suddenly been transported back to the pre-1970s. All quite depressing really...
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Super injunctions continue to dominateour headlines. A new aspect each day - not least today's publication of the Neuberger Report - but even so it's astonishing the media hasn't bored of this topic yet. Could it be because it's press freedom that lies at the heart of the debate? Or is it more the fact that talking about superinjunctions is a far more pallatable way to present salacious stories about celebrity affairs and other peccadilloes, to an audiences that wants to pretend it is above such things!
If you haven't caught the Neuberger Report yet, you can find links to some excellent Guardian material on ithere.
If you're after something more light-hearted about the role of social media in litigation, thought you might enjoy this (courtesy of @ChristianUncutvia twitter)...