22nd Dec 2021

The Lighter Side of Litigation

“Write something light hearted from a Dispute Resolution point of view” they said. “Hmmm, I like a challenge”, I thought.

And so I embarked on a mission to find the lighter side of litigation.

At first, I thought I had the solution – I’m reading a great book at the moment, all about lawyers and judges who sometimes take a less conventional approach to problem solving and the law – it’s packed full of wacky judgments and “novel” representations from advocates. Just the job!

I’ll quote some of that and problem solved. Er, no.

Copyright is a very complicated area but with some pretty basic principles – simply, don’t copy it or else! A person’s work is valuable, it really means something and ripping it off (or being ripped off) is bad, really bad. It can affect the copyright owner in enforcing the right and the offender (i.e. me!) by having to pay damages and costs. I watched Natasha Guest and Paul Berwin in their recent presentation for the myriad of reasons why quoting the book was a bad idea. See for yourself by clicking here

Not one to be put off by abject failure, I had another idea – I’ll go shopping! “I’m bound to get inspiration for an article from all the Christmas hubbub around town." Again, no. You see, money was too tight to mention (credit to Simply Red – see copyright section above). I hadn’t kept a proper grip on credit control. I had forgotten all of the tips and traps Natasha and I had espoused in our presentation on the subject. I had better watch it back…. 

OK, one last try – the office party (or paaarrrtaaayy for those of you who were cool in the 90’s) – lots going there – not really DR related but there should be some good stories. Wrong again. You see Berwins Christmas parties are legendary (although clearly not on a par with those allegedly (see what I did there?) held at Downing Street). However, our employment Guru - Mike Patterson – makes a habit of giving careful advice on what you should be saying to employees about the firm’s Christmas bash. Whilst lots of fun has been had at Berwins Christmas parties, there are seldom few stories. Foiled again. 

And so, after much searching, I gave up and searched the internet.

Lots of people have put collections online about odd UK laws. So, to end, (and with credit to “Have I Got News For You”) I can leave you with the news that-

If you had Salmon over Christmas, be careful!! According to the Salmon Act 1986 (section 32), it is unlawful to handle a Salmon (and other specified freshwater fish) in “suspicious circumstances”. I’ll leave that right there.

And, at this time of celebration, I can tell you that under the Metropolitan Act 1839 it is illegal to be drunk in a pub. If you think that’s a bit outdated, I have to tell you that under the Licensing Act 2003, it’s illegal to serve alcohol to those who are already drunk or to someone on behalf of someone who is already drunk.

Party pooper? Me? Never!!

Merry Christmas everyone. 

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