Proposed Changes to UK Personal Injury Law

With recent news that the upper limit for small claims cases could be raised in the United Kingdom, there has been a smattering of concern within the personal injury field as to whether this will affect business.  Many personal injury lawyers in London that I know have even go so far to say that this could mean the end of their practices.  Thankfully recent weeks has seen confirmation from the government that they do not intend to do this just yet… although they have said that they think it to be a very good idea.  The government is going to develop safeguards first being implement any changes to limit as they fear it could have an effect on victims who have genuine claims for compensation.

Personal Injury Claims to Be Reviewed By Medical Experts

Not only that, but the UK government has also commented on the outstanding proposal where a new and independent body of medical experts was going to be launched to investigate personal injury claims.  The idea behind this one is a very solid one as it would mean claims relating to items which are notoriously hard to prove (think whiplash injuries) could be properly investigated before any compensation was paid out.  The plan was that compensation would only be paid out in the event of a medical professional approving the claim and supporting any evidence put forward by the personal injury solicitor or lawyer.

The expert reports would be submitted in a standard and set format so the entire personal injury industry conforms to one way of doing things. The hope is that this would start to negate the pattern where a personal injury lawyer might tend to always favour the claimant with little or no medical proof of injury.  Having said that, there is still some way to go before this one sees the light of day so we will need to wait for the proposal to come through from Whitehall.

Proposed Shortening of Personal Injury Claims

In some related news, the Transport Select Committee has already requested that any personal injury cases that has arisen from driving accidents are limited to only being claimable within a shorter three year period – but the UK politicians have rejected this proposal.  This kind of makes sense because if this were to happen it would make the personal injury law much more complex and could even lead to more cases being brought before the courts.

Make the Claimant Offer More Proof of Injury

In addition to this, the UK government has also come up with some ideas on how to make fake personal injury compensation claims more difficult to pay out.  The proposal would mean there would have to be a far more comprehensive investigation into the claimant’s injuries including more in-depth medical assessments and reports.  If this would really make any difference is a moot point – in fact most personal injury lawyers are privately saying that the only real differentiator would be better technology being used as standard in cars.  And by that they mean things like black box type equipment – think speed records, on-dash GPS cameras – that kind of thing.

The Insanity of Divorce Courtroom Reality Shows

If I can get on my soapbox about daytime reality courtroom shows, these Divorce Court TV shows are nothing short of a legal fraud. All 50 states have a no-fault divorce statute – meaning you don’t need to air your dirty laundry in the courtroom to get a divorce, you only need to cite “irreconcilable differences.” Then the legal arguments shift to what really matters: assets, liabilities, child support and visitation; not about adultery or abuse or abandonment.

So why do these divorce court shows go into such depths to show the disagreements among couples? Ratings, of course. People love watching others –  usually less fortunate than ourselves – descend into a thick sloppy mud pit of raw human emotions: anger, hatred, disgust, belittlement. All for our entertainment!

divorce courtEven I succumb to the humor of some of these silly shows, like the time a woman was seeking a divorce because her husband was…….well, basically was an idiot. She related the time she had a miscarriage and cried to the judge while telling him that her husband’s lame attempt to comfort her after losing their baby was to give her a hamster.

Really, what comforts a woman after a miscarriage more than a rodent?

Oddly, many of these TV judges were judges in real life, like Judge Judy. I guess the enormous compensation they make to be on TV is enough of a reason to play into the fakeness of the entire courtroom scene.

And, if I’m watching a daytime divorce show, chances are I’m sick at home on my couch feeling lousy. I suspect many other people at home watching these “real life” soap operas are also mainly wishing they were somewhere else: At a job they cannot find to replace the last one, disabled from the last job, elderly and lonely, etc. And this is why these shows are as satisfying as comfort food – they feed into our need to feel better about our situation and therefore ourselves.

Recently we heard in the news of a famous TV chef who was sued for divorce by her billionaire husband when some dirty laundry spilled out about her cocaine usage and her habit of smoking pot with her children. Ah yes, but that salacious mud did not come out in the divorce case, it came out in a civil suit against two personal assistants who allegedly spent more than one million dollars on Mr. Billionaire’s credit card. He was trying to get some of his money back from them and the (un)intended result was to embarrass his celebrity former wife with collateral damage of drug usage.

Almost all divorces aren’t sensational, they’re tedious. After it’s been determined that there are irreconcilable differences in the marriage, either a judge or a mediator sets about splitting things up if the parties cannot by their own accord.

And if the parties simply cannot agree between themselves and their attorneys how to separate the assets and liabilities, the worst way to proceed in my opinion is to have a judge do it. Divorce trials are exceptionally expensive. The better option is to mediate the details of the divorce with an independent mediator who will spend time with the parties and their attorneys to forge a compromised settlement. It’s much quicker and cheaper and if there is any common sense or good will left among the married pair, it is the way to go.

And stay away from TV Divorce Courtoom shows! 

Author Bio: Walt Blenner is a Palm Harbor personal injury lawyer  who is an “AV” (highest) rated by Lawyers.com and Martindale Hubbell. He has successfully represented hundreds of clients in Palm Harbor, Dunedin, New Port Richey as well as Tampa and looks forward to helping you and your family whether in the area of personal injury, estate planning or corporate representation. You can follow Walt on Google+ (https://plus.google.com/+Waltblennerlaw)

Essential Criteria and Responsibilities of a Proficient Conveyancing Lawyer

Conveyancing refers to the legal procedure of transferring real estate property from one person to another. The responsibilities of conveyancing lawyer involve display of the properties on market, management of essential documents and paperwork for selling as well as transferring of properties to the buyers. The task may appear simple but it involves wide ranging details as well as specifications especially when the legal problems or issues arise in the beginning. The job is challenging yet rewarding in the current scenario.

In UK and in other countries such as South Africa, Sri Lanka, the legal lawyer represents the interest of the customers while buying or selling properties. They handle contractual disagreement, tax laws and other legal matters effectively. According to the record of February 2009, the average remuneration of licensed conveyancing solicitor is nearly £ 24,000. The following are the essential requirements of a conveyancing lawyer.

Education

Candidates who search for entry level Residential Conveyancing Solicitor jobs and vacancies or relevant posts must possess high secondary school qualification or university degree or equivalent. They should be proficient in English language. Professionals who have studied law and fulfil other criteria such as experience in property law, certification in legal executive remain in advantageous position. Few companies only recruit candidates who have acquired Bachelor’s degree in the field of law.

Additional Qualification

Once the candidates found work placement, the solicitor must begin study for Council for Licensed Conveyancers or CLC examination. Generally these candidates participate in part time employment in conveyancing office as well as finish studies in accredited college or through distance learning option offered by CLC. After completion of course the candidates pass examination that covers land law, contract law, accounts law and licensed conveyancing. They should also demonstrate at least two or three years of job experience in the relevant field with world-class employers.

Proper License

The candidates who complete the examination get primary practice license. However they are employed as coveyancer for extra three years to acquire the full license. The License will help the conveyancer to start firm as sole practitioner. They also work in partnership or as private limited company. The candidates who acquire limited as well as full license must update knowledge on regular basis.

Skill set

Conveyancing lawyer must be organized since they deal with diverse legal paperwork. They supervise the details and ensure that administrative mistakes are not made that often lead to tremendous financial loss. Communication skill is also necessary as they have to write multiple legal documents and meet the customers to explain different legal terminologies.

Before looking for conveyancing lawyer you should first understand the essential duties of the job.

Client Suggestions

The professionals provide important suggestions to the customers on legal issues involving selling as well as buying properties. They calculate drafting of relevant taxes and cost, finalize the legal paperwork as well as explain legal terminologies. The goal is to defend the interest of the customers and protect them against forgery and other illegal activities. Often they pay visit to the customers to discuss the contractual terms as well as offer valuable tips on different matters that are related to sale, marketing and purchase.

Local Research

They conduct essential research to recognize the legal ownership of the properties and evaluate registry documents of the government land. In case the property is not registered they also assess the title deeds. They visit the local panning office to check plans of valuable projects such as construction of roads, shopping complex and the like.

Agreements

The role of conveyancing lawyer is to speak to the estate agents, mortgage lenders, customers and lawyers on daily basis to acquire key details on property agreements. They communicate through phone calls, email as well as letter to draft new contracts as well as negotiate better terms and conditions for the customers. Moreover they prepare property lease contracts to ensure that the contracts are signed on stipulated day of transfer.

Financial Duties

The professional calculates tax rates as well as legal expenditure for each and every transaction. In the United Kingdom, nearly .5 percent tax is imposed as stamp duty on people who want to purchase houses. A proficient professional prepares mortgage payments, gets mortgage funds as well as keep records of payment of the customers.

Assessment of Properties

They work with the property surveyors to evaluate the condition of the buildings and check if the houses are susceptible to land subsidence, flooding or other natural disasters.

Gather more information about the conveyancing lawyer and know about skill sets, education and essential duties necessary for property conveyance.