What to do if you are Sued

Civil Litigation Procedure - Part 2What to do if you are sued

In our last article on Civil Litigation, we outlined some of the history of the current litigation rules and what should be considered before a legal claim is issued. In this article, we will consider some of the steps that a Defendant can take when responding to a claim.

Avoidance is the best policy

Effective Use of Time

Time ManagementWe are unlikely ever to have sufficient time to do all the things we want or need to do. Therefore, it’s vital to make the best use of the time we have available. And since time itself is not physically manageable, we have to learn to manage ourselves, our workloads, our priorities and our clutter. Here are top ten tips to help you do this:

1. Never let others solve their time problems by creating yours! Make sure you know how and when to say ‘no’, and are in agreement about the next move. It is far better to negotiate tasks and deadlines as they arise than to accept everything and then lose face because you can't cope.

Consumer Issues

Consumer RightsKnowing your contractual rights and how to enforce them

A good knowledge of the law of contract may not seem very important in day-to-day life, but an awareness of your rights can help you to save your hard-earned cash. In England and Wales, we are lucky to have a wide range of statutory consumer rights that can protect you from unscrupulous shops or traders. We have considered below a few of your key rights and how you can enforce them. We have also outlined a recent expansion of consumer protection from unfair trading practices that came into force on 26 May 2008.

Faulty goods

Writing a Report

In the last issue we looked at preparing to write a report. If you have been following all the tips in that issue, you are now ready to write your report! To write well, use plain English and adopt the ABC's of writing: be accurate, be brief and be clear. There is no point investing time and effort in your report only to have your readers lay it aside or ignore it because they find it full of jargon, difficult to read or badly laid out. So here are top ten tips for writing a report:

1. Be accurate by checking the spelling, grammar and punctuation. Also check all your facts and figures. For example, check that columns add up, or that your survey results haven’t been superseded by the time you come to compile your report.

To Sue or Not to Sue

Civil Litigation Procedure - Part 1Civil Litigation Procedure

The Rules of Civil Litigation

The law is fundamentally about knowing what the rules are. Every area of law will have particular rules that must be followed. In litigation it is important to be familiar with the correct rules because if you are not, then inevitably your opponent (or the court itself) will be all too happy to point out the error of your ways! Worse still, if you make a major mistake, you may be liable to pay your opponent’s legal costs or even lose a case entirely.

Moving Up or Moving On?

Changing jobsTips for your Career Success

Having worked in the recruitment industry for over a decade I have met many candidates who believe that moving to a new company will be the answer to their prayers. That new job, with more money, increased responsibility and additional training opportunities, is something that many aspire to. Before giving in to your desires and jumping ship, it’s worth double-checking to see if your needs can be met in your current company.

So how do you progress up the ladder and not get overlooked by your bosses?

E-conveyancing

econveyancingA brave new world and what it means for you

People working in the property sector will now be familiar with the Land Registry's 'e-conveyancing' programme. Whether they know much about the specifics is another matter. The Land Registry's plan has been to phase in 'paperless conveyancing,' with 2008 and 2009 seeing the launch of a number of new features. A fully functional 'e-conveyance' system may not be available until 2010, but such a fundamental change to the process of buying and selling land was never going to happen overnight.

Citizen Trust Training Charity

Citizens TrustI was recently invited to attend a meeting to discuss training and employment opportunities with a private training charity called Citizen Trust. I was greeted there by a friendly and warm-hearted adviser named Jasmine, who told me about the services of Citizen Trust. The training covers how to apply for employment, tips on filling out application forms, role played in groups, being interviewed, and feedback given by the training to each customer client as a former student of Citizen Trust.

I found the training very useful. I learnt to be more assertive, to approach employers with my updated CV, and discovered skills I did not know I had, like networking. I developed essential business skills and now have my own network, which is essential for support advice in all areas of life.

A Day in the Life of a Legal Secretary

dayinlife.png.460x277_q100.jpgI joined the firm Trowers & Hamlins in 1998 to assist a partner in setting up the Bahrain office. We started with two rented desks from Ernst & Young. This was my first time working with lawyers and it was a real eye-opener. I had been working for the management consulting arm of KPMG, so I was used to working on lengthy documents, but not so used to the exacting standards required in a law firm. I now try to assist new secretaries and trainees to come to terms with what, in the non-legal world, would be treated as being particularly pedantic. I appreciate how the insertion of a comma can change the emphasis of a point, or inserting the word “reasonable” will allow a clause to be accepted by all parties to the contract.

Profile - Amanda Hamilton, Tutor

How did you become a tutor with the Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs?Amanda Hamilton

I was teaching my own courses through my company, AH Paralegal Training, which was accredited by the National Association of Paralegals. The General Secretary of the association approached me in 1999 about the Legal Secretaries Diploma course which they had been conducting through distance learning and asked me if I would be interested in teaching it as a class attendance course.

Several years later, the Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs took over the Legal Secretaries Diploma course and asked whether I would continue teaching for them.

Tell us about your legal experience