Patience Is a Virtue

Do you feel frustrated or discouraged whilst waiting for something you want, such as a promotion, a new job or a new qualification?

Many people may find that their patience is being tested at the moment due to the recession. You may not be receiving the promotion you had hoped for, or perhaps finding a new job is turning out to be harder than you expected. Studying may be more difficult if you are stressed about your finances. The recession requires patience from everyone, however, remember that we are all in this together.

Recently at a White House press conference, Barack Obama explained, ‘We’ll recover from this recession, but it will take time, it will take patience and it will take an understanding that when we all work together, when each of us looks beyond our own short-term interest to the wider set of obligations we have towards each other, that’s when we succeed. That’s when we prosper. And that’s what is needed right now’.

The key is to embrace this time of waiting. If we look back through our lives, we may see that the times we’ve spent waiting have been some of the most insightful times. It is during these times that we can get to know ourselves better and connect to a strength of character that we had not known existed. We can use this strength to help not only ourselves but also those around us.

Office Ergonomics

Office ErgonomicsLooking After Yourself at Work

If you spend most of your work time seated at a desk, fingers tapping a keyboard and eyes glued to a screen all day, you have what is known as a sedentary job. You might think, while you are sipping a cup of tea or sending an email, that this comfy desk life exempts you from the work-related types of injuries you could get working in a danger-filled job as a tree surgeon, crab fisherman or professional ninja. Quite the opposite is true! Sedentary work has its risks. Whilst danger doesn’t lurk around every office corner, it can certainly lurk in your computer screen and even in your mouse. I am talking, of course, about the danger of repetitive strain injury.

New Supreme Court

There have, in recent years, been mounting calls for the creation of a new free-standing Supreme Court. This court would separate the highest appeal court from the second house of Parliament (the House of Lords). On 12 June 2003 the Government announced its intention to do so, and eventually the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 was enacted. This Act paved the way for the creation of a new Supreme Court for the United Kingdom. Below we examine the existing system and consider what will change (if anything) when the new Supreme Court opens for business this year in October.

The Existing System – The House of Lords

At present the most senior judges, the twelve Lords of Appeal in Ordinary (or Law Lords as they are often called) sit in the House of Lords. The House of Lords is the highest court in the land – the supreme court of appeal. It acts as the final court on points of law for the whole of the United Kingdom in civil cases and for England, Wales and Northern Ireland in criminal cases. Its decisions bind all courts below it.

How to Pursue a Judicial Review

Judicial ReviewDealing with a public body can become a very awkward and frustrating process. Indeed, it often feels as though such an entity is a law unto itself. People can become confused as to whether or not they are able to pursue any official action against such an organisation when they believe that it has acted unlawfully in some way.

Is there some form of action that you can take if you find yourself in this situation? The simple answer to this question is ‘possibly’.

First, though, it is necessary to consider what is meant by the term ‘public body’. This category would include the following:

  • Local authorities
  • Government departments
  • Tribunals
  • Inferior courts (e.g. magistrates’ courts)
  • Quangos (quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisations)

Where any of the above types of public bodies have made a decision or acted in a way that you believe to be unlawful, you may well be able to pursue what is known as a ‘judicial review’ against them. It should be remembered, however, that only three specific grounds may be pursued for a judicial review to be granted in the High Court. These are as follows:


Advance Your Career with Continuing Professional Development

Continuing Professional Development is a continuing learning process that helps members of professional organisations maintain and advance their professional knowledge and skills. Our CPD programme is designed to improve the quality of our Members’ work as well as support and recognise their career progression.

One of the Institute’s aims is to provide our Members with professional recognition for the quality of their qualifications, standards, skills and expertise, so we actively encourage professional development through our CPD programme and our online journal. We feel that it is important for legal secretaries and PAs to develop their role in order to ensure their success and that of their firms.

The Law Society of England and Wales made CPD compulsory for solicitors in 1985. Solicitors are required to undertake a minimum of 16 hours of CPD a year, and they also are encouraged to take responsibility for their own development. According to legal publishers Sweet and Maxwell, eight new laws were passed each day in 2008, so as well as the many other skills they should maintain, they need to keep on top of legal developments. Although it is not compulsory for our Members to undertake CPD, we feel that it is very beneficial for your career and your firm.

Benefits of Continuing Professional Development

10 Things to Check Before Calling the IT Helpdesk

1. Is it plugged in and turned on? This may sound like an obvious thing to check, but you would be surprised how many ‘broken’ printers and ‘dead’ monitors were simply unplugged by the cleaning contractor the night before.

2. Have you tried Ctrl+Alt+Delete? If an application hangs, hold down these three keys and then end the application. Remember: Ctrl+Alt+Delete is your friend!

Defining Assaults

Defining AssultsWith so many different classifications of assaults, it can often be very confusing to determine the actual extent of an offence that may have occurred. To do so, it is necessary to consider a number of crucial aspects. These include the level and nature of any injuries sustained (i.e. the actus reus) and the offender’s intention to inflict these injuries in the first instance (i.e. the mens rea).

Security of Tenure: Refresh Your Knowledge

Any legal secretaries and PAs accustomed to working within this particular area of law will realise that it is essential to maintain an appreciation of the main types of security of tenure. It is imperative to stay on the ball if you are not dealing with this type of case on a regular basis, as this knowledge will soon become hazy and may even be forgotten.

A tenant’s security of tenure dictates the lengths to which a landlord will need to go in order to legally evict. Generally speaking, tenants who have local authorities as their landlord enjoy the most security and are often able to remain with their property even if they breach the terms of their tenancy agreement in any way. Private tenants are usually far less protected and it is often much easier for their landlord to evict them.

Within this article, we will take a look at the main types of tenancies that you can expect to deal with if you are working in this area of law. We will also go on to consider the legal proceedings that a landlord would be expected to take to evict a tenant who had breached the contract.

Secure tenants

The Changing Face of Media Distribution

New forms of media distribution.On 17 April 2009, four men were sentenced to a year in prison and ordered to pay fines to the sum of $905,000 each for the crime of piracy on the stormy seas of the Internet. This group, of course, are the infamous collaborators behind The Pirate Bay, a website dedicated to indexing music, movies, television programs, software and books that are being shared by users of BitTorrent all over the world. The same men are also the founding members of the first political party dedicated to copyright reform, aptly titled The Pirate Party.

Realistic ‘To-Do’ Lists

Creating To Do ListsA ‘to-do’ list is a powerful way to organise yourself and to reduce stress.  Have you ever written one and never achieved what’s on it?  Or maybe you’ve written a to-do list but kept putting off the tasks to another day because something ‘more urgent’ cropped up?  If either of these sounds familiar, perhaps you need to consider whether you’re writing a to-do list or a ‘wish-to-do’ list.  Being realistic with what you put on a ‘to-do’ list is key to being able to achieve it.  The sense of achievement at the end of the day is motivating, so you’ll want to do it again the next day!  Here are the top ten tips to help you do that:

1.    When does the task actually need to be done by, or when are you actually going to do it?  Allocate each of your tasks against its deadline on your calendar or scheduler and do this every time a new task needs doing.