LegalEagleStar

… a kind of Legal Column

Archive for February 2012

Do all Solicitors live in the same World ? It seems not !

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English: The Law Society of Ireland, Blackhall...

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Yesterday morning I was listening to Newstalk Breakfast Show on the Radio, when I heard an interview with a solicitor ‘ ‘a leading commercial litigation and corporate recovery lawyer in Ireland. He has represented parties in all of the significant corporate restructuring cases before the Courts as well as regularly advising leading domestic and international companies on commercial law, corporate finance and regulatory issues… also a lecturer for the Law Society of Ireland in their Higher Diploma Course on Corporate Recovery and Insolvency.” So, not your average High Street Solicitor dealing with the Citizen on an average day. I was horrified then to hear him pontificate about competition within the profession driving down costs. He made the point about all those solicitors being out of work was the factor driving legal costs down. What utter nonsense.

The legal profession is made up mainly of solicitors who work daily on behalf of the citizen. They charge reasonable fees knowing that their clients have a limited purse. This has always been the case. In fact many a time the costs charged do not even cover the costs of the work undertaken. The fact that their numbers have diminished since the demise of the Celtic Tiger has had little or no effect on the costs of providing legal services. They take on litigation cases on a no foal no fee basis as otherwise the citizen would be unable to pursue their cases. This is a fact but one disputed by the Elites in the profession who control their governing body, the Law Society who claim to represent the opinions and views of the profession as a whole. I would humbly disagree and state that this is not in fact the case. When the Personal Injuries Assessment Board, PIAB, now known as The Injuries Board was about to be imposed upon the citizen, I personally was told by the Director General, Ken Murphy, that he did not represent my views. I asked him why not and he responded that a lot of other solicitors held different views than me. So Ken, you represent them NOT me. Fair enough. Once that position is clear and known that the Society does not in fact represent myself and others like me, at least we know where we stand.

I would caution that there are a breed of solicitor who have grown up over the Celtic Tiger years and one that I take an exception to. That is the practitioner who charges a fee based on him not reading the title in conveyancing matters. It would appear to me that they are dangerous both to the profession and the citizen. We charge fees in conveyancing matters based on reading the title to the proposed purchase/sale and pass on/acquire the best title possible. Conveyancers are a particular breed of solicitor who have a lot of experience in dealing with very complicated titles. Unfortunately those undercutting their colleagues are not doing anyone a favour. In my view they are charging for a job they are neglecting to do. They rely on their Insurance Policy should a problem arise, which it will inevitably do. Who then has to clean up the mess and is criticised for charging for so doing but the High Street Conveyancing Solicitor.

Now, what do I have in common with the Elites within the profession? Nothing, absolutely nothing. Those firms that deal with the Bankers, Insurance Companies and indeed the Government. The fees charged out to these sectors are enormous and go unchallenged as they are the Old Boys Network. Don’t get me wrong. There are many good lawyers working in the Corporate sector and indeed for many of these Elites. They are not the problem or even a part of the problem. They are the footsoldiers who do the work, the daily grind. They will be used and disposed of at the whim of the Senior Partner and those whose interests he protects. Certainly not theirs. Control of the profession is essential for these Elites and the proposed changes being introduced by Minister Shatter goes some way to undermine this. Shatter of course, has his own agenda, but that is another days work. Cynically, the Elites have attempted to move the profession to action to stop the Law Society being undermined by the proposed changes in the new Legal Services Bill. Watch this space.

S0me years back, an alarming development occurred. Changes were introduced whereby the Banks and Building Societies made the decision that they were no longer going to pay solicitors to act on their behalf in the provision of mortgages. They stated that this was an added cost to the borrower. Indeed it was and one that should have been borne by the Banks themselves. The Law Society introduced what is called a Certificate of Title. This was where the purchaser’s solicitor has to certify the title to the Financial Institution and so have a liability not only to their client but also to the Financial Institution. Many of us were horrified with this development on many fronts. Firstly, we resented replacing colleagues who did a great job in examining the title on behalf of the Banks etc. The interests of the Bankers and the citizens are not the same and separate representation is essential. Secondly and more alarming, was the exposition of the profession to the whims of a rogue solicitor who could act in a criminal way and cause devastation both to their clients as well as the profession as a whole. Today we are all too aware of the number of crooked lawyers who have played the system for their own benefit leaving chaos and devastation behind them. Who picks up the tab? The High Street solicitor who can ill afford to pay up such vast amounts and who is the one unrepresented by the Elites who run the Law Society.

I personally would love to see those good people both on the Council of the Law Society and within the work force in Blackhall Place set up as a Representative Body for the High Street Solicitor and him/her alone. These solicitors need representation and we have within our ranks those good people who would indeed represent our interests. Will this ever happen ? Well, a few years back I would answer a definitive No, but today I do have some hope in the integrity of those dealing with the real problems we face and who have shown a disgust at the direction the leadership of our profession has taken in recent years. There have been local Bar Associations Groups throughout the entire country who have stood up against vested interests as of late, although their efforts at reform from within have been stymied by those holding power. A new direction is need and a new representative body must emerge in order to ensure the proper representation of the citizen in the years ahead.

As regards the other branch of the legal profession i.e. The Bar, the fate of many good independent barristers is being decided by Government in an unfair and shameful manner. I will deal with that issue in another Blog.

LegalEagleStar , Wednesday , 29th. February , 2012

The War on Drugs, eh Yeah !

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A businessman's silhouette.

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Ireland, 2012. Drug Wars rage. Not as you’d imagine though. The Gangs are fighting each other for control of their areas. A Turf War is raging.

What the Citizen would like to see is The State taking on these Criminal Gangs and winning. What chance have we of attaining that satisfaction ? None whatsoever !  I am not a criminal lawyer and so do not have the insights into the workings of the criminal gangs in Dublin and throughout the entire country, but I am practising law now for more than thirty years and that in itself has enlightened me to what is actually going on.

I see families devastated as a result of their children being addicts and more who lose children to both the drugs themselves as well as being the targets of the actual gangs distributing the deadly ‘stuff’. This hasn’t happened overnight but has steadily grown from the 1970s when, if there was a political will to target the issue at that early stage, we could and would have been saved from this cancer which is destroying the very fabric of our society.

We read sensational pieces daily in the tabloids. We are shocked but also fascinated by the gangland out there and this fascination leads us to rush to the shops to purchase Paul William’s latest offering in whatever newspaper has signed him up, or indeed one of his best selling Books, dishing up the latest sensational offerings and insights into what is really happening. We are disgusted but fascinated. I sometimes wonder what we would do on a Sunday afternoon if we were starved of the latest  Revelations. Sunday just might not be worth living !

While MrA and HoodieB and HatchetC are focused on as the New Mr Big, I sometimes wonder how some of these questionable individuals could actually be running such sophisticated operations. If we are to believe the Spin then they do and are public enemy number one. We get agitated as to why the State does not ‘get’ these individuals. Well, I for one do not believe all I read and have held the view for some time, that no serious attempt will ever be made to tackle this crime. None.

Over the years I’ve listened to many a frustrated Garda who, while pulling out his/her hair, has enlightened me to what they believe, is actually going on. Why the lack of resources ? Lack of manpower. No serious attempt to tackle this attack on the citizens of our State? Well simply put, they are targeting the wrong individuals. They know this. MrA, HoodieB and Hatchet C, are just foot soldiers of Mr Big.  Mr Big himself is one of society’s gentlemen. Respected and beyond reproach. Mr Big, is in fact protected by the State. In fact, he might indeed be in Leinster House itself. But seriously, how can I say such outrageous things? Well, surely those I’ve spoken to in the Gardai cannot all be mistaken. They are angry. They feel used and abused and indeed their lives are in constant danger. No longer are the public outraged and angered by the assassination of Veronica Guerin when our Government Ministers were propelled into action to apprehend her killers. What do the Gardai who worked on her case actually think of what has happened subsequently? Well not a lot. Now with the Minister for Justice, following in the footsteps of his esteemed predecessors, determined to further diminish the resources available to them…well they are demoralised and wonder why we have a Drug Squad at all.

A possible solution and indeed one which has been dismissed by the Government out of hand, has been to legalise drugs, all drugs. Bring in legislation which makes the importation and distribution of all drugs legal. Set up a well funded Regulatory Body to control the whole industry. And indeed it is an industry. Impose High Taxes. Well, it could bring in the Billions of Euro needed to rescue our economy as well as rescue those poor citizens who are addicted to these same substances. Every user must register with the Health Boards and in so doing will be entitled to treatment. For once the victims will have a refuge and people who care about them, while Mr Big, if he is ever uncovered, will have  to declare his vast income and pay up his taxes.

While I might dream of a bloody but successful end to the Drugs War with the decriminalisation of Unlawful substances in this State, it will never be allowed happen. Mr Big has too much to lose. Mr Big is of course a respectable businessman you must remember. The Troica are here to stay and they determine where our resources can be deployed. They have already determined where our priorities should be and a War with Mr Big is not on the Agenda. Sure Mr Big would be in good company as he no doubt is instrumental in the imposition of the Troica on us in the first place.

If we’re serious about tackling the Real Drug Barons, society must change radically, puting the interests of the Citizen first. Well Enda, fancy tackling Mr Big ?

LegalEagleStar , Monday , 13th. February , 2012

Written by LegalEagleStar

February 13, 2012 at 8:31 pm

The Ireland of 2016 as told in The Papers

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English: Euro symbol in front of the ECB, at n...

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History of Fine Gael

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Demonstrations and riots, Paris, France (place...

English: Free Derry Corner

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Top Story

Today in Smithfield, The Rebels launched an attack to the south of the Four Courts where the  Government Storm Troopers have been garrisoned since the suspension of the Law Courts last month. A source close to the Rebel command informs us that they have this morning, occupied the Jameson Buildings. It would appear  that the attack on the Walkinstown Headquarters of the Rebels last Thursday, when Government militias summarily executed the hundred plus occupants, has prompted this current occupation. A Government spokesman said that such actions will not be tolerated and promises to put down this current attempt to defy the democratically elected Government of the People. A total of over 800 rebels have been killed over the past week.

In the Dail , The Leader of the House claimed that the actions of the Government Militias has been justified as the Rebels and their spurious campaign to reinstate Social Welfare Benefits are totally unjustified and Un-European in nature and will not be tolerated. The Opposition, now in hiding, have claimed that since European Forces were invited to patrol the streets of the capital, that a shoot to kill policy was in operation in the State. They claim that since the Dail was usurped by The Troika last December their lives have been in danger. To date some 20 elected TDs have been summarily executed. A Government spokesman denies these claims and blames the Rebels for all deaths that have occurred.

Other News

The American President has shown concern for what is happening in Korea. Since China invaded both North and South, the island has been annexed to China. The United Nations said they were delighted with the progress in the region but noted the  concerns of the President.

In Manchester, England there was another night of rioting. A Conservative Party spokesman said that people unhappy with living in Council Estates should either leave the country or else buy better housing. The fact that these people have decided, as a career choice, to leave their secure jobs is no excuse to act in such an undignified manner.

Outside of Dublin it’s reported that since the abolition of the Garda Siochana by the Minister for Justice, the Drug Gangs continue to fight for control of strategic areas. Our Reporter has witnessed the wholesale slaughter of citizens who stand up against these ruthless individuals. In Derry, the Republican Movement have reinstated Free Derry  and is actively patrolling the area to protect the citizen again the Drug Dealers who have menaced the New Euro -Province of Ireland since its inception last July. The Fine Gael Government has denounced the Republicans as unruly terrorists who have not learnt the lessons from the Civil War in the 1920s. ‘We won the War’, stated Enda Kenny ‘and how dare they have ideas above their station’. He went on.. ‘Such nonsense as introducing a Socialist Republic will be fought at every crossroads in this United Country of ours’…’Long Live The Troika’ he concluded as he gave a single-handed salute to admirers in Parliament.

The whereabouts of Vincent Browne is unknown after the collapse of TV3.  His show was denounced by The Troika after he refused to be quiet at their Press Conference last January. TV3 executives have refused to comment on the assertion that it was his nightly ‘Tonight with Vincent Browne‘ programme that caused the demise of the station.

Troika News

Since the imposition of Single Party Government by the Troika following the refusal of the Opposition to agree to the many changes ‘suggested’ some twelve months ago, their Report issued today congratulates both Enda Kenny and his Fine Gael Party for implementing the necessary changes needed to support the Euro and the Central Banks. It would appear that the remaining Labour Party deputies, that had refused to change allegiance to Fine Gael have now been sacked. The Labour Party has now officially been added to the list of Proscribed Organisations. They join Joe Higgin’s Socialist Party and Mary Lou’s McDonald’s  Sinn Fein. Independents have been listed individually.

Financial News

Good News for Citibank as they confirm  that the austerity measures imposed in the Euro Zone and in particular in the Euro-Provence of Ireland has substantially improved their balance sheet. The Chief Executive proclaimed at a lunch in The Four Seasons in Boston that they are delighted with the success of the Troika and confirmed that they will continue to support their actions.

Fashion

The Annual Euro Fashion Awards have been held for a second year in the Four Seasons Hotel in Ballsbridge. It was felt that such secure surroundings would be beneficial to promote the image of Ireland as an open economy and promote Jobs. Government leaders and Militia were present to enjoy an outstanding event which was viewed live throughout the Euro Zone. The latest fashions from Germany, Italy and France were on display and a fabulous night was had by all.

Breaking News …

The Occupation in Smithfield has been stamped out. According to Government sources all those involved were killed but the Dail has been informed by General Kohn that no property was damaged.

You may consider the above pure fiction. But beware. The path the Irish Citizen is being led down in the shadow of a ‘Democratic’ New Euro Zone may have dire consequences.

LegalEagleStar , Wednesday , 1 st. February , 2012 .

Written by LegalEagleStar

February 1, 2012 at 4:42 pm

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