Web week 17/07/06

The Lawyer‘s Web Week is a weekly commentary on legal activity on the web. This includes an overview of the best of the week’s blogs.

If you want to direct us to useful links, email webweek@ thelawyer. com.

Just plane wrong

TheLawyer.com brought you the story on 7 July about the troubles Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) is having with long-standing client Alpha Airports, which is seeking to recoup around £3m from the law firm over commercial advice it provided.

Alpha chief executive Peter Williams told thelawyer.com that BLP would continue to be the company’s lawyers and tried to downplay the row.

His story soon changed, though, and as Finance Week reports (financeweek.co.uk), Williams is now blaming the whole furore on “wrong” legal advice.

Williams told Finance Week: “Alpha sought legal advice, which came back saying that the arrangement was fine so long as Alpha accounted for it properly in their own books.

“That advice was wrong.”

Three’s company

While there was certainly plenty of debate about the NatWest Three’s extradition case, the International Extradition Blog (international extraditionblog.com), run by McNabb Associates, a firm which specialises in extradition defence, focused on two other cases currently going on in the UK, but without the headlines.

Terror suspects Babar Ahmad and Haroon Rashid Aswat are also fighting attempts by the US to extradite them.

The blog also details the extradition plights of Darren Bridgeman, who has returned to the US to face the charge of murdering his ex-partner and that of Gary McKinnon, who is accused of hacking into government military systems.

Of the NatWest Three case, the blog said: “The outrage is refreshing and appropriate, but it would be nice if there was outrage for the non-businesspeople who have been extradited under the framework as well.”

Chain reaction

The NatWest Three were the subject on many a blog, with the fictional Charon QC (charonqc.wordpress.com) questioning the need for the three accused to front the US courts for a bail hearing in chains: “Why the chains? Are they likely to bolt? Are they likely to headbutt the judge?”Well, I guess that depends on what the judge says about their mothers and sisters.

Lessons to be learnt

The inherently funny Barely Legal blog (barelylegalblog.blogspot.com) run by a couple of law school graduates has been in fine form recently. The two authors, Mike and Russ, are quite proud of the fact they have built the blog up to such a standing that a Google search of the term ‘barely legal’ finds their blog in the second spot, among more than a few sites your firewall probably would not let you access anyway.

The guys last week put up the hilarious ’20 Tips to Avoid Being a Douchebag in Law School’, taking the mickey out of the apparent nerdiness of law students.

Our favourite was Lesson 15: “Don’t raise your hand and arrogantly give the professor an answer. You came here to learn the law, don’t act like you already know it. You don’t know shit.”

Sounds as pounds

The British Phonographic Industry’s (BPI) moves to target internet service providers (ISPs) for filesharing by broadband users has drawn much ire, including from GeekLawyer (geeklawyer.org/blog) The blog is unhappy with the measures taken by the BPI.

The site says: “Geeklawyer agrees that filesharing is wrong, but then it’s unlikely that any significant damage is suffered by the music industry. Indeed, it isn’t at all clear it doesn’t help them by promoting artists and films. Some studies have indicated this while some, quoted by the music industry natch, say it damages. Whatever.”