Web week 29/05/06

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.

IP Conference comes to soggy end

IP blogger the IPKat (ipkitten.blogspot.com) was fresh from the Anti-Counterfeiting Group Conference in Warwickshire last week and enjoyed the exchange of ideas, particularly on asset recovery and criminal IP issues. IPKat namechecked BDO Stoy Hayward and 23 Essex Street for some strong contributions, but his mind was really elsewhere: “For most of us, however, the big excitement was provided by the 1.30am fire alarm, which left a large number of soggy pyjama’d personages standing in the drizzle for an hour, trying to summon up the Dunkirk spirit.”

Big Brother Blair is watching you

Geeklawyer (www.geek lawyer.org/blog) had slightly weightier things to get off his chest.

In his posting ‘Blair wants your encryption keys’ last week, he said: “The government is looking to force people to hand over encryption keys, in the name of fighting terrorism and crime of course. Geeklawyer has mentioned many times before his theory of governments as information junkies. Telling a junkie that he can’t have what he wants and needs, what he desires most at any price is fraught with danger: get between an information crack addict and his rocks and you are likely to be on the receiving end of aggression and violence. Authoritarian governments are the same, they just wear nicer suits.”

All’s fair in war of love

The Miller and Macfarlane judgments got plenty of attention. Patricia Hollings wrote on Times Online: “Although the [MacFarlane] level of maintenance is high, against a background of a 16-year marriage, three children, and a wife who gave up a career as a City lawyer, it would not strike the layperson as so obviously unfair. The Miller ruling, on the other hand, is another story.” And on familylawsolicitor. blogspot.com, John Bolch wrote: “I was pleased to read that Lord Nicholls accepted Mr Miller’s contention that both the judge and the Court of Appeal misdirected themselves on the ‘conduct’ issue – to have non-extreme conduct such as adultery dragged in to the arguments over financial issues would have been a disaster.”

One student seeks good home

Spare a thought for Reading law student Gavin Whenman on uklawstudent.blogspot .com, who had a traumatic week.

“I had the first meeting with my dissertation tutor today,” he confided. “Have to admit I was a bit nervous beforehand, I hadn’t done as much work as I thought I should and she is the head of the school. Thankfully, I knew enough to get through and the proposal is all shiny, worked up and ready to go.

“One thing I should have known before going in there though is that ‘Royal Prerogatives’ should be ‘the Royal Prerogative’ (singular). Went a bit red about that slip-up.”

Later in the week Gavin was getting worried about vac schemes. “‘My Search for Summer and 2008’ has turned into ‘My Search for 2008’, as I have utterly failed to convince any law firm to employ me over the summer. Hoo-hum, life goes on and all that. Thankfully, and unlike some of my less fortunate friends, I’m lucky enough to have a legal ‘fall-back’ – I’m going to continue to work for my current employer and some of the work is law-based (debt recovery, litigation, etc).

“So, in my search for 2008 I’ve come across rollon friday.com, which is offering students the opportunity to fill in one form, that potential employers can then search. Fingers crossed!”

Just check out the features section…

Meanwhile, on www.roll onfriday.com, users were asked to vote between two redesigns – first for The Lawyer, and second for Legal Week, which became suspiciously close after massed ranks of hacks wore out their voting fingers…