Just a question of law

Posted on Mar 3, 2014 in General, Lawspeak

The main tool of lawyers, especially in examining witnesses in court hearings, is supposed to be language. However, sometimes the related logic is forgotten. In the following anecdotal examples, the questions and/or answers prove the difficulties that may arise when the lawyer forgets common sense: Q: Now doctor, isn’t it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn’t know about it until the next morning? Q. Is it possible...

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A legal message from a snail in a bottle

Posted on Mar 3, 2014 in General, Lawspeak

On Sunday 26th August 1928 May Donoghue sat in a café with a friend. The friend ordered and paid for some ginger beer, which came in a bottle made from dark opaque glass. Donoghue drank some of the contents then her friend proceeded to pour the remainder of the contents of the bottle into the tumbler when a snail, which was beginning to rot, floated out of the bottle. As a result of the sickening sight of the snail and the impurities in the...

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March 2014

Posted on Mar 3, 2014 in General, Lawspeak

The interaction of a rather slow creature of nature and a bottle of ginger beer would not normally be suspected as being capable of lighting the fuse for a dramatic legal explosion. But in the case of Donoghue v. Stevenson (a landmark decision that every common law student is confronted with) the painfully slow movements of a snail result in the creation of the tort of negligence and herald the birth of several major areas of modern law. The...

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