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OH YES for legislation! I'm actually pretty thrilled I managed to get this username. ♥ I originally wanted my LJ (as in Law Journal) to be seriatim: it's the clause in defences which is the catch-all clause, the "if there is anything I haven't denied, I deny it ALL" clause. ;) I also really wanted force_majeure and forcemajeure: this is the Wikipedia entry on force majeure: it's the clause in contracts which frees parties from all liabilities arising from completely unexpected events, like Acts of God. (It's also what I wanted to name an Axel/Sora fic, if I ever wrote one) HMM. It looks like all the contractual terms I love have ONE THING IN COMMON! ;)

Which all really goes to show that sometimes, it's a Good Thing When You Don't Get What You Want, Because You're In Store For Something Better. ;) Like the Rolling Stones said: you can't always get what you want, but sometimes, if you try, you'll get what you need. ♥

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mad dogs and Chinese men

I never thought I'd see a case that opens like this (I do suppose one must be prepared to always be surprised - hopefully, pleasantly):

"Truth, it has been said, is stranger than fiction. This is nowhere better exemplified than in the present proceedings. Indeed, if a label were necessary, the entire saga could not inappropriately be entitled “Of Stray Dogs and Accidents”. As we shall see, it would not be inaccurate to add “, With Experts” as well."

- Khoo Bee Keong v Ang Chun Hong and Another [2005] SGHC 128:
I don't need a new Phoenix Wright game, baby, THE PROFESSION IS HILARIOUS ENOUGH and supplies me with alllll my point-and-laugh needs:

The most hilarious case ever involving a defendant who was deliberately causing a series of accidents in order to claim insurance payouts:

(Counsel) pointed out there were eight accidents in toto which took place in the evenings save for one. Four accidents involved concrete mixers and the proximity of the occurrence of each accident was from five days to one week. He added that prior to the string of accidents, Poh was accident-free for 20 years

Q: Agree that you were involved in all of these 8 accidents?

A: Yes.

Q: For accident 1, 2 and 4, all concrete mixers?

A: Yes.

Q: And this accident also a concrete mixer?

A: Yes.

Q: Between No. 1 and 2 accident, only a difference of 5 days?

A: I agree.

Q: And then some 10 days later, yet another accident, again ‘WB’?

A: Yes.

Q: And then some 20 days later, another accident again – ‘WB’?

A: Yes.

Q: In your accidents on 21 August 2002 and 26 September 2002, the description and how the accidents occurred were extraordinarily similar?

A: I agree.

Q: And for accidents on 26 August 2002 and 5 September 2003, the cause of the accidents by both of the Plaintiffs were extraordinarily similar?

A: Yes.

Q: I will say … the current accident was another accident similar to what happened on 26 August 2002, and 5 September 2002?

A: Yes.

Q: And you are in fact asking this court to believe that the following are purely coincidental:

(a) For 4 to 5 accidents, the causes were all similar.

A: It is a coincidence.

Q: (b) And for 5 of the 8 accidents you were involved in, you just happened to collide into concrete mixers?

A: Yes.

You're doing it WRONG.

Whenever I read things like these: Instead of granting agency, Phoenix Wright will tease, coax, and praise you into doing what it likes, but it will never let you guide. Thing is, successful lawyering should make you feel intelligent, not like you're along for a ride.(source)

I go, And that is how it shows you know nothing about what "lawyering" is like, and that this game isn't educating you, either.

It is very hard for me to remain detached whenever people talk about Phoenix Wright as if it is the greatest game ever. If you realise it teaches you very little about the legal profession, that's fine. But so many people don't seem to realise that. It's very hard for me to be enthusiastic about something that does it all wrong, and worse, people think it's doing it right.

My unspoken opinion on Phoenix Wright is, if I have to tell you what's wrong about it, you probably won't get it.

This, for example: Our hero, the titular Phoenix Wright is a young law school grad starting at Fey and Co. Law Offices. As soon as he gets in, he's thrown into a case by Mia Fey, his new boss. One small thing: your best friend is the defendant in a murder case. If you're wondering how he could work on a case like that, as it would be a conflict of interest, you're not alone. Capcom's legal drama has plenty of strange loopholes and fake legalities that make it unrealistic at best, but work for the purpose of drama. Layers will do forensic research, enter evidence into the court record at their whimsy, and juries don't exist+. Law students will go batty at the inaccuracies, the rest of us will wonder why the prosecutors look like they fell out of Castlevania.

+ Not a real problem here, juries don't exist in my jurisdiction. Now this is where this article gets it wrong, because there are no juries in Japan. Although there are plans to introduce a jury system by 2009.
The IR will probably lead to a once-and-for-all case about gaming/gambling contracts. Can't wait. Till then:

There are games of chance, and there are games of skill. There are games of mixed chance and skill.

Star Cruise Services Ltd v Overseas Union Bank Ltd [1999] 3 SLR 412
My knowledge on wagering polices of marine insurance induced me to wonder about the economic usefulness of gaming transactions. So at the outset of the trial of the present action, I posed the puzzle to counsel and gave the example of the chance game of toss-up and asked whether, in such case, a legal action could be brought to enforce it.

Ang Kim Soon v Sunray Marine Pte Ltd [1997] 3 SLR 619
Once liability is disputed, the employer was bound to set aside the interlocutory judgment at the earliest opportunity. It should not play a cat-and-mouse game with the shipowner using the plaintiff as cheese.

Leong Ah Kow v Rex [1940] MLJ 284 (tried in an "unknown court in Singapore")
The word "gaming" or "gambling" is defined in Wharton`s Law Lexicon 14th Edn on page 445 as "the playing of any game of chance, as cards, dice etc., for money or money`s worth." "Gaming" was defined by Wills J in Dyson v Mason 22 QB Div 351 "it seems to me to have been held and rightly held that playing any game for money is gaming".

Good Counsel

Six new Senior Counsel appointed. If the article is right, since the SC scheme began in 2007, in the eleven years since (counting this one), ten lawyers have made SC before turning 40. The youngest to make SC (this is equivalent to the Queen's Counsel role in the UK) is Alvin Yeo of WongPartnership, who made SC at 37. Directory of Senior Counsel here.

From here: 'Another lawyer appointed as Senior Counsel is Hri Kumar. He said: "The only reason I am here is that I have had great teachers in the firm Drew and Napier, which I've been with for the whole of my legal career, and I don't think you can substitute something like that."'
(Would that everyone were so lucky, really)

And you can always trust TNP to give you a spin like this.

giving law a human a face!Collapse )

Though, a small caveat.Collapse )

Also, there are Wikipedia entries for Singaporean lawyers. *blinks* VK Rajah was part of the four-man law school moot team which won the Philip C. Jessup Cup in 1982, (allegedly the first for NUS). The other members of the team were Davinder Singh, Jimmy Yim, and Steven Chong.

(ALL of whom made SC).
When disclosure can amount to material non-disclosure:

The Vasiliy Golovnin [2006] SGHC 247
(Affidavit: 16 pages, Affidavit plus exhibits: 399 pages)

Even if AR Lee had intimated that he had read the affidavit, bearing in mind that the plaintiffs had submitted a lengthy affidavit running into hundreds of pages, it was incumbent on them to specifically bring such a material fact to AR Lee’s attention during the hearing. I would concur with Baker J in Intergraph Corporation v Solid Systems Cad Services Ltd [1993] FSR 617 where he observed at page 625 that:

To present a judge with 600 pages of material on an ex parte application is coming a bit near abuse, unless he is firmly and carefully guided, through the material. Of course I recognise at once that legal advises are in a difficult situation. If they do not put enough in, they get attacked because they have not made full disclosure. On the other hand, if they put too much in then complaints arise that the judge cannot cope with it. That is something the legal advises have to live with, because clearly it is of no use putting it in if the judge either cannot or does not read it. It is just as much not disclosed as if it had not been put in at all. Unless it is presented to the eyes and/or the ears of the judge, it is not disclosed.

[Once again this made me laugh probably a bit too much)

MAS Regulations and Insurance

That staggering insurance case finally was formally reported - 31st December 2007, no less: last case of the year! Talk about ending with a bang: Lock Han Chng Jonathan (Jonathan Luo Hancheng) v Goh Jessiline [2007] SGCA 56.

MAS Regulations
Financial Advisers Regulations

Regulation Guidelines, set out by institution type.

Lawyers + love + law

The present CJ's welcome address: this line really leapt out at me: "The Society does its part to enthuse young lawyers with love of law, and has long believed that one key to this is the encouragement of pro bono work as a professional value and habit."

The words love and law aren't often in the same sentence with the word lawyers, so this is really special. *smiles*

Criminal cases: new seating arrangements for defence counsel, as of 2007. INTERESTING that it's now official.

Consumer Protection

Wishing Star Ltd v Jurong Town Corp [2006] SGHC 82
If a gladiator, having arrived at the coliseum with just a sword, and finding his opponent more heavily armed, asks for leave to increase his with a shield, or an extra blade, should his request be allowed? Should he be told that he was a professional, and ought therefore, stand by his choice of weapons; and if his predicament was of his own making, that is, in forgetfulness, ought he be assisted? To arm him better might have made it a more even fight, but would that have been fair to the other warrior who had come prepared? On the other hand, should we be so absorbed in the examination of the gladiators’ weapons that we forget the fight, or misdirect ourselves as to the issue – fairly armed or fairly fought? That one follows the other is already an indication what the answer ought to be.

When the law is likened to a spider’s web, trapping small prey while larger ones break right through it, it is procedural laws, and not the substantive ones, that are likely to fit the bill.

Prof Lon Fuller once remarked, “The litigant cannot join issue with his opponent in a vacuum.”

I found this particularly interesting legal issue here on whether legal action can be commenced against traders with unethical business practices. It made me think about consumer protection and the limits of consumer protection. I was never particularly interested in the law of contract, but it is a vital part of law.

Consumer Protection in Singapore: We should be looking at:
(1) The Unfair Contract Terms Act - Cap 396, 1994; and the
(2) Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act.

In the situation described here, as there is no contract (broadly speaking), you'd have to go straight for the Consumer Protection Act. Note that the provisions do not generally apply to contracts of employment.

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