Legal Hub

The Legal Hub contains information relating to various aspects of law and the UK legal system.

Our focus is to assist anyone who needs legal advice and information, from members of the general public to practising solicitors, and from law students to members of law enforcement organisations.

 

Legal Translation

Legal translation is the translation of texts within the field of law.

Law is very culture dependent and legal translation is not a simple task. The translator must bear in mind that the translated text is to be read by someone who is familiar with another legal system and its language.

Legal translation may involve the translation of:

  • patents
  • evidentiary documents such as witness statements
  • judicial proceedings
  • summons
  • complaints
  • contracts
  • immigration documents
  • wills and trusts
  • litigation documents

In some cases the translator may be required to attend court.

Only professional translators specialising in legal translation should translate legal documents. The mistranslation of any legal document can cause undue delay and could lead to lawsuits resulting in huge loss of money. Need a Solicitor can help you find some of the UK’s largest Legal Translation Companies:

Legal Interpreting

A Legal Interpreter is a qualified person who can assist in the communication between two or more people who are not speaking the same language. Anyone attending a court hearing should have access to a qualified language interpreter when necessary in order to understand the proceedings. As well as being fluent, legal interpreters must be experienced in legal terminology.

Unlike translation, where the language in converted from written documents, interpretation is the translation of languages that are actually spoken.

There are two main types of interpretation used in the legal profession:

  • Consecutive Interpreting – Sometimes referred to as ‘Ad Hoc’ Interpretation, this is used in court hearings and other legal proceedings. A Consecutive Interpreter will wait for the speaker to pause before interpreting. In some instances it may be necessary for the interpreter to take notes and interpret several minutes of speech at one time. Consecutive Interpreters are often used when only two languages are being spoken, ie English plus one other, and no special equipment is required.
  • Simultaneous Interpreting – This is required where several languages are spoken. Simultaneous Interpreters often work in groups from booths where they interpret what is being said as it is spoken. This is transfered via wireless headsets to the people concerned. Simultaneous Interpretation requires a great deal of expertise, as well as good quality equipment such as recording equipment, sound proof booths, microphones and headsets.

Choosing a qualified Interpreter is essential. Need A Solicitor can help you find some of the UK’s largest Legal Interpretation Companies:

Private Investigation

Private Investigators (or Private Detectives as they are sometimes referred to) are skilled investigators hired by an individual, company or organisation to undertake specific investigatory assignments.
For example an insurance company may hire private investigators to look into potential fraudulent claims, or an individual may choose to hire a private investigator to seek evidence of suspected adultery within a marriage.

UK Private Investigators

FREE phone: 0800 0431754
International clients call: +44 20 3784 4458
Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

UK Private Investigators are one of the leading National and International detective agencies and provide a comprehensive range of services flexible enough to suit your own personal requirements and budget, whatever the case and wherever in the world it may be. They provide an unparalleled level of professionalism and expertise and ensure that all of the private investigations carried out are conducted effectively and discreetly in order to reach a rapid and above all, satisfactory conclusion at an affordable cost.
Services Include:

  • Missing Person
  • Tracing debtors
  • Pre-Nuptial Investigation
  • Matrimonial

Private Investigators UK – North Court Investigations

Level 7, Tower 42, 25 Old Broad Street London
EC2N 1HN England

Phone: 020 3283 8741
Fax: 020 3283 8740
Hotline: 0800 567 7006

North Court Investigations is a leading UK firm of private investigators, offering services nationally and internationally. Clients are supported throughout the duration of the investigation by having a dedicated case manager, who is available 24 hours a day.
North Court Investigations welcomes the licensing of private investigators which is to be introduced in 2014. Managing Director, Matt Thomas, is often invited to discuss the industry on radio and tv. He has appeared on ITV Daybreak, BBC News and BBC Radio 5 Live.

IMPORTANT NOTICE (Source: The Association of British Investigators) – LICENSING ANNOUNCEMENT

On Wednesday 31st July 2013 the Home Secretary issued a Command directing “private investigation services” in the UK to be regulated by licensing, pursuant to The Private Security Industry Act 2001. Licensing is currently estimated to begin in the Autumn of 2014.

Forensic Science

The term Forensics (also known as Forensic Science) refers to the application of science and technology to investigate and establish facts in criminal or civil courts of law and originates from the Latin word “forensis”.

Forensic Science includes the collection and analysis of evidence, such as DNA evidence, fingerprints, fibres and firearms; interpreting the results of tests done on the evidence; and creating reports about these conclusions. Forensic scientists must explain their conclusions to a Court of Law (Judge and Juries), Lawyers and Law Enforcement Agencies. When attending Court, a Forensic Scientist is often referred to as an Expert Witness.

Types of Forensics

Computer / Cyber Forensics
Computer Forensics, also known as Cyber Forensics, is the investigation and interrogation of computer systems through the preservation, identification, extraction, interpretation, and documentation of computer evidence. There are varied degrees of technical data that can be obtained via a computer forensic technician.
At a basic level, computer forensics is the analysis of information contained within a computer system in order to establish how a criminal act has been committed. Analysis of the computer system will need to identify who accessed the computer, when the system was accessed, how the systems was accessed and any corruption of the system (information downloaded, retrieved, viewed).
In many cases, the information gathered during a computer forensics investigation is not readily available or able to be viewed by a mainstream computer user. This might include items like deleted files and fragments of data that can only be found in the space allocated for existing files. Computer Forensic Technicians employ special skills and tools in order to obtain this type of information or evidence.

In computer forensics, there are three types of data that a Computer Forensic Technician may need to analyse:
• Active Data refers to data that is visible to the system’s operating system or the application software with which it was created. Active data is accessible without modification or reconstruction, and would exclude data not stored on a local storage media or device. Active data may also refer to only the data that is currently displayed on a computer screen. Active data is the easiest type of data to obtain.
• Archival Data refers to data that has been backed up and stored. This could mean backup tapes, CD’s, or entire hard drives.
• Latent Data refers to the information that needs specialised tools to access. Latent data could be information that has been deleted, partially overwritten or information that is not inaccessible to the main computer user.

A computer Forensic Technician may be required to look at all of these data types, depending on the circumstances, in order to identify whether a criminal act has been committed.
In order to prove a criminal act or intent to commit a criminal act, Computer forensics is all about obtaining the evidence of a crime or breech of policy. It focuses on obtaining proof of the illegal misuse of computers in a way that could lead to the prosecution of the suspect.

Network Forensics
Network forensics is the capture, recording, and analysis of network incidents to uncover the source of security breeches or other problem incidents. It involves seeking out and finding security attacks / issues and other problems within computer networks by identifying unusual patterns hidden within what appears to be legitimate network traffic.

Database Forensics

Digital Forensics
Digital forensics is an area of forensic science that encompasses the recovery and investigation of material from any device that can produce and store digital data. Digital Forensics is associated with Computer Forensics but has now expanded to include devices such as mobile telephones, digital cameras, hard drives, portable memory sticks, i-pods and other media devices, Internet telephony systems (SKYPE), servers, routers, switches and wireless devices, blogs and forum posts, use of social networking sites.
Digital Forensics may also help investigations into identity theft fraud.
Digital Forensics can also be used to track and monitor user activity on a computer or network system.

Forensic Telecommunications / Mobile Phone Forensics
Forensic Telecommunications is an area of digital forensics that relates to the recovery of digital evidence or data from a mobile telephone.
This may also refer to any digital device that has both internal memory and the ability to communicate. Evidence that can be potentially obtained from mobile phone’s can come from several different sources, including SIM cards, memory cards and baseline handset information, such as User Phonebook / Contacts, Call Registers (Calls made / received / missed),SMS Content and registers (sent / received / saved) and IMEI/IMSI information.
Enhanced information is available via Smart phone, iphone and Blackberry technology that allows web browsing, wireless network settings (bluetooth), e-mail, internet media and data retained on smartphone ‘apps’.
It is also possible to recover information that appears to have been deleted by the user
This is done by extracting and decoding data directly from the device’s memory.

Forensic Pathology
Forensic pathologists are medical examiners who perform autopsies on individuals who have died unattended. They perform a thorough exterior examination of the body, collect evidence, and are responsible for determining the cause and time of death.

Forensic Ballistics
Forensic Scientists who specialise in ballistics are trained to identify and analyse firearms and the trajectory of bullets. They can help an investigation by identifying  the origins of a bullet, the angle and location it was fired from and distance from the victim.

Crime Scene Investigation (CSI)
Crime scene investigation (CSI) is the process of examining a crime scene to obtain potential evidence by collecting, recording and preserving any evidence found.

Forensic Science Laboratory Analysis.
Forensic Scientists (Crime laboratory technicians) conduct their activities in special Forensic Laboratories. The laboratories usually operate in a sterile working environment as not to allow any contamination of evidence. The Forensic Scientists  analyse evidence that is brought to them from a crime scene in order to help Law Enforcement Agencies recreate the events at the scene or help to identify a suspect. Evidence may include footprints, fingerprints, ballistics or weapons, bodily fluids (blood, semen, saliva) and other relevant material items.

Drug Laws

Handling and use of the drugs mentioned in this article is against the law and if caught supplying, using or smuggling illegal drugs you will be prosecuted under the Misuse of Drugs act 1971 and potentially face a heavy custodial prison sentence.
For confidential drugs advice talk to FRANK – 0800 77 66 00

This article contains information relating to the origins of drugs, types of drugs and the signs and symptoms of taking drugs, which in some cases leads to death.

Drug use

Misuse of drugs is becoming a familiar aspect of every day life, and is not specific to any given society. It can be said that there is no social or cultural lifestyle where the use or misuse of intoxicating drugs is not an occurrence.
Drug abuse has become noticeably increased in all areas of society i.e. the rich and the poor, but even more so in the young and up and coming professionals through the student culture.
As has always been the case curiosity and following the crowd adds to more people becoming involved in taking drugs.
In social circles taking drugs appears to be the normal thing to do. Today’s celebrities (supposed role models to our children) don’t help; there are often news articles relating to people in the public eye being involved in taking drugs in some form. A very bad example for the younger generation who are lead to believe it’s ‘cool’ to do as their idols do.

Drug usage can be broken down into two main areas:

  • Affluent users (recreational/experimental use)
  • Habitual users – the construction of lifestyles to support an addiction to drugs and the resulting criminal behaviour to feed drug habits.

Drug Terminology

Set
This refers to ones expectations of what will happen when they take a particular drug.

Setting
This refers to the physical, social and cultural environment in which the drug is used.
What may have added to the increase in drug use?

  • Improvements in communications, i.e. mobile phones
  • The different methods of taking drugs, for example injection, buccal (administration through the mucosal membranes lining the cheeks – buccal mucosa), oral and transdermal (delivered across the skin for systemic distribution).
  • Technological developments in the production and manufacturing of drugs.
  • Spread and growth of illegal covert jungle (e.g. in Columbia) and street laboratories.
  • The spread of global communications through the World Wide Web.

Types of drug use

These can be categorised a follows:

  • Experimental
  • Recreational
  • Dependent
  • Psychological
  • Medicinal

How do drugs arrive into the UK

Drug smuggling is becoming more sophisticated and imaginative all the time in an attempt to avoid Customs and frontier controls.
Drugs can be smuggled in a variety of methods through major ports and airports. However smugglers employ other methods using smaller general aviation aircraft and pleasure boats either using airfields or remote stretches of coastline.

This can be put into context when you consider that annually:

  • 23 million passengers arrive into the UK through various airports from over 175 destinations worldwide.
  • 115 thousand tonnes of air freight arrives into the UK.
  • 670 thousand sea containers arrive into the UK.
  • 10 million tonnes of sea cargo arrives into the UK
  • 654 thousand sea passengers arrive at various ports with in the UK

Customs and frontier control officials have to police this vast amount of traffic in order to try and apprehend potential drug smugglers.

What is a drug?
A drug is any non food substance whether legal or illegal that changes or alters the mental or physical capabilities or health and well being of a person.

Types of drugs and their effects

Stimulants

Types of stimulant drugs:

  • Cocaine
  • Amphetamine
  • Ecstasy
  • Anabolic Steroids
  • Caffeine
  • Tobacco

Effects of Stimulants:

  • Drugs which speed up the central nervous system to increase neural activity in the brain.
  • Caffeine and ecstasy make people feel more alert and awake and are sometimes referred to as ‘uppers’.

Depressants

Types of depressant drugs:

  • Heroin
  • Alcohol
  • Solvents
  • Cannabis

Effects of depressant drugs:

  • Drugs which slow down the central nervous system to suppress neural activity in the brain.
  • Alcohol, heroin and tranquillisers are depressants and sometimes referred to as ‘downers’
  • Large quantities make people feel sleepy
  • Very large doses can lead to fatal overdose as the vital systems of the body like breathing are slowed to a point where they stop.

Hallucinogens

Types of hallucinogenic drugs:

  • LSD
  • Ecstasy
  • Magic Mushrooms
  • Cannabis (skunk and hybrid)

Effects of Hallucinogens:

  • These drugs alter perception. The way you see, hear, feel, smell and touch your surrounding environment.
  • This can mean that your senses can get all mixed up or changed
  • People may see colours more brightly or hear sounds differently or say they can (synaesthesia – when two or more of your five senses that are normally experienced separately are joined together).
  • People might also see things that are not there.
  • LSD and magic mushrooms are the strongest type of hallucinogens

Drug Classification / Categories.

Class A

  • Heroin
  • Cocaine / Crack Cocaine
  • Ecstasy
  • Cannabis Oil
  • Opium
  • Prepared Magic Mushrooms
  • Any class B drug prepared for injection

Class B

  • Codeine
  • Amphetamine

Class C

  • Tranquillisers
  • Temgesic (contains buprenorphine and is a type of painkiller).
  • Anabolic steroids
  • Majority of prescription medicines.
  • Cannabis resin
  • Herbal Cannabis

Drug information and signs of drug use

Heroin

  • Heroin is part of the opiates family of drugs which is derived from the opium poppy.
  • As well as being prescribed as painkiller, opiates have other medicinal uses such as cough suppressants and anti diarrhoea agents.
  • Heroin is a synthetically modified opium alkaloid known as diamorphine in its pure medical form.
  • Street heroin is a poor relation of medical heroin, usually brown instead of white, indicating a lesser quality opium paste.
  • A number of synthetic opiates are derived from heroin as painkillers, for example, Pethidine and Methadone.
  • Heroin comes from three main areas known as the golden triangle (Burma, Laos and Thailand) and the golden Crescent (Afghanistan and Pakistan).
  • At origin the heroin can be as much as 90% pure. By the time it arrives at the user it can be between 5% to 50% pure mixed with glucose powder, chalk dust, caffeine, baking powder, flour and talc.
  • Heroin can be swallowed, sniffed, smoked and injected.
  • If smoked, the heroin is heated on a piece of tin foil and then the fumes inhaled, commonly through a small tube. This is known as “chasing the dragon”.
  • Heroin is a sedative and as such depresses nervous system activity including reflex functions such as coughing, respiration and heart rate, dilating blood vessels and giving a feeling of warmth.
  • Heroin also depresses the bowel activity resulting in constipation.
  • In higher doses sedation takes over, the user becomes drowsy and contented
  • Excessive doses produce stupor and coma. Death from respiratory failure is possible.
  • Tolerance develops to heroin and to obtain the repeated euphoria the user must increase the dose.
  • After a period of time the user becomes addicted and requires the drug just to feel normal.

Amphetamines

  • Amphetamines are synthetic stimulants similar in structure to norepiniphrine, a naturally occurring chemical in the brain.
  • There are three main types of amphetamine and speed the street name given to illicit amphetamine is a mixture of at least two of them.
  • Amphetamines are used as dieting aid (Adifax).
  • Other names used are speed, whiz, uppers.
  • 21% of 19 to 24 year olds have used amphetamines.
  • The drug was used in the Second World War and the Vietnam War as a stimulant to increase the performance of the troops. Adolph Hitler and John F Kennedy were also high profile users.
  • Amphetamines arouse and activate the user mush as the body’s natural adrenaline does in the face of emergencies or stress.
  • Breathing and heart rate speed up, the pupils widen and appetite lessons. The user feels more alert, energetic, confident and cheerful, less bored and tired.
  • With higher doses intense exhilaration, rapid flow of ideas and feelings of greatly increased physical and mental capacity are common.
  • As the body’s energy stores become depleted the predominant feelings may be anxiety, irritability and restlessness.
  • High doses over a few days can produce delirium, panic, paranoia, hallucinations and feelings of persecution (referred to as amphetamine psychosis) which disappear as the drug is eliminated from the body.
  • The effects of a single dose last between 3 to 4 hours, bit can take 3 to 4 days for the body to recover from.

Cocaine and Crack Cocaine

  • Cocaine is a white powder derived from the Andean coca shrub.
  • Cocaine has powerful stimulant properties similar to amphetamines.
  • Until 1904 Coca Cola contained Cocaine.
  • Cocaine is no longer expensive but is still regarded as the “jet set” drug.
  • Cocaine can be injected or sniffed.
  • Cocaine is commonly sniffed via a small tube and absorbed in to the blood supply via nasal membranes.
  • Crack is raisin sized rocks of cocaine that are smoked.
  • The effects of cocaine are similar to amphetamines; however the high only lasts a short time, between 15 to 210 minutes.
  • These effects are physiological arousal followed by exhilaration, feelings of well being, decreased hunger, indifference to pain and fatigue and feelings of great physical strength and mental capacity.
  • Sometimes these effects are replaced by anxiety or panic.
  • When smoked the effects of crack are almost immediate and very intense, but shorter lived.
  • Neither tolerance nor heroin like withdrawal symptoms occur with repeated use of cocaine but users develop a strong psychological dependence on the feelings of physical and mental well being afforded by the drug.
  • After discontinuing, the user will feel fatigued, sleepy and depressed. All of which reinforce the temptation to repeat the dose.
  • Dependence is more likely and more severe and its onset more severe if the cocaine is smoked.
  • Repeated sniffing damages the membrane lining of the nose and may also damage the structure separating the nostrils (septum).
  • Repeated smoking causes respiratory problems, and partial loss of voice.

Ecstasy

  • Ecstasy or MDMA, known on the streets as “E” and many other things is classed as an hallucinogenic amphetamine.
  • The drug is produced in underground laboratories in the UK, Holland and in particular Belgium.
  • Ecstasy is usually sold in tablet form but can be purchased as a powder.
  • In tablet form they usually have a motif on the tablet (for example super heroes etc)
  • Due to the large profits available tablets sold as ecstasy may contain little or none of the drug but might concoctions of drugs such as amphetamines, LSD or Ketamine.
  • Because of its stimulant properties the drug is used socially where the user wants to stay up all night long.
  • The drug is usually taken orally, but it may also be snorted and even sprinkled onto a joint and smoked.
  • Effects are experiences after 20 to 60 minutes and last for several hours.
  • Once taken pupils become dilated, the jaw tightens and there is usually brief nausea, sweating, dry mouth and throat, some rise in blood pressure and heart rate and a loss of appetite.
  • There can be some loss of bodily co-ordination making it difficult to operate machinery or drive.
  • Once stopped there may be residual effects similar to amphetamine users including fatigue and depression lasting for several days.
  • Taken in quantity these effects are experienced more acutely.

Cannabis

  • Cannabis is an illegal substance.
  • Cannabis is derived from three main cannabis plants (sativa, indica and ruderalis) found growing wild in most parts of the world and easily cultivated in the UK.
  • Only the leaves of the female plant are of any use.
  • It is generally used as a relaxant and mild intoxicant.
  • Cannabis is the most widely used illegal; drug in the UK.
  • Over 8.5 million people have tried it at least once.
  • The commonest form of cannabis in the UK is resin which is scraped or rubbed from the plant and then compressed into brown blocks.
  • Cannabis is usually smoked in a “joint” often with tobacco. The herbal form without tobacco.
  • The most important psychoactive ingredients are the tetrahydrocannabinols or THC.
  • Nowadays cannabis with a very high THC content (commonly known as Skunk and northern lights) is grown in the UK from seeds imported from Holland.
  • In the UK, cannabis is generally smoked with tobacco in a joint or spliff, but can also be smoked in a pipe, brewed into a drink or cooked in food.
  • The effects depend largely on the expectations, motivations, and mood of the user, the amounts used and on the situation in which it is used.
  • The most common effects are a pleasurable state of relaxation, talkativeness, bouts of hilarity and a greater appreciation of sensory experiences including sound, colour and taste.
  • Higher doses bring on feelings of perceptual distortion, forgetfulness and confusion of thought process.
  • This can lead to temporary psychological distress and confusion which can occur particularly amongst inexperienced users or if the user is feeling anxious or depressed. The effect is known as cannabis psychosis.

GHB – Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate

  • GHB is a depressant drug that slows down body actions.
  • GHB is sold in small bottles.
  • Small doses feel like having a few drinks of alcohol.
  • Inhibitions are lowered and libido is increased.
  • Higher doses cause sleepiness, nausea, vomiting, muscle stiffness and confusion.

Rohypnol

  • Rohypnol is a tranquiliser.
  • It is ten times more powerful tan Valium.
  • Its medical use is for short term relief of severe insomnia, to induce sleep at unusual times and as an anaesthetic.
  • It has been described as a date rape drug after being placed into the drinks of females.
  • A dye has now been added that turns drinks blue.
  • It works by depressing activity in the part of the brain that controls emotions. The drug blocks transmission of electrical impulses, reducing communications between brain cells.
  • After placing in a drink it induces a trance like state.

Ketamine

  • Ketamine is a powerful anaesthetic drug that is used for operations on animals.
  • People originally took it in the belief that it was ecstasy however it is now becoming a drug of choice.
  • Ketamine usually comes as a white crystalline powder of tablet.
  • Ketamine causes a phenomenon called the “K Hole” where users experience a detached experience which is followed by numbness of the limbs and strange muscle movements.
  • Ketamine is a Class C drug which means that it is illegal. Possession can result in up to two years in prison and/or an unlimited fine. Supplying someone else can result in up to 14 years in jail and/or an unlimited fine.

Legal Bloopers

Legal bloopers from court room records around the globe…..

  • Lawyer: “Could you see him from where you were standing?”
  • Witness: “I could see his head.”
  • Lawyer: “And where was his head?”
  • Witness: “Just above his shoulders.”
  • Lawyer: “So, after the anesthesia, when you came out of it, what did you observe with respect to your scalp?”
  • Witness: “I didn’t see my scalp the whole time I was in the hospital.”
  • Lawyer: “It was covered?”
  • Witness: “Yes, bandaged.”
  • Lawyer: “Then, later on…what did you see?”
  • Witness: “I had a skin graft. My whole buttocks and leg were removed and put on top of my head.”
  • Lawyer: “Was that the same nose you broke as a child?”
  • Witness: “I only have one, you know.”
  • Lawyer: “Now, Mrs. Johnson, how was your first marriage terminated?”
  • Witness: “By death.”
  • Lawyer: “And by whose death was it terminated?”
  • Accused, Defending His Own Case: “Did you get a good look at my face when I took your purse?” The defendant was found guilty and sentenced to ten years in jail.
  • Lawyer: “What is your date of birth?”
  • Witness: “July 15th.”
  • Lawyer: “What year?”
  • Witness: “Every year.”
  • Lawyer: “Can you tell us what was stolen from your house?”
  • Witness: “There was a rifle that belonged to my father that was stolen from the hall closet.”
  • Lawyer: “Can you identify the rifle?”
  • Witness: “Yes. There was something written on the side of it.”
  • Lawyer: “And what did the writing say?”
  • Witness: “‘Winchester’!”
  • Lawyer: “What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?”
  • Witness: “Gucci sweats and Reeboks.”
  • Lawyer: “Can you describe what the person who attacked you looked like?”
  • Witness: “No. He was wearing a mask.”
  • Lawyer: “What was he wearing under the mask?”
  • Witness: “Er…his face.”
  • Lawyer: “This myasthenia gravis — does it affect your memory at all?”
  • Witness: “Yes.”
  • Lawyer: “And in what ways does it affect your memory?”
  • Witness: “I forget.”
  • Lawyer: “You forget. Can you give us an example of something that you’ve forgotten?”
  • Lawyer: “How old is your son, the one living with you?”
  • Witness: “Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can’t remember which.”
  • Lawyer: “How long has he lived with you?”
  • Witness: “Forty-five years.”
  • Lawyer: “What was the first thing your husband said to you when he woke that morning?”
  • Witness: “He said, ‘Where am I, Cathy?’”
  • Lawyer: “And why did that upset you?”
  • Witness: “My name is Susan.”
  • Lawyer: “Sir, what is your IQ?”
  • Witness: “Well, I can see pretty well, I think.”
  • Lawyer: “Did you blow your horn or anything?”
  • Witness: “After the accident?”
  • Lawyer: “Before the accident.”
  • Witness: “Sure, I played for ten years. I even went to school for it.”
  • Lawyer: “Trooper, when you stopped the defendant, were your red and blue lights flashing?”
  • Witness: “Yes.”
  • Lawyer: “Did the defendant say anything when she got out of her car?”
  • Witness: “Yes, sir.”
  • Lawyer: “What did she say?”
  • Witness: “‘What disco am I at?’”
  • Lawyer: “Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?”
  • Witness: “No.”
  • Lawyer: “Did you check for blood pressure?”
  • Witness: “No.”
  • Lawyer: “Did you check for breathing?”
  • Witness: “No.”
  • Lawyer: “So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?”
  • Witness: “No.”
  • Lawyer: “How can you be so sure, Doctor?”
  • Witness: “Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.”
  • Lawyer: “But could the patient have still been alive nevertheless?”
  • Witness: “Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practising law somewhere.”
  • Lawyer: “How far apart were the vehicles at the time of the collision?
  • Lawyer: “And you check your radar unit frequently?”
  • Officer: “Yes, I do.”
  • Lawyer: “And was your radar unit functioning correctly at the time you had the plaintiff on radar?”
  • Officer: “Yes, it was malfunctioning correctly.”
  • Lawyer: “What happened then?”
  • Witness: “He told me, he says, ‘I have to kill you because you can identify me.’”
  • Lawyer: “Did he kill you?”
  • Witness: “No.”
  • Lawyer: “Now sir, I’m sure you are an intelligent and honest man–“
  • Witness: “Thank you. If I weren’t under oath, I’d return the compliment.”
  • Lawyer: “You were there until the time you left, is that true?”
  • Lawyer: “So you were gone until you returned?”
  • Lawyer: “The youngest son, the 20 year old, how old is he?”
  • Lawyer: “Were you alone or by yourself?”
  • Witness: “He was about medium height and had a beard.”
  • Lawyer: “Was this a male or a female?”
  • Lawyer: “Mr. Slatery, you went on a rather elaborate honeymoon, didn’t you?”
  • Witness: “I went to Europe, sir.”
  • Lawyer: “And you took your new wife?”
  • Lawyer: “I show you Exhibit 3 and ask you if you recognise that picture.”
  • Witness: “That’s me.”
  • Lawyer: “Were you present when that picture was taken?”
  • Lawyer: “Were you present in court this morning when you were sworn in?”
  • Lawyer: “Do you know how far pregnant you are now?”
  • Witness: “I’ll be three months on November 8.”
  • Lawyer: “Apparently, then, the date of conception was August 8?”
  • Witness: “Yes.”
  • Lawyer: “What were you doing at that time?”
  • Lawyer: “How many times have you committed suicide?”
  • Witness: “Four times.”
  • Lawyer: “Do you have any children or anything of that kind?”
  • Lawyer: “She had three children, right?”
  • Witness: “Yes.”
  • Lawyer: “How many were boys?”
  • Witness: “None.”
  • Lawyer: “Were there girls?”
  • Lawyer: “You don’t know what it was, and you didn’t know what it looked like, but can you describe it?”
  • Lawyer: “You say that the stairs went down to the basement?”
  • Witness: “Yes.”
  • Lawyer: “And these stairs, did they go up also?”
  • Lawyer: “Have you lived in this town all your life?”
  • Witness: “Not yet.”
  • Lawyer: (realising he was on the verge of asking a stupid question) “Your Honor, I’d like to strike the next question.”
  • Lawyer: “Do you recall approximately the time that you examined the body of Mr. Eddington at the Rose Chapel?”
  • Witness: “It was in the evening. The autopsy started about 8:30pm.”
  • Lawyer: “And Mr. Eddington was dead at the time, is that correct?”
  • Lawyer: “What is your brother-in-law’s name?”
  • Witness: “Borofkin.”
  • Lawyer: “What’s his first name?”
  • Witness: “I can’t remember.”
  • Lawyer: “He’s been your brother-in-law for years, and you can’t remember his first name?”
  • Witness: “No. I tell you, I’m too excited.” (rising and pointing to his brother-in-law) “Nathan, for heaven’s sake, tell them your first name!”
  • Lawyer: “Did you ever stay all night with this man in New York?”
  • Witness: “I refuse to answer that question.
  • Lawyer: “Did you ever stay all night with this man in Chicago?”
  • Witness: “I refuse to answer that question.
  • Lawyer: “Did you ever stay all night with this man in Miami?”
  • Witness: “No.”
  • Lawyer: “Doctor, did you say he was shot in the woods?”
  • Witness: “No, I said he was shot in the lumbar region.”
  • Lawyer: “What is your marital status?”
  • Witness: “Fair.”
  • Lawyer: “Are you married?”
  • Witness: “No, I’m divorced.”
  • Lawyer: “And what did your husband do before you divorced him?”
  • Witness: “A lot of things I didn’t know about.”
  • Lawyer: “And who is this person you are speaking of?”
  • Witness: “My ex-widow said it.
  • Lawyer: “How did you happen to go to Dr. Cherney?”
  • Witness: “Well, a gal down the road had had several of her children by Dr. Cherney and said he was really good.”
  • Lawyer: “Doctor, how many autopsies have you performed on dead people?”
  • Witness: “All my autopsies have been performed on dead people.”
  • Lawyer: “Were you acquainted with the deceased?”
  • Witness: “Yes sir.”
  • Lawyer: “Before or after he died?”
  • Lawyer: “Mrs. Jones, is your appearance this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?”
  • Witness: “No. This is how I dress when I go to work.”
  • The Court: “Now, as we begin, I must ask you to banish all present information and prejudice from your minds, if you have any.”
  • Lawyer: “Did he pick the dog up by the ears?”
  • Witness: “No.”
  • Lawyer: “What was he doing with the dog’s ears?”
  • Witness: “Picking them up in the air.”
  • Lawyer: “Where was the dog at this time?”
  • Witness: “Attached to the ears.”
  • Lawyer: “When he went, had you gone and had she, if she wanted to and were able, for the time being excluding all the restraints on her not to go, gone also, would he have brought you, meaning you and she, with him to the station?”
  • Other Lawyer: “Objection. That question should be taken out and shot.”
  • Lawyer: “And lastly, Gary, all your responses must be oral. Ok? What school do you go to?”
  • Witness: “Oral.”
  • Lawyer: “How old are you?”
  • Witness: “Oral.”
  • Lawyer: “Now, you have investigated other murders, have you not, where there was a victim?”
  • Lawyer: “Now, doctor, isn’t it true that when a person dies in his sleep, in most cases he just passes quietly away and doesn’t know anything about it until the next morning?”
  • Lawyer: “And what did he do then?”
  • Witness: “He came home, and next morning he was dead.”
  • Lawyer: “So when he woke up the next morning he was dead?”
  • Lawyer: “Did you tell your lawyer that your husband had offered you indignities?”
  • Witness: “He didn’t offer me nothing. He just said I could have the furniture.”
  • Lawyer: “Do you drink when you’re on duty?”
  • Witness: “I don’t drink when I’m on duty, unless I come on duty drunk.”
  • Lawyer: “Any suggestions as to what prevented this from being a murder trial instead of an attempted murder trial?”
  • Witness: “The victim lived.”
  • Lawyer: “The truth of the matter is that you were not an unbiased, objective witness, isn’t it? You too were shot in the fracas.”
  • Witness: “No, sir. I was shot midway between the fracas and the naval.”
  • Lawyer: “What is your relationship with the plaintiff?”
  • Witness: “She is my daughter.”
  • Lawyer: “Was she your daughter on February 13, 1979?”

One for Divorce Solicitors………..
A guy walks into a post office one day to see a middle-aged, balding man standing at the counter methodically placing “Love” stamps on bright pink envelopes with hearts all over them.

He then takes out a perfume bottle and starts spraying scent all over them. His curiosity getting the better of him, he goes up to the balding man and asks him what he is doing.

The man says “I’m sending out 1,000 Valentine cards signed, ‘Guess who?’”

“But why?” asks the man.

“I’m a divorce lawyer.”

And finally, one for Employment Law experts…..
This is allegedly a true story from a large organisation’s computer help line. Unsurprisingly, the employee was sacked, however is suing the organisation for “Unfair Dismissal”(some wording has been altered to remove any details of the organisation in question)

“Good Afternoon, may I help you?”

“Yes, well, I’m having trouble with my computer.”

“What sort of trouble?”

“Well, I was just typing along, and all of a sudden the words went
away.”

“Went away?”

“They disappeared.”

“Hmm. So what does your screen look like now?”

“Nothing.”

“Nothing?”

“It’s blank; it won’t accept anything when I type.”

“Are you still in the screen, or did you get out?”

“How do I tell?”

“Can you see the C: prompt on the screen?”

“What’s a sea-prompt?”

“Never mind. Can you move the cursor around on the screen?”

“There isn’t any cursor: I told you, it won’t accept anything I type.”

“Does your monitor have a power indicator?”

“What’s a monitor?”

“It’s the thing with the screen on it that looks like a TV. Does it
have a little light that tells you when it’s on?”

“I don’t know.”

“Well, then look on the back of the monitor and find where the power
cord goes into it. Can you see that?”

“Yes, I think so.”

“Great. Follow the cord to the plug, and tell me if it’s plugged into
the wall.”

“… Yes, it is.”

“When you were behind the monitor, did you notice that there were two
cables plugged into the back of it, not just one?”

“No.”

“Well, there are. I need you to look back there again and find the
other cable.”

“… Okay, here it is.”

“Follow it for me, and tell me if it’s plugged securely into the back
of your computer.”

“I can’t reach.”

“Uh huh. Well, can you see if it is?”

“No.”

“Even if you maybe put your knee on something and lean way over?”

“Oh, it’s not because I don’t have the right angle – it’s because it’s
dark.”

“Dark?”

“Yes – the office light is off, and the only light I have is coming in
from the window.”

“Well, turn on the office light then.”

“I can’t.”

“No? Why not?”

“Because there’s a power cut “

“A power… A power cut? Aha, Okay, we’ve got it licked now. Do you
still have the boxes and manuals and packing stuff your computer came
in?”

“Well, yes, I keep them in the closet.”

“Good. Go get them, and unplug your system and pack it up just like it
was when you got it. Then take it back to the store you bought it
from.”

“Really? Is it that bad?”

“Yes, I’m afraid it is.”

“Well, all right then, I suppose. What do I tell them?”

“Tell them you’re too stupid to own a computer.”

The Burglar and Jesus
Late one night, a burglar broke into a house he thought was empty. He tiptoed through the living room but suddenly he froze in his tracks when he heard a loud voice say, “Jesus is watching you!”
Silence returned to the house, so the burglar crept forward again. “Jesus is watching you,” the voice boomed again.
The burglar stopped dead again. He was frightened. Frantically, he looked all around. In a dark corner, he spotted a bird cage and in the cage was a parrot.
He asked the parrot, “Was that you who said Jesus is watching me?” “Yes,” said the parrot.
The burglar breathed a sigh of relief, and asked the parrot, “What’s your name?” “Clarence,” said the bird. “That’s a stupid name for a parrot,” sneered the burglar. “What idiot would name a parrot Clarence?”
The parrot said, “The same idiot who named the Rottweiler Jesus”!

Never drink and drive…
Some of us may have had brushes with the authorities on our way home from the odd social session over the years, but I have found a solution. A couple of nights ago I was out for a few drinks with some friends and had a few too many whiskies, as well as some beers and some rather nice Shiraz; but knowing full well I may have been slightly over the limit, I did something I’ve never done before – I took a bus home. I arrived home safely and without incident, which was pretty good going, as I have never driven a bus before and have no idea where I got it from!

Tax Return
This example shows the importance of accuracy in your tax return.

HMRC has returned the Tax Return to a man in Evesham after he apparently answered one of the questions incorrectly. In response to the question, ‘Do you have anyone dependent on you?’ the man wrote: “2.1 million illegal immigrants, 1.1 million crackheads, 4.4 million unemployable Jeremy Kyle scroungers, 900,000 criminals in over 85 prisons plus 650 idiots in Parliament and the whole of the European Commission”. HMRC stated that the response he gave was unacceptable.
The man’s response back to HMRC was “Who did I miss out?”.

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