54 - May 2011
Royal Wedding Special: Bottoms and Baronets
Younger sisters as bridesmaids
I am worried that my younger sister will try to upstage me at my wedding. Legally, how can I stop her?
C.M. Berkshire, UK
Younger sisters can be selfish however, rather than causing family upset by barring her from the wedding, a Deed of Indenture would allow you to stipulate such things as how many times she can bend down to pick up your train and a minimum bridesmaid weight requirement to prevent excessive dieting. A provision for a weigh-in the night before the wedding can be quite fun.
So too, the Deed can provide appropriate standards for the bridesmaid’s dress and a carefully worded Undergarment Clause can ensure firstly, that underwear is utilized and secondly, that it is sensible such as knee length bloomers and a cotton vest.
Finally, the Deed should grant her a licence to attend the wedding which can be withdrawn if she ignores her legal obligations and she can be deemed to be a trespasser. As a trespasser, your sister could be removed from the wedding using reasonable force. In the event of any resistance on the part of your sister, call the police immediately, as if you did not have enough to do.
The removal of your sister from the wedding in handcuffs with appropriate use of the Taser (only if necessary) may be distressing for some of the guests. However, your restraint in the use of a Deed rather that an outright ban would demonstrate that you at least were prepared to turn the other cheek.
(c) Paul Brennan 2011. All rights reserved. Extract from John Fytit’s International Legal Problem Page. Now written on the 101 Reasons to Kill All the Lawyers Blog at http://101reasonstokillallthelawyers.com/
John Fytit is the name of the central cartoon charter in Law & Disorder cartoons which started in Hong Kong in 1992. He is from the fictitious Hong Kong firm Fytit & Loos (pronounced “Fight it and Lose”). A very unsuccessful name as people read “Fytit” as “Fit it”. The International Problem Page started in 2005 and was merged into Paul Brennan’s blog. But, not before John Fytit started to receive real legal questions from various parts of the world.
(c) Paul Brennan 2011. All rights reserved.
Privacy concerns of the nouveau riche and famous.
I am a member of a family which has married well, in fact extremely well and we anticipate that the press will soon seek out less flattering story lines. Like all families there are certain members and incidents which we would prefer to keep under wraps. How can we use the law to stop the more damaging albeit amusing revelations?
A concerned family member
The balance between freedom of expression of the press to report sordid and/or embarrassing revelations and the right to privacy is a frequent topic of urgent injunction applications to the court by those who can afford it.
The following may assist:
Keeping a low profile - the right to privacy
You were aware that someone had a video camera, but were surprised when you appeared on YouTube as “Drunken middle-aged fool dancing”. As the popularity of your video clip soars, people start to recognize you on the street.
Your lawyer tells you that you can’t stop it, even if you did not give your permission.
Before you vow never to go to another wedding, some things are private, even for celebrities and, therefore, protected:
Therefore, feigning a heart attack, involving your children and pre-selling your drunken exhibition are all ways to stop your appearance on YouTube.
It may be worth a try to claim that a song you were singing at the time or your performance itself is a copyright work and, therefore, protected.
A person caught on CCTV trying to commit suicide, unsuccessfully as it turned out, was compensated when the pictures appeared in the press, whereas an abattoir trying to stop pictures of their possum stunning procedure was not protected, even though the pictures were taken by a trespasser.
To digress, what about affairs with neighbours, I hear you ask? Affairs and sexual indiscretions do not seem to be protected from the press, or other interested parties, pictures or no pictures; although a Brazilian model who unexpectedly discovered a video of her making love to her boyfriend on the internet was successful in having it removed. Therefore, an innocent couple’s lovemaking was something private, on the same basis that rare footage of sex within marriage would also be protected.
So, what is protected? Well, it is a balance of your right to a private life against the video cameraman's or journalist’s often stronger right to freedom of expression. For instance, naked pictures of a young woman on a beach may not be protected. The same pictures in her bathroom; definitively yes. Naked pictures of a judge (unless it is on a beach); hopefully yes.
Be warned; your 15 minutes of fame awaits you. But it is possible to use privacy to protect your business and other secrets.
(c) Paul Brennan 2011. All rights reserved.
Free Legal Cartoon App for month of May
For the month of May, the Law & Disorder Legal Cartoon App is free.
Don't forget that as a Law & Disorder eZine subscriber you have automatic permission to use the Legal App cartoons in your Microsoft Powerpoint and similar presentations.
The next legal cartoon app called "Lawyers in Love" will contain a series of legal cartoons to appeal to lawyers and anyone who is romantically involved with a lawyer or thinking of it.
It will have international application as the mating habits of lawyers are thought to be the same for the 1M lawyers in the USA, the 1M lawyers in India, the two lawyers in Adelaide and the millions of other lawyers around the world except maybe those in Toronto and Essex.
The App will feature cartoons which have appeared in the Hong Kong Tatler and legal magazines internationally.
Offers of sponsorship are invited from companies, other publications, educational institutions, law firms, government bodies etc. For further details please express your interest by email to email@example.com
Sunshine Coast Speaking Events :
The Sunshine Coast Business Networking Group are hosting the 2nd of their "How I Build My Business from Nothing" Series of 6 speakers. Come and hear Mike 0'Hagan of Minimovers on Wednesday 11 May 2011 7:00am for a prompt 7.30am start Maselli's Diner. Reserve your seat on the groups Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=168875796498934
Paul Brennan will be MC at the Business Referral Club at the Bob Ansett Breakfast for details and to book go to
Paul Brennan will be speaking on IP at the National Institute of Accountants on Wednesday 22 June 2011 at 6pm. For further details and to book contact Malcolm Chilman.
Disclaimer: The content of the Law & Disorder eZine is to give you legal basics and in some instances included unashamedly to try and make you laugh. In law it is sometimes difficult to work out what is serious and what is just for fun. Therefore, if you plan to do anything legal, rely on your own lawyer’s advice or instruct me to look at the particular facts of your case. Not only will I deny responsibility for the legal content but also for some of the jokes.