53 - April 2011
Fathers, teenage driving lessons and the law
Have you ever wondered why parents usually give their children driving lessons at night?
I took my son for his first driving lesson in a deserted housing development. I think I must have said “turn left” as he turned hard right, bumped over the central reservation in the road, then up onto the pavement, carried on driving up the grassy knoll, still gaining speed, over a smallish tree, stopping only when he collided head on with a portable toilet which fell over.
Who is legally responsible? The teenage child, being behind the wheel, probably has to take some responsibility; however unfair this may seem. Also, the parent as supervising driver has a duty to act prudently. For instance, he should pay for a driving instructor and stop being so tight. Also, he should stop watching folksy Disney movies, which encourage him to interact with his teenage children by purporting that it may be fun and a bonding experience rather than extremely stressful, or as in this case, terrifying.
Any parent who finds themselves unwittingly involved in a criminal enterprise with their child, be it, dangerous driving, criminal damage or shoplifting, will be torn between showing the right example and doing a runner. In this case, I righted the portable toilet cabin, adjusted the bowl which had escaped its mountings and accepted that being covered in it, was a natural part of parenting, only the quantity and source changes.
Within days, my son had learnt enough about driving, to correct a few of the bad driving habits that I had spent a lifetime acquiring and with this constant supervision, I must say that my driving has definitely improved. To his credit, he listens to me more, especially when I am crying, screaming and covering my eyes.
(c) Paul Brennan 2011. All rights reserved.
Paul Brennan is a business and property lawyer on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. Both "Deals and disputes".
Procrastinating Attorney Inactivity Nuisance Syndrome
Is there any way that I can speed up my lawyer? The only thing that he did promptly, during the present transaction, was to go on vacation half way through it.
I assume we are dealing with months, rather than years or, in some cases, decades. Generally, except in the case of legal issues arising at 4.50pm on Friday afternoon, a lawyer’s pace does not alter. They tend to show their form early on and like race horses it is best to quickly get rid of the back markers.
It can be a recognized disorder, Procrastinating Attorney Inactivity Nuisance Syndrome (“Pains”). Over the years a Procrastinating Attorney (“PA”) develops coping mechanisms which can make it hard to spot. Such as, he will insist on written communications only, his being intermittent. When pressed he will claim that he was waiting for instructions from his client which may be a surprise to that client. He will call for careful consideration of legal issues while doing little or nothing himself.
If you finally decide to change lawyers the PA will insist on being paid. To avoid argument and further delay, seek donations from the other party and lawyer to the transaction; they may be more than willing to contribute as they have suffered too.
Alternatively, turn to one of the many associations and organisations who are willing to help. Here is an extract from one such organisation’s website:
(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.
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Paul will be MC at the Sunshine Coast Business Networking Group at the launch of their "How I Build My Business from Nothing" Series of 6 speakers. Starting with Brett Graham on Wednesday 06 April 2011 7:00am for a prompt 7.30am start Maselli's Diner. All welcome.
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.