Law & Disorder

Legal cartoon, john fytit, Paul Brennan

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Volume 84 - September 2013 -

In this issue:

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101 reasons to kill all the lawyers +You

Paul Brennan
Editor and Author of The Law is an Ass...Make Sure it Doesn't Bite Yours!

Why I am not a billionaire like Clive Palmer

Rich men throwing gold coins into the crowd may seem tacky, but it would have gone down remarkably well at our business club on the visit of billionaire, Clive Palmer who is standing as a candidate for the Federal seat in our electorate. At first, he sat looking very much as I would look if I were the one, with a billion dollars, in the room of small business owners  - nervous. However, there were no outright demands for cash, and he managed to ignore subtle hints such as my suggestion that if he did not give me instructions to sue at least two of the audience that morning, I would be hugely disappointed.

Once safely at the lectern, his demeanour brightened and he gave a speech that was both outspoken and riveting. When he declared “It is not my fault that I am a billionaire”, I thought “I wish I had said that” because when you have met a billionaire of a similar age, comparisons are often made, usually by your wife. If certain wives had wanted their husbands to be billionaires they should not have married them, or at least that is my excuse.

His description of career politicians as inexperienced, yes men, who retire with lucrative consultancies both horrified audience members and left many of us considering a career in politics.

He said “The top 5 politicians in Australia have 187 years of experience; it is just that only 27 of those years  are in business and only 2 years actual work - as a cleaner. The rest is as policy advisors, trade union representatives, lawyers or similar”. From this, I sensed that he may have strong views about lawyers, too. However, in arranging his attendance I dealt with his in-house lawyer, who was exceptionally nice, which is always such a disadvantage for a lawyer. It is to Clive’s credit that he took her in.

When he accused a leading politician of having mental issues, which could be medically diagnosed, he had gone too far, and the local paper headlined his speech as “crazy talk”. Of course, a medical diagnosis of politician’s issues does offer the prospect of treatment and recovery whereas at present we all just put up with them.

At the end of his speech he shot out the door before anyone could button hole him. If you have ever had a billionaire come into your life and leave without giving you anything you will know that there is an acute sense of loss. 

(c) Paul Brennan 2013. All rights reserved. Extract from 101 Reasons to Kill All the Lawyers Blog.

Infringing photos on your website - getting caught

If, you get someone else to post content directly to your blog, or website it will save your time and potentially stop your readers from being bored to death. Until, a lawyer’s letter arrives accusing you of infringing copyright. It turns out that the other person also wanted to save their time by using someone else’s work that they found on the internet.

Although, you did not put up the infringing material, the allegation is that you authorised the infringement. Now, there are many legally intriguing replies to this allegation, but the cheapest response is to take it down immediately.

Lawyer’s letters do not usually, stop there. They want money. Over $1000 for a photograph is not unusual.

If, you have seen the film, Dirty Harry, you will know the question to ask yourself. “Are you feeling lucky?” If so, do nothing and hope the lawyer goes away after a couple of reminders. If not, or you have a reputation to protect then see your lawyer.   

Your lawyer will tell you “authorising” is to “sanction, condone, or countenance” the infringement which although unhelpfully vague, sure sounds great.

The court will look at:
(1)     Your power to prevent the infringement;
(2)     The nature of the relationship;
(3)     Whether or not, you took any reasonable steps to prevent or avoid the infringement.

In one of the main cases, a library installed a photocopier, but did not monitor use or warn users that copying books without permission, with say a photocopier, was a copyright infringement.

Your lawyer will want to argue that you:
1.    Took it down on receiving the complaint.
2.    Regularly monitor for such infringements.
3.    Have a policy/contractual term prohibiting such conduct.

I warn you that copyright law may seem dull but lawyers find it fascinating, or is that just me?

(c) Paul Brennan 2013. All rights reserved. Paul Brennan's practice includes on-line law and he is the author of Easy IP - How to use the law to protect your money-making ideas. A book and DVD.

Early Christmas Gift Idea

Are you looking for something special for the lawyer in your life? Then look no further than the new book on law and lawyers: 

101 Reasons To Kill all the Lawyers: That Part which Laws or Lawyers can Cause or Cure


Q. Will it give me an insight into my lawyer husband?

A. No, nothing that you have not suspected over the years.

Q. Do you do exchanges?

A. No, you married him.

click here for a preview and to order the book from Amazon for the special price of $14.53 (usually $19.99) while stocks last. Also available as an eBook from Amazon. 


Event in Sydney:

Are you a lawyer or living with one and sick of creating your own dramas?

If so, Sydney lawyer and playwright Tony Laumberg's 13th comedy play,

THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE LAWYER is on in Sydney starting 10 October 2013.

Disclaimer: The content of the play does not constitute legal advice. You should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the Content.

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. 

Brief Books QLD BN22069914

This Law & Disorder eZine is sponsored by Brennans solicitors
ABN 47 163 512 614 a Sunshine Coast, Queensland law firm with individual liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation


Tel: (07) 5438 8199