Presumption displaced

[PRESIDENTIAL NEWSFLASH 13 OCTOBER 2014 : "Section 11 of the Children and Families Act 2014 (which inserts new sections 1(2A), 1(2B), 1(6) and 1(7) in the Children Act 1989) will come into force on 22 October 2014 - Wednesday next week. Section 11 will NOT apply in respect of proceedings commenced but not disposed of prior to 22 October 2014." ENDS]


If the presumption of parental involvement (A.K.A. s11 Children & Families Act 2014) is really going to be brought into force “in the autumn” as has been suggested – why is it that there is no mention of it in the TWO recent Commencement Orders that relate to that act which set out implementation dates for most of the rest of the act between now and mid 2015??

I think the presumption that this stuff will be implemented is well and truly rebutted. Just as I predicted. Long grass it is I reck’n.

Transparency for six year olds


Mummy’s Office (not very tidy is it?)

My eldest has suddenly reached the age where he is trying to read my work emails. I’ve so far not had to hide my screen or papers from the kids on account of them being cute but illiterate, and in reality he’s miles from reading or understanding anything of substance – but this weekend I thought it was time to have a chat about why mummy’s work things are private. And as is so often the case with serious chats with the kids – the conversation came back to poop.

He knows I work with families. He knows I try and help families when the mummy and daddy don’t live together any more (whilst blackberry picking the other weekend he instigated a very serious talk about why some mummies and daddies don’t live together and some people have two houses, so I took it as an opportunity to explain to him that I help those mummies and daddies to make a plan to sort things out. I also recently had to explain trials and judges in the course of reading them Alice in Wonderland which helped me introduce how I help when parents can’t agree and someone else has to decide for them). Today I had to explain that some of the things I read about families are very sad and they are having some tough times, and some of it is very private and it’s a bit too grown up for him. He was not at all convinced – obviously for him it was difficult to distinguish between the ability to read the words and the ability to manage the content and he was pleased to be grown up enough (i.e. sufficiently developed in his reading skills) to read it – “No, mummy you’re joking – I can read it!” So, racking my brains for an example of things people might want to keep private – we talked about how it might feel if you had a bit of an accident at school and you don’t want anyone to know about the problem in your pants, because it’s embarrassing. “Ah,” he said – “Now I understand”. I think that’s empathy developing.

The whole privacy / secrecy distinction that causes us so much angst on a macro scale is pretty tough on the micro level too. ‘Cos we aren’t supposed to keep secrets, or encourage shame. But we have to respect people’s privacy and it’s not kind to make them feel embarrassed or upset by telling other people private things. These are tough conversations to have with a six year old.

Anyway, it seems that some practical changes are required to my data handling now that my little ones are growing up. Otherwise I will really be in the doo doo.

I’m #Humblebragging and Proud!

Yeah alright. Legalcheek got me. I kind of wondered as I post if he’d be that predictable…Of course he would!

You know, in that moment before I hit post when it crossed my mind that perhaps I should hashtag it #humblebrag because in the world of social media you aren’t actually allowed to comment on any compliment without it being either a) a #humblebrag or b) cocky. Its lose lose really. But I didn’t do that because that would be too many layers of post-modern-self-referential-irony and the space time continuum might have collapsed in on itself.

The thing is that as of yesterday the Legal 500 have me down as “quietly astute and able” (I was a strong advocate in 2012 so I think I’m going downhill!). And when I said “not sure they are actually talking about me” I had in mind the “quietly” bit. I wasn’t actually #humblebragging my astuteness or ability – I’m happy to take that without mock modesty. That’s nice, thank you. I’d like my future clients to know I’m astute and able. I hope none of my current or past clients thinks I am not both. I’d like to think most legal representatives are astute and able. But thanks. I suppose that makes me insufficiently humble. Oh well. I actually think it’s okay to say I’m good at my job. But I see my tweet was open to a different interpretation – of a faux modesty.

No I’m happy to “own” the description “astute and able“. It’s just the epithet “quiet” that is puzzling. I’m pretty sure I’m not known for being quiet – by anyone really. I have an ability to be astutely quiet when necessary, but I’m not (I think) either quietly astute or quietly able. More often I am positively un-able to be quiet. Which is why (the astute amongst you will have realised) I blog.

I’ve been amusing myself all day pondering who it might be that has formed a view of me as “quietly astute and able” – a solicitor, an opponent, a judge? It’s an interesting thing to find that people may not see you as you see yourself. Or maybe…the person who described me this way never ever stops talking and thinks everyone is quietly astute? I concede, that seems an unlikely explanation.

Of course the *hilarious* irony is that in loudly tweeting myself into LegalCheek’s top 9 #humblebrags (yes, I am a muppet), I have proved myself neither quiet nor particularly astute. Always worth being reminded though, that others may see you quite differently to how you see yourself. By my own #humblebrag and the good ministry of Legalcheek I have indeed been truly humbled…

Off to a darkened room now to be astutely quiet (asleep). Tomorrow I shall set about projecting more not-quiet astuteness. Next year I am aiming for a ranking that reads “humble yet loudly brilliant”…