Want some free CPD? Its approaching the CPD year end for solicitors (Oct) and not all that far off for barristers (Dec)… Well, lucky readers of Pink Tape may now sample the wares of CPDcast for free using the code below. CPDcast tell me that:
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To get your free podcast just select the one you’d like to listen to for free. Then when you get to the payment screen put in the following voucher code “pinktape2010” which will discount the price to 0.
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Feedback on the CPD they provide could be helpfully posted in comments on this post.
There are a growing number of quasi-legal services out there for litigants in person involved in family proceedings, and it is no surprise that many of them are advertised via the internet. I come across them increasingly frequently and they come in varying degrees of professionalism: from the ramshackle campaigning group with a few seasoned volunteers who act as McKenzies to the more savvy and commercially minded outfit with a slick website and a price tag.
Today I came across this one: Family Law Decisions. It’s a professional looking and streamlined website and I have no reason to think they do not match up to the promises set out there, or that they mislead in any way. But there are key differences between what you can expect from a non-legal support service of this kind and from a lawyer or law firm.
Services like these tread very close to the dividing line between non-legal advice and support on the one hand, and legal advice and representation on the other. There are risks in my view, of obtaining legal services from non-lawyers. And when one scrutinises this and other similar services this is at heart what is offered. First hand experience does not necessarily equip one to provide impartial and legally sound advice. Emotional over-involvement can make for poor judgment: empathy is intoxicating for both client and adviser.
No surprise that the Law Society has picked up on the existence of the ‘Solicitors from Hell’ website, which it says is ‘not a credible source of reliable information about solicitors’. The only surprise is how its taken this long, but apparently as a result of some recent media attention (none that I have seen) the Law Society is now recommending that individual firms referred to on that website should consider whether or not they have grounds to pursue an action for defamation.
The Law Society is also seeking counsel’s opinion as to whether the site’s modus operandi – removing references to firms in exchange for payment – amounts to extortion.
I sense there will be more on this story in due course…