Monday, March 29, 2010

Bullstrode's Latin phrase book: Inter Alia

Inter Alia: Unfortunately, the precise meaning of the term “inter alia” has been lost in the sands of time. It is, nevertheless, used regularly today as valuable “filler” in a wide variety of legal documents. Market practice would suggest that the proper usage is one “inter alia” for every thirty (30) words in general correspondence and one “inter alia” in every four (four) words in written court submissions.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Lesson of the Day

At a recent dinner with my lifelong friends Alby Mangels and real-tennis superstar Michael Chang, I was complemented on the vigour with which I attack any argument. I took this praise very seriously, as both these deeply respected and profoundly multicultural gentlemen are known the world over for unwavering commitment to their respective causes.

Upon further reflection, I came to the landing that my friends were indeed correct. Part of the reason for my enduring success is that I am never afraid to give even the haughtiest of opponents both barrels of the Bullstrode blunderbuss!

My magnificent argumentative ferocity is widely praised and has not gone unnoticed by the judiciary. For example, Mason P in FPM Constructions Pty Limited & v Australian Recreation Systems Pty Ltd & Anor [2004] NSWCA 318 remarked, with approval, that when faced with a trademark Whitelocke onslaught, my learned opponent had to resort to interacting “with studied courtesy and significant forbearance in all of the circumstances, notwithstanding a barrage of peremptory, patronising and downright offensive correspondence from the older practitioner”.

So friend, remember that if you aspire to be a great advocate, to do it properly you must leave nothing in the tank. No-one likes shandy.*

*Unless of course, it is only breakfast time. Nevertheless, the lesson stands.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Bullstrode's Latin phrase book: habeas corpus

Literally meaning '[You shall] have the body', habeas corpus is a fundamental English common law writ, which protects a citizen against arbitrary or unlawful detention by requiring the authorities to bring detained persons before the court and establish the lawfulness of their detention. An example:

'Mr Whitelocke, I do not understand your submission. As I have previously indicated, Hawkeye is not a legal entity and it is not possible to serve a writ of habeas corpus on it.'

Unfortunately my brush with Hawkeye and the Woodies in the fateful summer of 1997 was not my only occasion to invoke the 'great writ'*.

Hawkeye, once again whistling its macabre siren call.

* For a full discussion about the frankly bizarre limits to the defences to a charge of hunting on private land under section 28J of the Summary Offences Act, see 'When is a dog wild? Semantics again triumph the spirit of the law' TB Whitelocke KC 24 AltCrimJ 7 - 125.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Remember to be handsome

Let’s be very clear on something, I am no fan of President Obama. This a notorious fact. I prefer more wholesome and family orientated American politicians like my good friend Governor Mark Sandford. Nevertheless, the brouhaha caused by President Obama’s cancelled visit to Australia is an important reminder to all of us that to be successful in the public eye, one must be fetching.

As I described in painstaking detail in On Lawmanship, for men aspiring to greatness, the importance of a pleasant countenance is not a new development. Looks have been an important aspect of advocacy and persuasion since the birth of Julian of Norwich in 1342 at which time man first became able to discern the pleasant from the repulsive. Indeed, the great persuader himself, Heraclitus, was considered almost supernaturally handsome.

So gentle readers, if you want to be successful and popular in Australia make sure you look good at all times!

My dear, dear friend John Winston’s enduring popularity was no accident.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Bullstrode's Latin phrase book: Volenti non fit injuria

Volenti non fit injuria. Pronounced "Volenti [pause] non [pause] fit [pause] injuria"

This handy phrase means "to a willing person, no injury is done". It is a full defence in tort law, one that I have called upon on many, many occasions.

Example of usage: "Sir Garfield Barwick might not have challenged Bullstrode Whitelocke to so many debates if he was better acquainted with the maxim volenti non fit injuria"

Monday, March 15, 2010

Donald Bradman learns a valuable lesson

Originally developed to sharpen my eye for interpreting statute, the technique shewn above was later used by my close childhood friend Donald 'Milky' Bradman to dominate the cricket world.

Book Review: The Edict of Ammisaduqa

A bit dry.

Brand new legal rap tune

Gentle reader, a further contribution to Australia's artistic community. After perusing an internet blog site I have found an impressive legal rap. You can listen here.

If you are perusing this internet blog site whilst in Court hearing a plea in mitigation, the words are set out below. Enjoy.

Vexatious Litigation

Better shout out cos I'm the lawyer your mum warned you about
I push the boundaries of reasonable doubt
I never cite cases from the authorised reports,
I ignore the compensatory nature of damages in torts

I'm a Methodist like Method-Man and Garfield Barwick
I'll make your hairs stand up like Alfalfa's cowlick
My rhymes res ipsa loquitur but I drop them any way,
like a Spanish inquisitor with my legal communique

You got in my way, you tasted my fury, ya
should have remembered volenti non fit injuria
Australia's not ready for what it's about to hear
we're unwelcome intruders like snails in ginger beer

You all just heard what fell from my brother
so don't waste your time listening to another
fool, this rhyme represents our agreement in full
Haven't you heard of the parol evidence rule.

I've got a fiduciary duty to our legal community
I'm sick of impunity in our land of opportunity
I need to bring back legal rap and some high-falutin
language coz current rap tracks our brains are polluting

Don't think this is rehearsed, my rhymes are ad hoc
I deny liability for non-proximate nervous shock
The floodgates have opened, I know it's a furphy
But so was the appointment of Lionel K. Murphy


You fear me, and how I conjugate
recitals and then boilerplate
This is not barratry, this is old school law
Like when cannon and common law were joined before.

There's no corrigenda to my deadly agenda
Your position is parlous like an unsecured lender
Get ready for the remainder of my bill of attainder
there's plenty of pain and it's all in the detainder

I'm an inveterate pantsman like Mr Teoh
So don't apply a purposive construction to my flow
If you do you'll accuse me of textual harassment
your ineffectual rhymes cause significant embarrassment

Other Law rappers give up before they start
Like Albert Bathurst Piddington, they don't have the heart to take me on, I diss consonants just because
Like Justice Isaac Isaacs, (as he then was!)


Excuse yourself; then recuse yourself
my flow is so confusing you'll lose yourself
but my rhymes come from precedent ands they're all top shelf
there's no antecedent and they're bad for your health.

I only smoke; the best carbolic
And make Lord Denning look like he's afraid of a frolic
of hyperbolic language to drive home my point
through legal jargon and dissertations that never disappoint

We work the private sector you know what I'm saying,
Like Verwayen (The Commonwealth v Verwayen (1990) 170 CLR 394 per Deane J), the Commonwealth just is not paying.
You've never met a rap advocate so perspicacious
that's why you're unwelcome like a litigant vexatious.

What's good for the goose is good for the gander
and it's seriously good like a young matts Willanders
but it is also interesting, and articulate and a
particularly erudite treatise like Gatley on Libel and Slander

I ride an omnibus everyday,
from Clapham to Murray island in the Torres straight
I've got juridical dicta coming out of my sphincter
I'm a force majeure I'm hard to predict

Current legal practice is in the midst of a crisis
Whither our respect for stare decisis?
Rap's (dis)respect for precedent is a notorious fact
Much like the existence of the Judicature Act

Against my verbosity there can be no injunction
Protection of liberty! That's law's paramount function
Your offer you made, my acceptance was sent
My knowledge of doctrine rivals Palmer on Bailment

You're Dennis Denuto to my William Blackstone
or Lionel Hutz to my junior Wendell Holmes
I'm the Torrens system, you're old school patroon
you're soon feel the pain of my doctrinal harpoons

Don't think it's rehearsed, my rhymes are ex temp
your rhymes are the worst but you know that I emp-
athise I'm all about helping out little guys
a modern Jeremy Bentham I'm here to advise

like William Jennings Bryan you're relying on tenets
You don't represent, you're like the senate
Our bicameral system is over the top you see
that's why I pray day and night for Krytocracy
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