University Moot

Contract Law Moot | 2014

Advocate
‘Three Lawyers’ by Honoré Daumier

I’m only too aware that many law undergraduates often feel somewhat lost and confused when drafting their debut law moot, and so I thought I would publish mine here for those who wish to draw reference, or at the very least guidance from it when preparing themselves for a public argument (albeit inside a university classroom).

Just to provide a little background, I represented the respondents in a contract law ‘frustration’ claim, and yes I won by a clear and wide margin, which instantly confirmed and validated my love for the subject and a deeply ingrained wish to advocate professionally.

Anyway without waffling on, by all means click here and read away, while I can only hope that this post helps somebody somewhere at some point.

 

Back at the helm…

United States Law: A Case Study Collection

Finish Line
‘The Finish Line’ by Guiy Buffet

It’s been a wee while since my last blog post, and yet so much has happened, including a relocation from Cambridge to Cornwall, the commencement of my legal career, countless readjustments, and our annual Christmas preparations, and yet one of the more pressing questions was whether, with all of the work ahead of me now and moving forwards, I would be able to find sufficient time to complete my latest and most ambitious book titled ‘United States Law: A Case Study Collection’.

Having worked out how best to finish this labour of both love and a passion for law, I’m now happy to say that I’ve sketched out a plan that will hopefully bring things to a close sooner rather than later, and so I suppose the real purpose of this post is simply to say that I am now firmly back on track, and feel very confident that the book will be published in the first quarter of 2020.

With little more to add besides my palpable sense of relief at picking up the proverbial thread, I will duly sign off and get cracking, as there’s almost two years of arduous legal research and writing just waiting to be shared with the world.

Oh, and should I forget to say it at any point – “A Happy New Year to all!”

Electronic Signatures Neil

Bolognese Ragù

Beef Recipes

Bolognese Ragù
‘Emilia Romagna, View to Verucchio’ by Johann Pickl

After recently discovering this frankly sublime recipe, I wasted little time in making it for myself before posting it here, and I can testify that the results more than justify the time invested, when after slow cooking it for almost four hours, this dish blew me away with its luscious taste and instant appeal.

I would also add that many people have naively tinkered with these ingredients through a fear that its simplicity might find itself lacking, however I can absolutely assure you that this is exactly what you need and nothing more, while remaining mindful that this is a centuries-old method, so trust that it is perfect and allow yourself to enjoy a beautiful  bowl of Italian cuisine at its very best.

Ingredients (Serves 4)
75g Butter
250g Minced Pork (15-20% fat)
500g Minced Beef (15-20% fat)
300g Tagliatelle
Medium Onion (very finely chopped)
100g Carrots (peeled and very finely diced)
100g Celery ( very finely diced)
Small Bottle Red Wine
3 Tbsps Tomato Purée
125ml Milk
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to taste

How to Cook

1. Add the diced pork to a 26cm non-stick chef pan, and gently stir-fry the meat until well cooked and almost moisture free.

2. Add the minced beef to the pork, and brown it slowly while stirring over a medium heat before removing and setting them aside.

3. Melt the butter in the same pan before adding the onions, carrots and celery,  and gently fry them until the onions are soft and almost slightly golden.

4. Add the tomato purée, pork and beef, gently combine everything and simmer gently uncovered for 3-4 minutes, before adding the wine and mixing everything well.

5. Lower the heat, tightly cover the pan with aluminium foil and the lid, and place it on a very gentle simmer for 3 hours, checking every hour and adding a little water where needed.

6. Add the milk, mix well and continue to simmer partially covered for another 40 minutes before seasoning with salt and pepper.

7. Cook the tagliatelle according to the pack instructions, drain and gently combine it with the ragù before serving as required.

Comments
This particular recipe calls for tagliatelle, however you could also serve it with pappardelle and some crusty buttered rolls to soak up the delicious oils left behind.

Cultural Anthropology v Judicial Reasoning

Academia

Cultural Anthropology
‘Trust’ by Rosei Marci

Written during my final year at university, this 12,000 word research project explores the potential for judicial bias when adjudicating fiduciary breaches across four countries including Australia, Canada, United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Having kept this frankly illuminating piece to myself for the last three years, I thought perhaps it was time to share it with those interested or curious enough to view it, while for the record I was delighted to receive a first-class grade for my earnest efforts.

Simply click here should you wish to learn more.

Shepherd’s Pie

Beef Recipes

Shepherd's Pie
‘The Highland Shepherd’ by Rosa Bonheur

Shepherd’s pie has remained our family favourite for many years due to its classic ingredients, and so I can assure you that should you follow this particular recipe you’ll soon discover exactly why this dish looks unlikely to fall from favour in our household anytime soon, and although the preparation requires at least thirty minutes of your time, the end result looks and tastes sublime.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

2 Tbsps Olive Oil
400g Minced Beef
Medium Onion (finely chopped)
2 Beef Stock Cubes
2 Garlic Cloves (peeled and grated)
2 Handfuls of Garden Peas
Tbsp Dried Thyme
0.5 Tsp Mustard Powder
Tbsp Dried Oregano
Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
Bay Leaf
Tbsp Tomato Purée
Tsp Plain Flour
6-7 Maris Piper Potatoes (peeled)
100g Mature Cheddar Cheese (grated)
Tsp Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
400g Tin of Chopped Tomatoes
50g Butter
200ml Water

How to Cook

1. Heat the oil in a 26cm non-stick chef pan, and gently fry the onions and garlic until soft and slightly browned.

2. Add the minced beef and brown slowly while stirring.

3. Add the stock cubes, mustard powder, Worcestershire sauce, tomato purée, dried thyme, oregano and salt and pepper, and stir well to mix.

4. Add the peas, chopped tomatoes and water, and simmer partially covered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

5. Pre-heat your oven to 160°C

6. Cube and par-boil the potatoes for around 10-15 minutes, and then mash with half of the cheddar and all of the butter.

7. Add flour to thicken the meat sauce, and then pour it into a suitably sized casserole dish.

8. Level the meat sauce with a spoon, and then top it with mashed potato, evenly spreading it across the meat, (you can use a fork to create a nice swirling pattern in the potato) before evenly sprinkling the remaining half of the cheese on top.

9. Bake in centre of the oven for 30-35 minutes, placing a baking tray on the shelf below to catch any excess meat sauce that might bubble out during cooking.

10. Remove and let it stand for 5-6 minutes, before serving as required.

Comments
This robust meal goes brilliantly with chopped or sliced carrots and steamed broccoli, while it’s equally delicious with a generous dollop of tomato sauce on the side!

Notes on the 2018 Carillion collapse

Insight | August 2019

Carillion
‘Le Chantier’ by Maximilien Luce

This is a twenty page report detailing the financial collapse of Carillion plc in 2018, and while this independent research explains much of the background leading up to their downfall, it also includes judicial insight into the rights of those left out of pocket when the hammer finally fell (click here to read it).

People v. Bray (1975)

US Criminal Law

People v. Bray
‘Still Life with a Gun’ by Alexi Antonov

Knowledge of a criminal act is unquestionably key to any successful conviction, as was shown here in a case between a previously convicted citizen and an irascible district attorney, whose sole prerogative appeared to stem not from lawful application but sheer bloody-mindedness.

Having been arrested in conjunction with an earlier offence in Kansas 1969, the appellant was later sentenced to probation on grounds that his participation was deemed no greater than a misdemeanour, while a lack of criminal activity prior to his conviction noted a man of reasonable character, and so after relocating to California several years later, he was successful in (i) registering to vote, (ii) gaining employment requiring the use of a handgun, and (iii) the purchase and subsequent registration of such a weapon while disclosing his past without reservation.

A little over three years after establishing his new residency the respondent ordered an investigation of the appellant’s property, during which he cooperated and openly showed the investigators his .22 and .38 pistols, however he was still arrested and charged with felonious possession of a concealable firearm under § 12021 of the California Penal Code.

Following his conviction in the Superior Court of San Diego County, the appellant challenged the judgment in the California Fourth District Court of Appeals on grounds that the trial court erred in failing to instruct the jury that ignorance and mistake of fact were viable defences as per § 4.35 of the California Jury Instructions-Criminal (CALJIC), which read that:

“An act committed or an omission made under an ignorance or mistake of fact which disproves any criminal intent is not a crime. Thus a person is not guilty of a crime if he commits an act or omits to act under an honest and reasonable belief in the existence of certain facts and circumstances which, if true, would make such an act unlawful.”

Whereupon the court referred to People v. Hernandez, in which the California Supreme Court had held that:

“[T]he courts have uniformly failed to satisfactorily explain the nature of the criminal intent present in the mind of one who in good faith believes he has obtained a lawful consent before engaging in the prohibited act.”

Before noting how in People v. Vogel the same court had also held that:

[T]he intent with which the unlawful act was done must be proved as well as the other material facts stated in the indictment; which may be by evidence either direct or indirect, tending to establish the fact, or by inference of law from other facts proved.”

And so in light of the obvious judicial oversight, the court sustained the motion that when adjudged as no more than a past minor offender, the appellant had therefore lawfully obtained and exercised his rights when possessing the very items relied upon to convict him, whereupon the previous judgment was reversed in full, while the court reminded the respondents that:

“[K]nowledge that one is a felon becomes relevant where there is a doubt the defendant knew he had committed a felony.”