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Folklaw: 27 April 2007

Folklaw: 27 April 2007

Move over Bra Boys — it’s time for surfing lawyers!Just when you thought lawyers couldn’t get any cooler, along came hip new group the Australian Lawyers Surfing Association (ALSA).ALSA…

Move over Bra Boys its time for surfing lawyers!

Just when you thought lawyers couldn’t get any cooler, along came hip new group the Australian Lawyers Surfing Association (ALSA).

ALSA is a chapter of the Association of Surfing Lawyers (ASL), founded in Los Angeles, California, which according to the body’s website is “a non-profit organisation of attorneys who promote and preserve the lifestyle, causes and concerns of surfers around the world”.

The Aussie chapter has bases in Sydney and Western Australia, to service both east and west coast shredders who see no shame in the marriage of the cufflink and the wetsuit.

ACT Law Society’s Hearsay newsletter said ASLA aims to promote links to the profession, charities and other organisations; provide a resource for surfing-related pro bono work; give training and developmental opportunities for surfing lawyers; and organise classes and competitions for surfing lawyers and those interested in being surfing lawyers.

Any waxhead practitioners who’d like more information on ASLA should visit www.surfinglawyers.com or contact Matthew Warburton on 02 8233 2706 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or ASLA president, Peter Strain, on 02 9223 2032.

Lawyers should also stay tuned for the hard-hitting Australian Lawyers Surfing Association documentary feature film, narrated by Russel Crowe, which is rumoured to be hitting cinemas over the summer.

Piper Alderman hot, Cornwall Stoddart not?

Following last week’s revelation from a highly secret source that a top Australian law firm is rumoured to be staffed with unattractive partners, UK Website RollOnFriday has revealed in its official Australian firm survey that the ugliest lawyers work for Cornwall Stoddart.

Other firms suffering from a dose of hideousness include Ebsworth & Ebsworth, DLA Phillips Fox, McCullough Robertson and Corrs Chambers Westgarth, the survey said.

If these firms hope to improve their overall looks, they should aim to poach some of the spunks from Piper Alderman, which took out the prize for the prettiest lawyers. The firm of stunners narrowly overcame the beautiful people at Gilbert + Tobin, Hunt & Hunt, Gadens Lawyers and Lavan Legal, the survey said.

Folklaw suspects foul play may be at hand here though, as firms could easily have exaggerated their beauty in order to excel in the survey.

Although we have no reason to question Piper Alderman’s victory, and a quick check of the photos on the firm’s website reveals many people Folklaw wouldn’t kick out of bed in a hurry, we are yet to be convinced that this is as glamorous as Australia’s lawyers get.

If you disagree with RollOnFridays results, send us an example of a few gorgeous lawyers to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Who knows, we may even strive to crown the king and queen of Australian law, so that the rest of us mere mortals can worship their greatness.

Fat tax for Romanian MPs

A member of parliament from Romania’s opposition party has called for a fat tax on his colleagues, who he says are spending too much time packing on the kilos in extended business lunches.

Greater Romania Party MP Corneliu Bichinet believes MPs should be weighed at the beginning and the end of their terms, and if they’re found to have put on 50kg, they’ll be slugged with a hefty tax for dessert, the Azerbaijan News Service reported (the ANS motto, incidentally, is “fighting is prescribed for you”).

“Voters who often do not have enough to eat themselves, and who earn so little, do not want to be told how to live their lives as good citizens by overweight MPs who obviously don’t practise what they preach,” Bichinet said.

“There should be a weight check when they take over their position and one at the end of it. Most of them are skinny when they are elected, and yet invariably at the end they turn into big fatties,” he said, according to ANS.

“MPs who put on 50kg should be punished because it shows they took advantage of their public position.”

Witness makes an ass of court proceedings

A donkey was called as a witness in a court case in Dallas, Texas, to help resolve a dispute between two men.

The pair, John Cantrell and Gregory Shamoun, are neighbours, and had found themselves in court after Cantrell claimed Shamoun had deliberately kept the donkey in his backyard as revenge for Cantrell’s complaint about the erection of a shed, the Dallas Morning News reported.

“They bray a lot any time day or night,” Cantrell complained. “You never know when they’re going to cut loose.”

However, Shamoun maintained the donkey was there not for noise pollution, but to act as a surrogate mother for a calf.

It is not clear quite why the donkey, known affectionately as Buddy, was required in the courtroom, but his presence went some way to facilitate an out-of-court settlement.

MP vandalises graffiti artwork

Australian Capital Territory MP Steve Pratt was caught in an embarrassing situation recently when his media stunt about unwanted graffiti resulted in the destruction of a commissioned artwork.

According to The Daily Telegraph, Pratt does not regret ‘cleaning’ the artwork — which had been paid for by a local sporting club — and refused to apologise.

“I do not regret my actions or what I have done,” he said. “I cleaned that graffiti off for a very good reason. It was the most offensive piece of work that I could identify that had been neglected for a very long period.”

He went on to say that he did not “mean offensive in the art sense — it may be judged to be good art or bad art — but where it was located”, which was on a cemetery wall in Woden.

ACT chief minister John Stanhope seized on the cock-up and called for Pratt to pay for the damage he caused.

“In his eagerness to thump the ‘law and order’ tub, it seems that [Pratt] may have joined the ranks of those he so consistently reviles — the vandals of our community,” Stanhope said.

Misery wants company

A firm of personal injury lawyers in the United States wasted no time in soliciting work from the fallout of the Virginia Tech shootings.

After clicking on an ad posted on Google (which reads: “Thoughts & prayers to the families. We are here to help”), grieving families are redirected to the good people at www.personalinjurylawyer.com, who offer a “free Virginia Tech massacre consultation” through an online form.

In a heartfelt message to victims and families “on behalf of the CounselSeek legal network”, the website says “the incident is a deeply sad moment for the entire country and we are heartbroken by the news of this catastrophe which has taken the lives of some of our best and brightest students and educators”.

It goes on to state that “serious security deficiencies have already been identified and the safety and security of campuses across the nation have been called into question”.

It is then that the website suggests that “although no amount of monetary compensation can ever bring back friends, family members or loved ones, we believe that the responsible parties should be held accountable for their actions and that security deficiencies should be identified and corrected so that an incident like this can never happen again”.

Absent is any reference that from this holding to account, the good lawyers will be handsomely paid for their services.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Folklaw: 27 April 2007
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