lloll4: ice lolly shaped like Mickey Mouse (Default)
ANJ v ANK [2015] SGCA 34 | Decision Date: 07 Jul 2015

Curiously, I got to know of this case while I was unabashedly eavesdropping on a couple of family law lawyers discussing it, and upon spotting me, one of them urged me to read it and helpfully gave the name. Basically, what the Court of Appeal did was to clarify how the so-called broad brush approach should be used in division of matrimonial property. Especially useful was the point that direct contributions should be placed on equal standing with indirect contributions. So you first figure out the proportion of direct contribution to the marriage, eg, money-wise, and then you figure out the proportion of indirect contribution, and do some algebra, and then you get a division. Nice to have a guide on it all.
lloll4: ice lolly shaped like Mickey Mouse (Default)
JBB v JBA, [2015] SGHCF 6 | Decision Date: 29 Jul 2015.

Caught my attention for:

1) The judge noting that while divorce under the Women's Charter is effectively a "no-fault divorce", of the grounds to prove that the marriage has irretrievably broken down, three are fault-based.

2) So if a party is proven to be at fault for the marriage breaking down, eg, having an affair, that means the other party has "won"?

3) So it's common for parties to bear own costs and not for court to order costs in matrimonial cases so as to avoid acrimony, where there is a "winner" and a "loser".
lloll4: ice lolly shaped like Mickey Mouse (Default)
Corinna Chin v Hewlett-Packard Singapore (Sales) Pte Ltd

Primarily for the nice coverage of contract law interpretation and the contra proferentum rule. Also for confirming my secret suspicion that big companies aren't as consistent they make themselves out to be.
lloll4: ice lolly shaped like Mickey Mouse (ponyo squeezed)
Kuek Siang Wei and another v Kuek Siew Chew
[2015] SGCA 39
. Decision Date: 13 Aug 2015

(By the way, this is how it works with SLW (Singapore Law Watch): they host the case decisions gratis for about 1-2 months, and if you hadn't downloaded it in time, then it all goes into Lawnet, which one has to pay to use. Thanks, SLW, you're a gem.)

This case caught my interest because:

(1) The dead guy (whose estate is being fought over) had a second wife and family that no one else in the official family knew about, until he died, so one of the speculations in the case is whether 2nd wife will be considered a common law wife (who will have to take out a separate application, I suppose, for it) and IF she is...

10. It would be evident that the Respondent, Mdm Lim and Siew Eng stood to lose the most if Mr Kuek's estate was distributed according to the Note instead of according to the intestacy regime set out in the ISA. If Mdm Goh was not recognised as a lawful spouse entitled to participate in the distribution of the estate under the intestacy regime, the Respondent and Siew Eng would each stand to lose about $2.1m and Mdm Lim, about $6.7m, by agreeing to abide by the Note instead of proceeding in accordance with the ISA; whereas if Mdm Goh was recognised as a lawful spouse entitled to particiate in the distribution of the estate under the intestacy regime, the Respondent and Siew Eng woudl each stand to lose about $662,500 and Mdm Lim, about $3.25m."

(Mdm Lim being the official spouse and Mdm Goh the... not.) Meaning that Mdm Lim's half share would have become a quarter share. That's a division I'd never even considered. I didn't catch any mention of either woman's age (Mdm Lim died before the trial) but I suppose this would be possible if the marriage(s) happened before the Women's Charter and customary marriages, even if polygamous, could have legitimacy.

(2) The solicitor advising the family (families?) who seemed to have favoured some members over others.
lloll4: wukong from Stephen Chow movie (wukong)
It's not very pleasant of me to start off the year by complaining. Ah, well.

A friend who's in the JD programme emailed me earlier about obtaining an internship. Specifically, what to put in your email to law firms and could I send along a sample email? I'd explained before that as most law firms know what you are on about so long as you put 'Internship' in the subject line, there's no need to do anything else than include your name, year of study (and maybe grades) and availability. So I don't understand why there's a need for a sample email. It's like the time I explained that it's like a job application email, except shorter. That didn't sink in either, I guess.

It's kind of frustrating. I'm happy to help, but I'm puzzled when it's for something so straightforward.

Graduation

Jul. 15th, 2014 11:05 pm
lloll4: ice lolly shaped like Mickey Mouse (Default)
Well! Convocation, that is.

Law school... it's a stage that people who wanted to go to law school, who did go to law school, eventually to go through? I'm tolerably pleased about convocation, and it was a bit jolting to realise that I'm done with the school part of things. I found myself with a lot of anomie, though, waiting for the ceremonies to be over. I can't relate to all these young thangs seated beside me, alternately nervous and cynical and excited (judging by the comments I overheard).

But afterwards we went out for dinner with my family and it felt better. Much less disquieting. I got flowers, which were a nice touch.
lloll4: ice lolly shaped like Mickey Mouse (ice lolly shaped like Mickey Mouse)
Especially as my practice training period is ending in a few more weeks and there's free time! Glorious free time! For about 2 weeks, before PTs start on Part B, aka course leading up to Part B of the bar exams, which if you pass, you can apply to practise as a lawyer. (There's supposed to be a Part A thing, but it doesn't apply to non-overseas graduates like me.) For more info see SILE, which I try not to.

So, on the antsy part.

Once in a while I have this thought, "I should totally blog about my experience as a PT!" - which just goes to show the extent of brain damage that lack of sleep hath wrought. This is what happens to PTs: a not-that-exciting idea starts looking better, and better, and the next thing you know, you're staying up to choose a new theme for your blog.

My cunning plan is - just to answer the questions that my boss has asked me over the past months, and which I have always responded with one of: (1) a blank look; (2) "I don't know"; and (3) "It's in Atkins". (Well, it is! My company does general litigation so there's a lot of procedural stuff about what forms to use.)

I don't claim to have all the correct answers. I'm not a lawyer; I'm just a PT. But I've learnt a lot over the past months (PT-ship is 6 months) and my brain's not the best place for remembering them due to severe limitation on capacity.

Also, I aim to make sure everyone knows that the electronic filing system is full of joy and delight.

That is all.

PS. Today I found that my email signature had a comma splice. *sigh*
lloll4: ponyo spits water (ponyo spitting water)
(1)
Dear Crimson Logic

Why do you... I can't even. I've efiled documents only a handful of times, and everytime I've had to phone your customer service hotline because your system got stuck or simply won't display what ought to be there. And I definitely resent the "We are currently experiencing high call volume" automated message when I'm phoning at 9am in the morning. Particularly when I phoned at 8.58am and was told to phone (by a real person) at 9am because the system only comes online then.

Damn. It.

To their credit, the customer service people are usually very helpful. But being put on hold is... gah.


(2)
We had a new trainee join recently who must have, I infer, previously worked somewhere... strange?

Newbie: I love Atkins' Court Forms! They are so useful, I never knew about them before!
Me: But surely the school libr- You know what? Never mind.

True to name, it's a bunch of court forms use for filing in court, along with samples so you'd know how to phrase it, what heading to use, etc. I stopped halfway because I was thinking, wait, the newbie studied in England and not here, so it's probably not the sa-

Wait, those things do come from England!

margins

Sep. 30th, 2013 03:04 pm
lloll4: wukong from Stephen Chow movie (wukong)
You probably think I'm insane to be so pissed off. Anal, too. I think I'm insane to be so pissed off, too.

While collaborating in a short report (god! It's just a short report, why is it so hard to explain things?!) over the weekend, I told my teammates that the document on googledocs had margins that were too narrow and looked strange. This was my diplomatic way of saying that side margins of 1.0cm (0.4inch) were not acceptable and could they change that to a 1-inch margin, please?

(On hindsight I've credited my teammates with too much ability to empathise with my quirks.)

I soon got an email from my teammate that said "Oh I used narrow margins haha, will fix" or the like, and not wanting to kick up a fuss AND assuming they got my point, I thought they would change it before sending to the prof.

Today I finally looked at the pdf they sent the prof (my bad, I should have asked for clarification there and then). 1-cm ETA: actually 1.27cm side margins. I hate it like burning. Die in a fire burning. It looks cheap and unprofessional. It'd be one thing if we were just sending class notes to one another. But since it supposed to be in report format, it behooves one to use a official-looking report format, no?

Hate it so much, enraged, and mortified that the prof received something from our group that looks... like we were skimping on paper by cramming everything together. Like we didn't know how to format a document properly. (The font was also a bit small, but that's not so bad.) To clarify, there was no page limit, so this wasn't even a half-assed way of squeezing content into required number of pages because we weren't intelligent enough to summarise the information further.

You don't have to say I'm making a big deal out of nothing. Much. I know it. But still not best pleased. I don't want to nag people about something so minor but it bothers me a lot.
lloll4: wukong from Stephen Chow movie (wukong)
The first paragraph of an article we have to read, "The Role of Subjective Benefit in the Law of Unjust Enrichment" by Michael Garner, in 1990:

The boundaries of the law of unjust enrichment are only now being drawn. The way has been pioneered by Goff and Jones and Birks, and in the spirit of true frontiersmen they have sought to annex as much territory as possible. Much of the ground claimed by them has been taken legitimately. But in certain areas they have transgressed. In particular, it is submitted that by adopting an overinclusive concept of subjective benefit through the vehicle of 'free acceptance' they have staked too great a claim. And that threatens the conceptual purity of the developing doctrine of unjust enrichment, but also its status as a legitimate legal event having as much a place in English law as contract and tort.

"...they have transgressed"? I feel like I'm reading literary theory again. Conceptual purity?

Academic writing, you gotta love it.
lloll4: ponyo refuses piece of bread (ponyo don't want bread)
Belated realisation about why I'm checking the school website again for updates on syllabus/reading list: not because I thought I missed something, but because I was hoping the reading list would have miraculously disappeared and with it, the requirement to finish reading ___, ___, and ___ by today. How little we know of ourselves!
lloll4: my blue Niebling shawl (niebling)
Law of restitution: really fascinating topic, with a side of hilarity because of all the differing theoretical views held by academics, each insisting he is right, or at least more right than the next guy. It's about the intellectual equivalent of watching one's pet contort itself so that it can lick itself in various places. Tho' quite a bit of reading because of that, which I'm a bit worried about.

Legal theory/jurisprudence: My approach to theory - tho' previously in the realm of literary theory - was mostly: yeah, you have a point, but you're just (again) contorting yourself again and not taking data into account. At least with literary theory you have to point to a book sooner or later, but I'm finding legal theory a lot more amorphous. Which runs in the face of my expectation because one would think law, y'know, it has legislation and it has politics and it has human and sociological factors, so actually it's more rooted in actual stuff than literature...

IT and the law: Um, right now a bit head-scratchy. The introductory seminar was very, well, introductory.

IP law: First seminar was... boring. Or could be because I was feeling under the weather, but the prof went thr' stuff we already knew or could have picked up from his assigned reading anyway, so.

3rd year

Aug. 18th, 2013 04:37 pm
lloll4: ice lolly shaped like Mickey Mouse (ice lolly shaped like Mickey Mouse)
All this talk about how the JD programme is 2.5 years (or 2 years for the ambitious) has obscured the fact that I am now starting my 3rd year of school. I have been in school for 2 years! I'm not sure how to feel about it: there's a vibe of 'only 2 years? how time flies' all mixed up with the inner feeling of 'has it been 2 years? can't wait for it to be over'.

I'm taking 4 classes this term:
1) Legal theory and philosophy: why oh why???
2) Law of restitution: which seems complicated but should be really interesting.
3) IT and the law: first class's reading is Lessig's Code 2.0. Go figure. Also the prof decided to update class stuff on tumblr.
4) IP law: I really wanted to take this, but left this till the last term because it's offered every term, and I wanted to take other less easily available electives first. I guess anyone who's been using social media would naturally be interested in IP, plus one doesn't go thr' undergrad English (the early modern period at least) without a passing interest in copyright. I also have a vague acquaintance with trade mark law, but am hazy about the other stuff. Well, we shall see.
lloll4: ice lolly shaped like Mickey Mouse (ponyo hands and feet)
If truth be told, I actually finished my internship on 31st August but didn't come to terms with it until, well, yesterday. When I met a friend for dinner on Friday, seeing her in black and white*, I actually felt a qualm that I was not at work being an intern. Luckily, that passed after watching enough explosions to flatten a mountain in Red 2 and life reset itself before my eyes.

Not that it was a bad experience to be an intern. Well, what's not to like, eh? Moments of work interspersed with boredom, being the eager beaver about, well, everything, frankly learning enough fascinating stuff that even my cynicial nature couldn't smother... all that for the fantastic allowance of $400 a month. It's a bargain.

Well, at least I'm still getting paid for my tutoring. Though I've lost count of how many times I've apologised over the last two months for turning up late/almost late for my classes because I was stuck at the office, damn it. I've always had a rather good punctuality record before this! I'm a bit annoyed, especially when that tutoring was the only way I'd had money to eat lunch and y'know, have money for transport to get to the office.

*Court attire is long sleeved white shirt with collar, black skirt/pants/trousers, and then black jacket; same rules for interns. And apparently what's-supposed-to-be-silk-but-feels-like-polyester black robes for lawyers in High Court. I'm always "really? Shakespeare in the Park?" when I see my boss and judges wearing robes. In what universe, aka non-Harry Potter-verse, do people think this is a good idea?

And white shirts: does no one share my opinion that they are a bitch to iron? I suppose I could get by wearing a this little thing but in tropical weather, no one wants to wear a long sleeve black jacket.
lloll4: wukong from Stephen Chow movie (wukong)
An encounter that's going to take some background explaining, but I wanted to get it off my chest.

So today my boss at intern!place said, "Right, the other side mentioned Pitt v Holt, we need to deal with that. [Intern], write a note on it."

I said, "Erm, I don't know if the Supreme Court decision is out yet... but I will check."

[It was. It is. It came out in May 2013. Press summary.]

A while later our super efficient Legal Executive helpfully gave me a printout. Assuming that it was indeed the SupCt decision, I thanked him and thought, "Damn, I should have printed that instead of reading it on my screen."

Then I read the top few lines. Court of Appeal decision, 2011? I approached LE and said (ok, I probably sounded too hesitant. And possibly garbled), "This is the Court of Appeal decision. Should I print the newest Supreme Court decision instead?"

Answer: "The CtAp decision is the newest decision."

Me: "But this is in 2011. There's a SupCt decision. It's, erm, by a higher court...?"

Answer: "The CtAp decision is the higher court decision."

*am mansplained to about courts in England* (Honestly, for a moment I really thought the CtAp was the highest court in the land... before I came to my senses.)

Me: "Yes, but if there's a SupCt decision - look, 7 SupCt judges to your CtAp 3! - and it's the most recent, shouldn't we use that instead?"

Answer: "Oh, I don't know where you get that, is it from your school database? We don't have that here."

Me: *why do you sound resentful of me for having access to the school database?* "No, actually I googled it, plus I noticed it's up on Bailii which is free. We should print that, right?"

Answer: "Print it, then."

I'm just... I dunno. Our LE is a qualified lawyer, everyone tells me very good at what he does, very efficient and smart. He's also very serious all the time. I do feel like he thinks I'm really slow, or something. Maybe I am? I do ask a lot of questions, and if that makes me sound stupid, well. Can't be helped.
lloll4: ice lolly shaped like Mickey Mouse (ice lolly shaped like Mickey Mouse)
Now we've seen everything: hail!

Did hail fall in 2008? I certainly don't remember that.
lloll4: wukong from Stephen Chow movie (wukong)
The haze did clear up by a lot this afternoon, so despite the unrelenting heat, I stood outside the library and took lots of deep breaths. T'was nice not to feel like you're being smothered.

Although now it has resurged and it's making me cough just a bit. Well, it was a nice little respite. I was starting to forget what a blue sky looked like.

This may be just my singular experience, but the only people who want to take the TOEIC that I've only ever come across are Japanese people. Everyone else (ELT or EFL learners, I mean) take either the IELTS or the TOEFL. Apparently you get career brownie points if your company knows you got a good ranking on the TOEIC. Meanwhile, I'm at the 'but the TOEIC is such a lame test!' stage. (It really is! It has questions that test, lemme see, your ability to match a photograph to spoken descriptions, the same type of question and answer thing for grammer and vocabulary you get on the TOEFL except easier and then reading comprehension on things like mock emails, posters, and the like.)

(Ok, I will concede that it is less lame now that since they've added a speaking and writing section to the test.)

A student came in today so I talked to her about what she wanted to achieve: better general English skills aka all-round improvement, or improved TOEIC scores. Guess what she chose. Look, standardised tests are no doubt very useful to have, but really, isn't it more productive to use your precious time - since you work such long hours (7am to 10pm every day is just crazy) - to improve your English overall rather than drill yourself on test-taking skills? Even business English would be more interesting!

Not to say that you won't learn something whilst doing the preparation for TOEIC as I can see I'm going to have to do a quick run-through on basic grammar, etc, but the starting and ending point is TOEIC. So this necessitated picking up the TOEIC preparation kit at Kinokuniya. Have just been looking through it. (Lame!)

Also stopped by the school library to get a book on bankruptcy law. Because my knowledge of bankruptcy law can be summed up in one scientific term: zero. So basically I ended up lugging a textbook, the TOEIC kit, another novel that caught my eye and another knitting magazine. Lugging books is not an advisable activity in this haze, right? *feeling self-aggrieved, even though it was self-inflicted*
lloll4: ice lolly shaped like Mickey Mouse (ponyo squeezed)
I thought it was nice when my office had these huge windows, but now looking out, I just feel like we're being besieged, as the outside gets progressively hazier, like so. I suppose we could roll down the blinds but I'm morbidly curious now. We're now way past the 'hazardous' level of PSI 300 - it's at 400 now.

Reports say that Sumatra and Johor are just as badly affected, if not more so. Oil palms: you think they sound green, but not quite so.

whoa

Jun. 19th, 2013 11:13 pm
lloll4: ponyo stuck in a bottle (ponyo in bottle)
Confirmed, worst ever yucky air in years. I'm not surprised, since I can see it right out of my window. So my theory is that the PSI levels go up at night because whoever is burning up the forests in Indonesia can't control the fires anymore as evening falls - maybe they went home for the day, maybe the change in air temperature makes the wind stronger, etc.

Anyway, my eyes feel really dry. I can't imagine what it'd be like if it gets worse. The weather is already so hot; it feels like something is about to spontaneously combust.

The sitch just now. And then, PSI readings just did a mighty jump to 321. We're officially in hazardous territory!
lloll4: ice lolly shaped like Mickey Mouse (ice lolly shaped like Mickey Mouse)
1) I wish the lawyer I'm working with (for?) at my internship realises that yes, I do know that I should be looking at the latest version of those submissions you asked me to read. And yes, I do know how to find the latest version. Because the time of file update is right there on the Windows menu.

2) An indoor air-conditioned temperature of 16 degrees celsius is not sane.

3) I have to write daily reflections?!

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