User talk:Francis Davey

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Hello Francis Davey and welcome to Wikipedia! Hope you like it here, and stick around.

Here are some tips to help you get started:

Good luck!

Hello. I posted a response to your inquiry on talk:writ. Let me know if there are questions. Pmadrid 09:39, 6 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I've just put something on talk:allodial. Maybe this article needs a link to "precarious tenure" too?

BTW, I too have a (rather older) Cambridge Maths nackground and wound up in computers. I too tried to rattle my cage to get out of that tarbaby of a career path (which I found out about too late), only my efforts were thwarted - largely by people with their own agendas and preconceptions, who started out with denial about what I had told them, then went into suppression mode to conceal what they had done inadvertently (office politics, no doubt). P.M.Lawrence (

Concurrent estate[edit]

I moved joint tenancy to concurrent estate, and noted that many jurisdictions refer to a JTWROS as a joint tenancy. I hope that alleviates some of your concerns. Cheers. -- BD2412 talk 02:47, 2005 Jun 6 (UTC)

Meeting other wikipedians[edit]

See Wikipedia:Meetup/London: meetups happem fairly regularly around the world. -- Francs2000 | Talk 23:24, 18 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Re: Yellow Brick Road[edit]

Your efforts to recover my original rant on this topic are admirable, but as soon as I wrote it somebody tagged it for deletion, for whatever reason. Thanks for trying.  :) Wahkeenah 15:13, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Law[edit]

Mr. Davey, I've recently been prepping for the Bar exam (do you have a bar exam in the UK?) by posting lots and lots of articles on common law topics (e.g. Leasehold estate, Third party beneficiary, Lesser included offense). I have found an unfortunate lack of consistency and connectivity in Wikipedia articles on the common law, and have therefore proposed on the largely defunct Wikipedia:WikiProject Law that we make a major project of overhauling the whole thing, one key area at a time. Would you be interested? -- BD2412 talk July 1, 2005 04:50 (UTC)

Yes, I would be interested. It would be a good idea to discuss how the law should be organised on wikipedia. The reason for this is, at the moment, wikipedia has a very strong implicit US and common law bias in its presentation of law (I think I've already noted this in place). It would be a good idea to iron out how things should be presented. This is especially true where concepts are not even congruent. Francis Davey 1 July 2005 11:50 (UTC)
As an example of my concern, none of the topics that you have added are *quite* right in English law, the most serious being the Third party beneficiary article, which is totally different over here -- we didn't have such a concept until the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999. I am sure all the articles are quite right for US law. PS: we do have a bar exam here though not quite the same since barristers are not attorneys which I think they are over the pond. Francis Davey 1 July 2005 11:58 (UTC)


This is just a note as a reminder that you offered to add information to Kenneth Kitchen ~~~~ 3 July 2005 20:09 (UTC)

Bother. Yes I did. I am on holiday away from my sources for two weeks. I'll *try* to remember. My watchlist was bust for a while as well which didn't help. Francis Davey 3 July 2005 21:31 (UTC)


Hi. I've noticed that there are separate articles on Consideration and Consideration under English law. Based on my experience as an American law student, they are virtually identical, except for the cases cited and a few particulars. Shall we merge the articles, with a broad main section covering the standard common law elements, and subsections noting specific national nuances? -- BD2412 talk July 7, 2005 02:35 (UTC) -- in principle yes. It needs some careful handling. Can you put an example page together and then let me tinker with it? The reference to promisory estoppel may be a little misleading and the main article seems to have a better introduction than the english one. Case citations are valuable and something about the williams v roffey brothers development may be interesting. How has consideration developed in the US? Francis Davey 7 July 2005 13:05 (UTC)



you recently voted to merge at Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/Matthew 1:verses

however, that VfD concerned only the verses from Matthew 1, wheras Uncle G's proposal covered a much larger group of verses.

would you be prepared to make a similar vote at Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/Individual Bible verses, which covers the full list of verses in Uncle G's suggestion?

~~~~ 9 July 2005 15:18 (UTC)

Certainly. Francis Davey 9 July 2005 16:19 (UTC)

The bible[edit]

Firstly let me say that I am sorry to have to bother you.

Secondly, I wish to let you know that a recent VFD that you took part in has closed. The result was that 32 people voted to keep all individual bible verses as seperate articles, and 34 voted that they shouldn't (2 abstensions, and 3 votes for both). This is considered by standard policy not to be a consensus decision (although the closing admin stated that it was a consensus to keep them).

Thirdly, the subject has now been put to a survey, so that it may remain open until there is a clear consensus for what appears to be a difficult issue to resolve. You may wish to take part in this survey, and record a similar vote to the one you made at the VFD there. The survey is available at Wikipedia:Bible verses.

~~~~ 18:07, 23 July 2005 (UTC)

SimonP (the creator of the 100 or so gospel verse articles) has tried to claim that the votes for the "only notable verses" section would include most of the 30,000 verses of the bible because he sees them as notable. To avoid such a POV twisting of the votes, I have added a new section - [1] - for voting on whether the number of notable verses is more like 30,000, or more like 30. Would you care to vote there as well? ~~~~ 00:29, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

I am happy to do that. I don't like "notability" as a criterion for anything (I am one of that crowd) but I think one could characterise the relevant bible verses as those whose interest derives from something other than their membership of the bible. Francis Davey 17:38, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

Admiralty court[edit]

I am happy to rewrite the article from scratch, but would that not upset people?

I wouldn't worry. By all means rewrite it - that's what Wikipedia is about. I don't know enough about the field to do it myself properly - but enough to see that it gives the entirely wrong impression that there exist a set of UK courts (in the sense of dedicated court buildings - one imagines with judges wearing pirate hats) devoted to maritime cases. Tearlach 02:58, 24 July 2005 (UTC)

statement of case[edit]

I've moved the article to which you gave the title statements of case to the singular statement of case. On Wikipedia, the singular is usually preferred in the article title. The link to civil procedure failed to work because the p was capitalized; it may help to bear that in mind. Although the article's title was statements of case with a lower-case c, you used the capital in the article; I've changed it. I notice that you've capitalized some initial letters in some of the red links in that article, so you may want to check to see if the articles already exist with lower-case initial letters and direct the links there. See wikipedia:Manual of Style for customs on capitalization and pluralization in article titles (both tend to be avoided, although in at least some cases they are necessary). Michael Hardy 19:09, 4 September 2005 (UTC)

Thanks. I try. Severe dyslexia (which is supposed not to exist) makes this hard. Thanks anyway. Francis Davey 19:23, 4 September 2005 (UTC)

Portal:Law getting on the move![edit]

Hi. Please join the discussion at Portal talk:Law - we're getting things off the ground for featured articles, pictures, cases, and a collaboration of the week! -- BD2412 talk 04:34, 18 September 2005 (UTC)


Hi Francis,

I'm in the process of editing the mortgage page and I noted your comments on the discussion page. I have rewritten the lead and the added a new first section, it would be nice if you altered your comments to reflect the changes.

I would very much appeciate if you could edit the section I've renamed legal aspects and the history section. I intend to remove some of the US bias in the rest of the article and correct the woefully inadequate UK references. It would be good to explain the key differences between liens, legal charges, pledges?? and reference historic types of mortgages eg. mortgage by demise. Also, some reference to fee-simple?, and (other?) types of land tenure: freehold, feuhold and udal land.

Simon West 23:12, 6 November 2005 (UTC)

I'll make some edits. "Conditional Pledge" isn't right I'm afraid. Francis Davey 22:20, 7 November 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for your input. I knew their would be some inaccuracies which was the main reason I asked for your input. My first aim was to improve the poor structure which IMHO I have. Further sections giving details of the UK market are needed, I'll get to them soon but I'm sorting out the investment pages at the momment. I looked at dozens of definitions on the web to find the one I did but I think you've improved it! I think its a good idea to include the discussion page notes. Do you find pages are thoughtless reverted very much? Simon West 23:28, 7 November 2005 (UTC)

There are occasional thoughtless reverts of legal pages, but its rarer (at least this is my impression) than in the rest of wikipedia. Nevertheless its demoralising when it happens and I tend to give up on an area for a while when its too hard.

A US attorney has promised to send me a copy of a property law book, which will help me get some US perspective. Francis Davey 10:32, 8 November 2005 (UTC)

English law?[edit]

I was surprised to discover that English law is on a redirect to English and Welsh law. Is this another of those plaintiff/claimant changes in a term of art that has passed me by since retirement, or is it some Welsh POV pusher's disire to spread the fame of Wales to all parts of the globe? AND a Happy New Year! David91 05:16, 1 January 2006 (UTC)


I think you have a valid point (please see follow up on my talk page). Necessaryx 23:19, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

Articles For Deletion[edit]

Hi, a while ago you made some comments about the presence of bible-verse articles, and/or source texts of the bible, and you may therefore be interested in related new discussions:

--Victim of signature fascism | Don't forget to vote in the Wikipedia Arbitration Committee elections 18:17, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

Portal:Law selections[edit]

Greetings, fellow WikiProject Law member! One of our tasks on this WikiProject is the upkeep of Portal:Law, where we have set up a four week cycle wherein each week one of four key features - the selected article, biography, case, or image - is rotated out. Previous selections can be found at Portal:Law/former selections. Please contribute your thoughts at Portal talk:Law as to likely candidates for future rotations in each of these categories. Cheers! BD2412 T 05:00, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Class Action[edit]

Hi! I have been trying to add/change the article on 'class action' to be less US-centric (and less of a rant). I have added sections for other countries' treatment of collective actions, but fear I am not very familiar with international law (I am a US lawyer). The references I used are what I found on the internet, and would surely not be my first choice. However, previously there was a single paragraph, and one isolated (and incorrect) sentence under "notes." And I have nothing on the UK. Would you be interested in taking a look at this?jgwlaw 22:36, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

Sure thing. I'll have a look. Francis Davey 17:02, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
I saw your reply also on my home page...outstanding! Thank you! I'd most appreciate some help on class action. It, like many others, had been a rant on tort reform. There are some lawyer-hating Wikiipedians, that is for sure. Law is my second career, as I went to law school in my 40s (I am a bit older than you). Before that I worked in telecom engineering (and my undergrad degree is in EE)jgwlaw 20:39, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
That's very reassuring. I am a spring chicken at 38 (39 in September). I was a sysadmin mostly - doing a lot of networking at the end - but I had the pleasure of working in an engineering department (in Cambridge University) towards the end of my career, which was great fun. Lots of interesting people doing different kinds of scary things, all very demanding in different ways. I am afraid tort isn't my specialism - although it comes in to plenty of things I do. I am trying to get my head around how class actions differ from what we have. As far as I can see, we don't have anything quite like them, but I can't quite yet see what the difference is. I'm about to read The Duke of Bedford v Ellis which is an early representative claim in England. Francis Davey 21:04, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
I bet that was quite an experience! And thank you for looking at the class action. I looked at 'contingency fee' article and it was terrible. And, there were misstatements of law, about using legal aid instead of private attorneys - legal aid will not cover personal injury lawsuits in the US and I don't think they do in the UK either. I took quite a bit of employment law in law school, although am not working in that now. I may still, though.jgwlaw 22:35, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

Singular vs. Plural[edit]

Ok. Here I am. I keep correcting your incorrect use of "they" to refer to a singular person. Why you think it's approriate to use such poor grammar I am at a loss to surmise. Is it some sort of 'nox-sexist' language BS?DocEss 20:42, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

Hi. Its not poor grammar. Have a look at singular they for a brief discussion. Its an old English (maybe British English - I don't know) usage which has been widespread for at least 6 centuries. The usage is that 'they' is used as a singular for an indefinite person or persons. Its been analysed as a variable bound by a quantifier by some modern linguists, but it is not "bad" grammar. I accept that it is something that not everyone would use, or even like, but the rule on wikipedia is to leave other editors choice of style alone unless it is either wrong, misleading or contrary to the manual of style. This isn't, so you shouldn't mess with it.
Its not always easy to realise that a usage that may seem very wrong to you, is acceptable across the whole wiki-world. This is particularly a problem with British v US English, where there are quite different usages and styles.
Incidentally, many languages (not just English) use singular and plural in this mixed way in a number of contexts. So, for example, in classical Greek, a singular verb is used with neuter plurals. This is good not bad grammar. The English example is similarly correct (though a matter of style).
Use of 'they' as a non-sexist pronoun for a definite subject is controversial, and it would probably be in order to "correct" such a usage, though I wouldn't have the temerity to do so. The exmaple in Treason was of they used to refer to a non-definite subject, which is correct. Francis Davey 20:51, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
You're mixing up two different issues here. Nevertheless, it is not a matter of style to use improper grammar. What really matters, though, is that we don't have a neuter in English. Accordingly, we use the masculine singular to refer to gereralised individuals. If we do not do that, meanings can change and give the wrong impression. An occurrence is in this sentence: 'The barrister published a mean essay about his friends and he was thereafter ostracized' is certainly a different sentence from 'The barrister published a mean essay about his friends and they were thereafter ostracized.' Can you not see? In sentence 2 we don't know who was ostracized. A re-write of the shape and style would be required to convey the right meaning. Or we could just use sentence #1 and do things the right way. That is a poignant example why we use a singular.
You haven't understood the usage. Please read singular they. To use "The barrister..." with a singular would be a novel. I am not suggesting that one should. It is (and has been for over 6 centuries) grammatically correct to use a singular they where in *indefinite* expressions. The expression you give is definite. Of course it is confusing in context and no-one should write it, I am not suggesting they should. Francis Davey 21:27, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
It has not been acceptable to do so in written language! Are you suggesting this sentence is correct: 'The writer should avoid exceeding his abilities.'?DocEss 21:36, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
I've lost you. What "it" has not been acceptable? I am suggesting that 'The writer should avoid exceeding his abilities.' is correct. In both obvious senses (1) where "the writer" is an oblique reference to the person writing and therefore definite - it would of course only be correct if the writer were male, but since the writer should know who they are, there is no difficulty with that; (2) where "the writer" is indefinite and refers to writers in general (which may be the sense you meant) - its probably a style I would not use but de gustibus non est disputandum and I would not correct such a usage. Francis Davey 10:43, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
Ya sure fell for that trick. Of course that sentence is correct! But the tenure of this
How was it a "trick"? I answered honestly, which was the point. Do you mean "tenor"? "Tenure" of a discussion would be an unusual usage, but not impossible.
discussion is that you would have it writtten: 'The writer should avoid exceeding THEIR abilities.' I am stating that sentence is INCORRECT; the following sentence is CORRECT: 'Any writer should avoid exceeding his abilities.' You should stop saying things are a 'matter of style,' a
I'd probably write 'Writers should avoid exceeding their abilities', I am not at all sure about the "the writer" - its not really my style.
phraseology that has been created by those with an agenda to alter traditional English. I am here to defend traditional English, which uses the neutral 'HE' (notice neutral!) when referring to a singular, general person. Face it: the long-accepted rules are clear about this issue. All attempts to alter the tradional singular vs. plural conventions are merely a popular fad and there is no consensus among linguists that the rules should be changed. Moreover, any Wickepedia article writtten by like-minded, politically-correct, gender-neutral-language zeolots obviously has no veracity whatsoever and relying on it to bolster your argument is specious if not spurious. Remember when people started puttin slashes or parentheses in the middle of sentences or around words? As in  'A doctor must remember to take his/her stethoscope to the lobotomy operation.' And  '(S)He is a good doctor who fixes the lunatic with the coat-hanger.' Remember when that crap was de reggeur? I'm glad that it is nearly deceased. Hey - it's a simple story: no consensus, no change. And if you want to start throwing Latin around you're in for a long debate. DocEss 19:01, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
It is traditional English. Check out the references I pointed you at - it was used by Chaucer, Shakespeare etc. It is certainly not a new usage. I don't suggest "(S)He" (which is an abortion), and "his/her" is an awkwardness of style I dislike. I am not a zealot in this respect: I would not alter anything you (or anyone else) had written on wikipedia to change the style to be one that is inclusive. I don't like seeing someone's choice of style being overriden by another editor. I'm sorry about the Latin, its something I slip into without thinking, I'll avoid it if you like. Francis Davey 19:44, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
I am going to change all similarly ill-advised instances of this garbage all over Wikepedia because I, for one, do have the temerity -- nay, courage -- to stand up to this ridiculous politically-correct non-sense that is perverting the beautiful English language, not to mention pussy-fying men all over the place! I suggest you re-write you work to avoid the use of singular “they” so that we can avoid an edit war. Why don’t you go correct all the Latin languages which have feminine and masculine declensions to all of their nouns, including French, Spanish and Portuguese, by forcing the neuter in them? And incidentally, you wrote "Its not poor grammar" --- I'm sure you meant to put an apostrophe in there, as in "It's not poor grammar" - perhaps you don't need to use proper punctuation in law school.DocEss 21:16, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
Please be polite. Also do not assume that my productive accuracy equates to my knowledge of grammar - the two are not identical. In particular, typographical errors are common. Please don't go on a crusade to change other people's style. The point I have been trying to make is that you should not impose your own style on everyone else. Singular they is natural to some (to me for instance) and it is not proper on wikipedia to try to wipe out anything you don't like. I have no objection to your writing de novo an article in a non-inclusive style. I am not a zealot, merely a defender of someone else's style.
I am polite. I am also stern. Now be good. [I make type-o's too, so you are forgiven.] I see that it is easy to get your goat.DocEss 21:36, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
You are correct in your observation. In fact it varies depending on what is going on in my non-cyber life. You catch me at a less patient phase of my life than would be normal. Francis Davey 10:43, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
"Non-cyber life' and 'less patient'? Goodness - I think you need to get a dog, get a woman or get a drink. Man - just get all three! Whatever you do, stop mangling the Queen's English! I've learned that you are pliable, easily tricked, easily inlammed and yet stubborn. You are an interesting person and I like our time together. DocEss 19:01, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
Your observation is puzzling. The reason why I am unhappy at the moment (or at least not particularly patient) is that my mother has been involved in a nasty car accident. She has just been released from hospital and I am looking after her. There's been a lot of work to do getting her out and home and I've had to clear a lot of my diary, which was quite a bit of work before it was done. There is, as it happens, no room for a dog in my flat (which would be contrary to the terms of the lease), I have been extremely (and increasingly) happily married to my wife for over 8 years so I certainly don't need a woman and I can't see the point of getting drunk, though if I did I would start mangling English (which does not belong to any one person, and certainly not the Queen). I am very hard to trick, but I for a long time I have found that appearing to take things at face value saves energy (and protects my position) better than many other strategies. I might be interesting, but I am not at all sure that you have much idea who I am. Francis Davey 19:44, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
If you want to further change Treason, may I ask that you respond to what I said in the Treason discussion page? The reason is that, in that way, the discussion will be opened to a wider audience, which may take some heat out of it. For the moment, can you leave the article as it is, until we have had some more editors respond in the discussion page?
Ya, ya, ok. But I already once wrote it in a fashion not requiring the use of the singular and you huffily changed it back to 'wrong.'DocEss 21:36, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
Hmmmmm, that may be a confusion on my part. The article - as it was originally - used a singular they. I reverted a change to it (which may have been you, but may not have been). The most recent revert by myself was to the status quo. I ought to say that the singular they style is one I was taught at school and feels very natural to me. This may be a difference in emphasis across the Atlantic. Francis Davey 10:43, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
I re-wrote one sentence in the plural like this so that I could avoid offending your obvious over-sensitivities: "Traitors may also mean persons who betray (or are accused of betraying) their own political parties, families, friends, ethnic groups, religions, or other groups to which they may belong." You changed it back to incorrect. I suggest that you, Sir, are a Language Traitor! Boo. DocEss 19:01, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
Also, it does pain me when someone else is pedantic at my expense. If you must, please try to be scrupulously accurate yourself. There is no such thing as "law school" in my country. School is where children are educated 8-). Francis Davey 21:27, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
I did not know 'school' did not apply in the UK. Ya learn sumpthun new everyday. That is interesteing. What, then, is the term for the factory where lawyers are manufactured?DocEss 21:36, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
Er, they would usually learn law at university or one or two private institutions like the college of law. Only BPP law school calls itself that (and thats a US influenced import). In general higher education is "university" or (sometimes) "college". Barristers then have to do a Bar Vocational Course and solicitors a Legal Practice Course, which are quite different by that point. Francis Davey 10:43, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
Well, that's kinda persnickety, ain't it? School, law school, qualifying school - all terms which carry no negative connotation. I think you were just looking for something I'd written that you could pick on. Touche. DocEss 19:01, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
No. I've always been irritated by Americans saying "I went to school...." when they meant university. When I visit the US, I do try to use US English so that people can understand me (I don't offer to help people "wash up" for example), it is annoying to hear people mangle my dialect in my country. Of course, on wikipedia, it behooves me to tolerate all usages if valid somewhere (that's what NPOV is all about), so if "color" is used its not for me to change it to "color", if you see what I mean. My original reversion of your edit (which I did not suspect would generate such animus) was of that species. Francis Davey 19:44, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

Anton Piller order[edit]

Why have you removed half the quotation? See [2]. --Edcolins 09:03, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

I thought I reinstated half the quotation, rather than removed it. If I did remove it that was an accident. Francis Davey 10:43, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Certainly an accident. Sorry. Francis Davey 10:44, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
It's alright. It happens to everyone. --Edcolins 14:47, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Britsh court cases records[edit]

Hi. I notice that you are a British lawyer and am wondering if you can help me out. Do you know how one can find information about British court cases from the late 1980s and early 1990s? Such as summaries or official records. Specifically I need information on a court case (or rather, series of court cases) involving a band and their record label. Punctured Bicycle 00:52, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Well, there are a number of possibilities. It depends on whether the cases were "reported" or not (i.e. whether they were important enough). Also what kind of case it was. Though many kinds of case are regularly recorded (now on cassette tape) I don't think those records are kept for very long, certainly not 20 or so years (but I may be wrong about that). Can you be more specific? What kind of cases were they and what court? Francis Davey 17:56, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
The cases concern the band Talk Talk and their label EMI, during the time of their album Spirit of Eden. It must have been around 1989. This is pretty much the only reputable information I have about the cases:
"[Keith Aspen, manager]'s anxiety was exacerbated by the fact that he'd spent much of the time they were recording Spirit Of Eden trying to extract the band from their contract. 'I knew by that time that EMI was not the company this band should be with, so I was looking for any way I could get out of the deal. When I discovered EMI had missed picking up their contract option [after The Colour of Spring] I pressed that home. It took us 18 months of legal wrangling, and we lost. So we appealed and we won on appeal. I wanted to make some money, frankly. I was fearful that the money wouldn't be there to record another album. I had to get them out of that deal. Then people said we'd delivered Spirit specifically to get them out of it, which is ridiculous.'"
"Then we did the Spirit of Eden album and that’s where it all started to go wrong. We did it, the record company hated it, and they sued the band and me [Phill Brown, engineer] for “Technical Incompetence” because it wasn’t commercial. It got thrown out of court. The judge was wonderful. But they changed the British production contract. It now says you must deliver masters that are “commercially satisfactory.” I think that’s even worse. The good thing might be that they couldn’t sue you until a year after it came out! It’s such a dubious clause. It’s bullshit." Punctured Bicycle 19:17, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

mesne profits edit[edit]

no intention to be NPOV - I don't know this terminology well enough. But I've been looking at loose pages under T, and if the information on trespass for mesne profit was correct, a link from mesne profit seemed rational to me - getting "trespass" out of the "linkless" state it was in. Hope you can make both articles say something sensible! --Alvestrand 05:46, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

Yes, sorry. NPOV is not a value judgment. In law, its hard to know what is universal in the common law and what's jurisdiction specific. I am guessing that "trespass for mesne profits" is standard terminology in the US but has fallen out of use here. Francis Davey 11:12, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

James Shapiro[edit]

You are correct here. The article should never have been written. It is not a biography, but a rant on lawyers, using Shapiro as a poster boy. Here is one such statement by the article's original author:

"James J. Shapiro (also known as Jim "The Hammer" Shapiro) is a personal injury lawyer known for his Crazy Eddie style television commercials. He is important as an example of the effects of changes in United States law regarding the advertisement of legal services, resulting in both false and misleading by Shapiro that have been used to illustrate issues of legal ethics and the need for the reform of those laws."

FIrst, these are not changes in United states law - they are professional ethics rules. Second, there is no general call for reform, because all states restrict lawyer advertising and ban false and misleading advertisements. Some are more restrictive than others, but all must also conform with the US First Amendment (and the Supreme Court case regarding legal advertising). jawesq 16:49, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

That is how it appeared to me - though I lack the context. The article (as it originally was) was incoherent to me. Francis Davey 14:18, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

Circumstances for revealing identity of criminal with Permanent Anonymity in the UK[edit]

Hi Francis. I'm currently editing the article on accused child rapist and murderer Dante Arthurs, whom was rumoured to be Robert Thompson under a new identity. In your opinion, due to the permanent anonymity order he was granted in 2001, in the event that he reoffended either here or overseas, would it be reasonable to argue that the UK justice system may not necessarily authorise the revealing of his true identity? I've looked at the examples involving WITSEC program participants in the US and it appears to be a very grey area. Cheers. Elpocoloco 13:43, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

Employment Tribunal[edit]

Hi Francis. I noticed you edited the Employment Tribunal page. I was looking for that, but unable to find it, when I discovered and then edited a page headed Industrial Tribunal. I'm sure the content of the two should be merged, and the 'Industrial' page redirected to the 'Employment' page... Have you an opinion on this? thanks, Justdignity 21:14, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Yes, I agree. There may, of course, be Industrial tribunals in other jurisdictions (in which case a redirect might be inappropriate), but at the moment all the material at Industrial tribunal concerns Employment Tribunals, so really it ought to be merged in. Francis Davey 07:39, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. I have expanded the Employment_tribunal page, left Industrial_tribunal more or less as it was but with a link to the expanded page. In the process I discovered another Employment Tribunal (with a capital T ). I see you created both. Perhaps the short page should become a redirect to the longer one? Justdignity 09:18, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
I've merged them together and done some work to Employment tribunal but its still a bit of a dog's breakfast. Francis Davey 14:28, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Lucky Dog! Tidying it up like that puts my previous effort to shame! The world will thank you for that. I don't know how I came to stray into this area but I'm tempted to look around and pad out the employment law section, to make sure the well known milestone cases etc are online to illustrate the state of the law today. I'm fairly hot on whistleblowing & constructive dismissal so I'll look there first. Justdignity 15:46, 19 September 2006 (UTC)


>>> Hi Francis, sorry for not responding to your comments. But I'm afraid I am correct about the changes. What I'd like to do is get a good spread of material on the subject, with as many references as possible.

Hi. I've moved your comments here (the usual place). Could you address my points on the tort talk page please? Some of your remarks were clearly wrong -- such as the origin of tort in trespass. You could read Baker's history of English Law (I can lend it to you if you like) to see I'm right, or Maitland's "Forms of Action at Common Law" which is more concise though now out of print (again I can lend it). I will be interested to see what you write in response to my remarks on the tort talk page. Francis Davey 19:02, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

Your commentary[edit]

Hello Francis. It wasn't nice to come across your comments on the contract page. I feel you were being disingenuous, and unfair. I replied to the things you complained about on tort, but you left that bit out. You point out that you have legal expertise. Does that rule out that others can disagree with you when they might be experts too? Surely in court you disagree all the time. The conflicts were unfortunate over contract, but if you have a look at the history page you can see the only thing that Whatsisname disagreed with was one little edit back in 2004 that he made which he wouldn't let go of. That's why you have this odd bit at the article's start, which makes everything look American. But would you please refrain from underhand sniping? Wikidea 02:33, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

I don't think you understand how wikipedia works or what we have been doing in the wikilaw project. I asked you not to make a global change to tort without discussing it. You did, without apology or explanation. As far as I am concerned that rules out good faith. If you do apologise for that, I might be convinced that you are genuinely trying to help and then try to discuss with you, but at the moment its pointless me trying to contribute to pages you are working on. That, means that, in wiki terms you are causing disruption. I am not sure you understand what you have done or how insulting it is. I am not "sniping", I am quite straightforwardly expressing my upset and frustration with what you have been doing. You do so much, so fast, its really too hard to get things right and you won't discuss them first. Francis Davey 21:33, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Legal prejudice[edit]

Hi Francis. I am looking for someone who knows about the English law on prejudice: I saw that you had contributed to various articles on English law and wondered if you could comment or could suggest someone else who would be useful. This relates to the article on Steven Gerald James Wright who has been charged with the "Ipswich murders". I have suggested that articles about such people are a bad idea because information published on Wikipedia could be prejudicial to a UK trial (particularly so in the future as Wikipedia becomes more ubiquitous in the UK). Others insist that the only considerations for Wikipedia are US law, NPOV and Biography of Living Persons considerations (see Talk:Steven Gerald James Wright for current discussion). Is this something you could comment on or could you recommend someone else who really understands the legal issues? Thanks! Bluewave 10:42, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia coverage of legal topics[edit]

I wonder whether you have any comments on a critique I just wrote at Talk:Appeal. You wrote something on that talk page back in July 2005; I think since then the article has not improved at all. It raises a general question of how the English Wikipedia should approach legal topics like appeal. Should the article essentially cover just the fundamental concept of an appeal without reference to any type of legal system? If it takes that approach, then there's not much that can be said, because the nature of appeals in the USA might be quite different from the nature of appeals in Austria, for example, or China. Since this is the English Wikipedia, should the article confine itself to the nature of an appeal in common-law jurisdictions? Even there, it becomes problematic because there are various differences in terminology. For example, Americans seem to use the term "appellee" for the respondent on an appeal. Is that used in the UK? Is it used in any country outside the US? --Mathew5000 20:10, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Sorry, I have mostly given up on wikipedia after trying to stop some pretty stupid changes to the contract article without success. All I wanted was that major rewrites weren't going to happen without some discussion. I was ignored.

A lot of the problem is, as you rightly observe, that law is so different in different jurisdictions. At the moment wikipedia tries to do a one size fits all approach, and that really doesn't work. What you end up with is vague generalisations that aren't particularly informative and may be wildly inaccurate.

A better approach is to start with articles for jurisdictions which we can be sure of getting right (I can be nearly 100% accurate about my own for example) and then we can try to build from them to more general articles. Top down doesn't work. Francis Davey 22:51, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Thanks Francis; I agree with your approach. There are some good legal articles in Wikipedia that are confined to a specific topic in a specific jurisdiction (e.g. Section Two of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms), but many other legal articles are in a shambles for the reasons you mention here and at Talk:Appeal. --Mathew5000 16:57, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Dragon's beard candy[edit]

I got the temperature by looking at a number of recipes online and testing it out myself. Here's one in an English Youtube video. [3] Jimworm 01:00, 5 August 2007 (UTC)


I've taken up the old "what is a spinor" debate again on Talk:Spinor. Let's see if we can finally solve this one. Adam1729 00:15, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Hey. Can I ask you to answer Gavin Collins on his talk page? He's replied to your message saying that a lack of references is evidence of non-notability - that absence of proof is proof of absence - and that's something that needs to be set straight. Me? I've gone on a schoolwork bender and am currently editing at 4 AM, local time. My tact and capability for coherent arguments might just be compromised. --Kizor 01:10, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Lands Tribunal (England and Wales)[edit]

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This message was placed automatically, and it is possible that the bot is confused and found similarity where none actually exists. If that is the case, you can remove the tag from the article and it would be appreciated if you could drop a note on the maintainer's talk page. CorenSearchBot 23:12, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

Moving Pages[edit]

Information.svg Thank you for your contributions to Wikipedia. It appears that recently you carried out a copy and paste page move. Please do not move articles by copying and pasting them because it splits the article's history, which is needed for attribution and is helpful in many other ways. In most cases, you should be able to move an article yourself using the "Move" tab at the top of the page. If there is an article that you cannot move yourself by this process, follow the instructions at Wikipedia:Requested moves. Also, if there are any other articles that you copied and pasted, even if it was a long time ago, please list them at Wikipedia:Cut and paste move repair holding pen. Thank you. -- But|seriously|folks  01:23, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

So sorry about that! I thought I had moved the original page to the new page, pasted in your last version of the new page over the original page after it was moved, and then restored your version of the dab page over the old page. But I remember thinking someone else was trying to fix it at the same time, because I saved a page but it didn't stay saved. I may have pasted one of them in the wrong place. Please accept my apologies and if I inadvertently deleted any best versions of the pages, let me know and I'll email them to you. Thanks for fixing it! -- But|seriously|folks  08:30, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
No, that's alright. I think I have it right now. I am still a little nervous of doing big things like page moves and I am sure one of the things I did was a c/p, which I now realise shouldn't be done. Its all a bit odd really. What's there is not satisfactory and this was intended to be a start to try to fix things. Sadly time is a bit short. Thanks for making me aware of this! Francis Davey 08:31, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
(ec) Yes, a page split is the exception to the rule. Since the history can only practically stay with one of the resulting pages, an attribution note should be left on the page without the history explaining where it came from and including a link back to the source page. I'll take a look at what you ended up with. Sorry again for the mess. -- But|seriously|folks  08:32, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
I see what I did! I pasted the dab page over Lands Tribunal (England and Wales) instead of Lands Tribunal! That's why when I looked at Lands Tribunal, the dab page wasn't there! So all you had to do was redirect Lands Tribunal (England and Wales) to Lands Tribunal (England, Wales and Northern Ireland), and the problem was solved. Glad to see it wasn't such a bad mess after all, and thanks again for catching and fixing it! -- But|seriously|folks  08:38, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
No, I got confused is all and paniced. The point about attribution on a page split is an excellent one. Thanks for the tip. It will help me to be bolder in the future. Francis Davey 08:39, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

Lands Tribunal for Scotland[edit]


This is an automated message from CorenSearchBot. I have performed a web search with the contents of Lands Tribunal for Scotland, and it appears to include a substantial copy of For legal reasons, we cannot accept copyrighted text or images borrowed from other web sites or printed material; such additions will be deleted. You may use external websites as a source of information, but not as a source of sentences.

This message was placed automatically, and it is possible that the bot is confused and found similarity where none actually exists. If that is the case, you can remove the tag from the article and it would be appreciated if you could drop a note on the maintainer's talk page. CorenSearchBot 08:55, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

Interesting, but the material falls under Crown copyright and so is subject to the usual licensing scheme which would permit its re-use on wikipedia. Is that not enough? Or is there an absolute rule against any copyrighted material, even if it is has been made available under some non-restrictive license (creative commons, GPL)? I'll fix something up but its not my field. Francis Davey 08:59, 25 October 2007 (UTC)


As someone with your experience and knowledge, I was wondering if you would be able to comment on what we can do about the Contract article? It was never in a really good shape, and it's progressively gotten worse and worse as random (I presume) law students come along and stick in a paragraph or three from their lecture notes. What do you think is good about the current article? And how could we deal with jurisdictional issues, given that the current article is a hodge-podge from various common law countries depending on where a particular editor is from? enochlau (talk) 12:48, 18 December 2007 (UTC)


Hi Francis - good to see another barrister on here. (I won't mention here my real name or which chambers I'm at, but if you ask your colleague Patrick how many organist-barristers he knows, I'm sure he'll enlighten you!). Just wondered whether you might be able to help: I'd like to take List of county courts in England and Wales to WP:FLC in due course, and wondered whether you had any thoughts on improvements before I do. Also, I've been slipping a camera in my rucksack when heading to court and have added a few photos myself (Yeovil, Pontypridd, Newport IOW etc - oh the glamour!) and wondered whether you might be able to do the same for any of the remaining 190-odd locations. (I might be able to add Blackwood and Oswestry later this week...) Regards, BencherliteTalk 14:42, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Law Society of Scotland[edit]

Hi, thank you for your support at Law Society of Scotland. Evidently someone at the Law Society of Scotland is treating Wikipedia with contempt. Whether this is merely a rogue employee who despises Wikipedia, or someone taking orders from above, is not clear. Nor is it clear under which WP policy clause this unregistered IP (which belongs to the LSS) can be blocked, or whether admin would have the nerve to block this august institution. I see no problem with the link to SACL, but I am open to persuasion... by debate, not censorship! Viewfinder (talk) 10:41, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

I completely agree. I am a practising lawyer and have no axe to grind against lawyers in general and I suspect that SACL may be such an axe-grinding organisation, but it seems to me wrong in principle for someone to keep removing a link without bothering to discuss it. Also, since there is a SACL article there *ought* to be a link to it. If they don't like the article, that's the point of attack (eg by an RfD). Francis Davey (talk) 14:45, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Pre-Julian intercalation[edit]

Hi Francis --

Thanks for your comments on Talk:Roman calendar. This tedious argument is now going on at Talk:Mercedonius, if you feel like weighing in there I'd appreciate the support. I put some work into the Julian calendar a while back as a test of WP, but honestly I'm inclined to consign it all to Gresham's Law.

--Chris Bennett (talk) 23:59, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

leaking in the street[edit]

You might want to weigh in on this Reference Desk thread. Cheers, Bovlb (talk) 23:07, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

Pro se[edit]

Mr. Davey: The other day, I put this proposal on the talk page the other day intending to be a request for urgent action, but no one seems to have noticed. Feel free to leave any thoughts you might have - if you feel like it. Non Curat Lex (talk) 07:34, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

I sympathise but I am currently rather unwell, so my contributions are a bit erratic and not concentrated so I am not able to follow any such proposal through. Francis Davey (talk) 10:23, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
I regret that you are unwell. Please feel better soon. Non Curat Lex (talk) 21:27, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

Saw your userpage while a-browsing..[edit]

..And thought I'd ask a question; would you with your interest in legal history be able to take a look at Court of Common Pleas for me? I've expanded it massively with help, and I'd like to have it with full coverage of all available areas. Unfortunately the problem is if something is missing I don't know it's missing. Ironholds (talk) 19:00, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

Thanks. I will have a look at it, but at the moment I am not well (long term sick) and so not contributing as much as I would like. Francis Davey (talk) 14:33, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

Cambridge meetup[edit]

The second Cambridge meetup is confirmed for this Saturday, 3pm, at CB2 on Norfolk Street: Wikipedia:Meetup/Cambridge 2. Hope to see you there. Charles Matthews (talk) 15:31, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

case management[edit]

responded to your comment. see talk page response. Earlypsychosis (talk) 05:52, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

there is now additional content on legal case management but outside my expertise. Earlypsychosis (talk) 23:14, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Alloidal Land[edit]

I came across your page while browsing for information about land title and Indians (specifically Canadian and American Indians; feathers, not dots) and how the law (English common law, to be exact) relates to their suppossed ownership of land. Would it be fair to say that their ownership is alloidal? In Canada, it's all very confusing: does an Indian "own" his land? Is he allowed to hunt buffalo and fish and trade those goods with the rest of mankind? It's my understanding that the Indian reservations and all their tasty game are not Crown property - would that not mean 'alloidal'? Thanks for your input. -- (talk) 19:02, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

WP:Hornbook -- a new WP:Law task force for the J.D. curriculum[edit]

Hi Francis Davey,

I'm asking Wikipedians who are interested in United States legal articles to take a look at WP:Hornbook, the new "JD curriculum task force".

Our mission is to assimilate into Wikipedia all the insights of an American law school education, by reducing hornbooks to footnotes.

  • Over the course of a semester, each subpage will shift its focus to track the unfolding curriculum(s) for classes using that casebook around the country.
  • It will also feature an extensive, hyperlinked "index" or "outline" to that casebook, pointing to pages, headers, or {{anchors}} in Wikipedia (example).
  • Individual law schools can freely adapt our casebook outlines to the idiosyncratic curriculum devised by each individual professor.
  • I'm encouraging law students around the country to create local chapters of the club I'm starting at my own law school, "Student WP:Hornbook Editors". Using WP:Hornbook as our headquarters, we're hoping to create a study group so inclusive that nobody will dare not join.

What you can do now:

1. Add WP:Hornbook to your watchlist, {{User Hornbook}} to your userpage, and ~~~~ to Wikipedia:Hornbook/participants.
2. If you're a law student,
(You don't have to start the club, or even be involved in it; just help direct me to someone who might.)
3. Introduce yourself to me. Law editors on Wikipedia are a scarce commodity. Do knock on my talk page if there's an article you'd like help on.

Regards, Andrew Gradman talk/WP:Hornbook 20:16, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

RE: Links[edit]

Hey. Thanks for the message. Yeah, there is a wider issue here, not least that of the grey area that WP:SPAM h as created! There is also the consensus built up over a few years now amongst editors of UK constituency articles that the results boxes should not contain links or sources. My personal view prefers the notion that candidates who feel they have to use Wikipedia as some kind of campaign hub is doing their campaign wrong! A section of "external links to candidates" could be allowed, unless subsequent editors use WP:SPAM as an argument against it. Ultimately, Wiki is not supposed to be a site for parties of any colour to promote their electoral campaigns, which is where the penny may drop at the end of all this.

doktorb wordsdeeds 07:17, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

July 2010[edit]

Welcome to Wikipedia. Although everyone is welcome to contribute to Wikipedia, at least one of your recent edits, such as the one you made to Baa, Baa, Black Sheep, did not appear to be constructive and has been reverted or removed. Please use the sandbox for any test edits you would like to make, and read the welcome page to learn more about contributing constructively to this encyclopedia. The reverted edit can be found here. Thank you. Whisky drinker | HJ's sock 17:48, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

I was correcting a mistaken edit by an non-logged in editor. I thought it was sufficiently obvious what I was doing (if you look at the page and the edit it should be self-evident) that I didn't need to supply an edit summary and could just use the Undo. It should be self-evident from my page that I don't need to read the Welcome page etc, and that your response was not the most appropriate. Francis Davey (talk) 18:30, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

IT meets Law[edit]

Mr. Davey,

I wanted to know if you would mind talking (emailing) about your transition from IT to Law. I ask because I am in the U.S. and after 10 years in IT have started law school. I wanted to know what your thoughts are and what you think some of the benefits are. Talking to most people in IT or the Law there do not seem to be many people that have jumped from IT to law. When you have a miniute or two. 23:24, 4 October 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jsgoodrich (talkcontribs)

Hi, I've been a bit of an occasional contributor lately so didn't pick this up for a while. Email is the best way to get in touch, which you can find on my website. Due to ill health I haven't blogged for months (half a year nearly). All the best with it! Francis Davey (talk) 12:51, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

First ethnic & minority rights in England[edit]

When was the first ethnic & minority rights (culture education political language rights) declared in England? Don't confuse it with immigration and citizenship laws/acts! Can you write me? Many Thanks! mail: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:07, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

UK Supreme Court case drive[edit]

Hi! Thanks for taking the time to read this message.

As you may know, the United Kingdom Supreme Court has been hearing cases for about 18 months now, taking over from the House of Lords as the Court of Last Resort for most appeals within the United Kingdom.

During that time, the court has handed down 87 judgements (82 of which were on substantive appeals). Wikipedia covers around 11 of these and rarely in any detail. Some very important cases (including Radmacher v Granatino [2010] UKSC 42 (prenups) and Norris v USA [2010] UKSC 9 (extradition)) are not covered at all.

I'm proposing a drive to complete decent quality articles for all, or at least a good proportion of these cases as soon as possible. If we can eliminate the backlog then a small group of editors might want to stick around to ensure articles are created relatively speedily for new cases. Since the Court process, on average, one case a week this shouldn't be too great a task.

I'd like to ask you to help with this drive, and help make Wikipedia a credible source for UKSC case notes.

How you can help

  • Complete that template and add it to existing cases.
  • Improve formatting & prose. Copyediting.
  • Improve the coverage of cases we have articles on, including adding content, sourcing and fact-checking
  • Create new articles for UKSC cases
  • Improve the categorisation and listing of UKSC cases.

Thanks for reading!, Sincerely Bob House 884 (talk) 23:24, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Plea bargain[edit]

why don't you improve that article based on the processes in your jurisdiction, to make it more complete for everyone? That would be best. Since there is no one editing the page, I bet you could just write down the truth and not even worry about references! Bstephens393 (talk) 23:01, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

Worth a try when i get a mo' but I don't do criminal practice right now so I might not be as informed as someone who does. Francis Davey (talk) 02:45, 4 November 2011 (UTC)


I want to add a criticism section to British laws. Is it more appropriate for the English law or Courts of England and Wales article ? Pass a Method talk 13:43, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

That depends on whose criticism you are citing and what they are criticising I guess. If a specific law (eg adverse possession) is being criticised it might be more appropriate to cite any criticism in the specific article. If its the system of courts in England and Wales, then that's where it should go. etc. (as you know "British" law is a term probably best avoided). Francis Davey (talk) 22:33, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

A bunch of general questions[edit]

Well, I guess this is what you get for being a lawyer. Almost as bad as being "sentenced to legislature," I suspect. Anyway, I wonder if you might point me to an organization or person with some time that might be willing to answer a bunch of questions about how law is practiced, including court room procedures and etiquette, in England. The web pages of the Inns of Court, the various Wikepedia pages, and other resources I've seen aren't helpful to my particular questions. Thank you.
kcylsnavS{screechharrass} 21:30, 17 November 2012 (UTC)

Hmmmm. Not a question with an obvious answer - depending no how deep or searching your questions might be and on what topic. You might ask the Bar Council if they can direct you in the way of any information that would be useful. By "procedure" I assume you mean specifically practice in the court room, rather than the rules of (say) civil procedure, which are here: [4] but not all that illuminating I guess if you want an idea of what happens in the court room.
There are books on advocacy, though I can't think of any that are obviously good. Its been a while since I looked. I remember reading something good when I was a student, but I am afraid I can't remember. The Inns of Court School of Law produces manuals, and I'd hope their advocacy manual gave some idea of how things work in a court room. My own bar school produced most of its material on paper hand-outs which were (and are I think) unpublished.
It does vary a bit depending on the type of case. In an application, the usual process is the applicant makes their case, the respondent responds and then the applicant replies. In a trial, the claimant puts their case, the defendant puts theirs and then sums up, then the claimant sums up. Then of course the judge gives judgment (or reserves it) then there are supplementary applications (permission to appeal and costs). Everyone is polite and no one ever objects :-).
(the book on advocacy I remember was written by an American and he said that the difference between the US and England is that if (say) the other side's advocate asks a question the answer to which would be in admissible - so it should not have been asked - the US attorney will leap to their feat and say "objection", whereas in England the barrister will rise to their feet, at which point the other barrister will sit, because that's what you do, and will say to the judge "Sir [or madam, or your honour, or my lord/lady depending] I don't think my learned friend wants to ask that question". If the judge is for you they will say to your opponent - "That must be right mustn't it?" and your opponent will say "Sir, yes" (or whatever). I have no idea if this is even close to true in the US, but it really does work like that sometimes over here.)
I don't reliably read wikipedia so email me direct if that wasn't helpful. I don't guarantee to answer but its more reliable. My email address is easily found through google. Francis Davey (talk) 22:24, 18 November 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Thank you. I didn't see an email link on your page or would've contacted you that way. My questions are in the nature of tourist questions - the sort a U.S. lawyer would wonder about when watching Rumpole of the Bailey, and not really appropriate here.

Ah, sorry. If you google my name you should be able to find my contact details.

Questions such as: Do U.K. judges truly highlight to the jury, during trial, points made by one side or the other? [From an interlude during Criminal Law class: Q: What is the purpose of the judge? A: To help the prosecution!] Would a barrister actually appear in front of a judge who works in his own chambers? Do judges really carry on private practices, staying in chambers (i.e., with their law firm if I understand the word 'chambers' correctly) after taking the bench? Would a barrister actually be permitted to appear in court before his or her spouse? These things would be unheard of in the U.S.

Note: the UK is 3 (nearly 4) jurisdictions, so its not correct to talk about "U.K. judges". In the legal sense Scotland, England and Northern Ireland are like 3 separate states would be in the US, though obviously the slicing up of power and responsibility varies. Scotland is the most different and courtroom practice is particularly so. Wales is really still a part of England in many respects and England and Wales are really all one jurisdiction, though more law-making powers are being devolved to the Welsh Assembly, so we'll see how that goes. I practice in England and Wales.
Yes, judges "sum up" for the jury at the end of a jury trial. Very few civil cases are heard in front of a judge and jury (a handful of actions against the police and libel cases) almost all are judge or tribunal only. So this really applies to criminal in practice.
Yes, barristers might appear in front of a judge who works in their own chambers. It might happen that the barrister on both sides and the judge are all in the same chambers. This will usually not cause difficulty. Barristers are self-employed. There's no common billing. There's no "law firm" in the usual sense. We are rather more independent than it might appear at first sight. It has always been felt - and practice seems to bear this out - that there's little likelihood of bias towards someone in one's own chambers. The bar is also very small, so it would become very difficult to have a rule against this sort of thing in some fields of practice. We all sort of know one another - at least that's the theory - and many of us have practised together at *some* time in our careers. For example, I remember appearing in front of someone who had been a head of chambers where I trained. I knew how to read him from that experience, but obviously he wasn't in my (new) chambers. How to deal with that? In practice judges are trained to raise these issues with the parties. If there was not a barrister on the other side I suspect it would make a difference.
Note this is only for the part-time judiciary. As a part of a judicial career most start as part-timers. Practising at law some of the time and sitting on cases a certain number of weeks a year. This is *very* valuable because one can learn a lot about practice from sitting as a judge. By contrast we all trust judges more who have appeared in court as advocates because they understand how the system works and do not have unrealistic expectations.
I suspect that appearing before one's spouse would be frowned on. I am not sure what arrangements are made to prevent superior judges from hearing appeals against their spouses. Its not something I've encountered. I have not seen someone appear in front of their partner. We are all rather more careful about this sort of thing than we were and much care is taken to avoid the appearance of bias than it was. I'll have to re-read the guidance on these things clearly. Francis Davey (talk) 20:28, 3 December 2012 (UTC)

And, of course there are some lesser questions, such as: Why is it that sometimes Rumpole has to sit further away from the judge than the prosecutor (a bench further back than the prosecutor's bench), while at other times he is sitting on the same bench, only a foot or two from his colleague? Does the accused truly have to stand throughout the proceedings? And away from counsel, unable to assist counsel in the defense? Do all felonies have to be tried in London, where the Inns of Court (and thus the barristers) are?

I'm not sure. Its been a long time since I've seen Rumpole. I think what you may have seen is the fact that senior counsel (QC's) sit a row in front of junior counsel and Rumpole was a junior (I think he never took silk). The usual rule is that you sit on the same bench as your opponent - though they may sit in front if they are a QC - solicitors sit behind and then clients sit behind them. I'm not sure about defendants. They don't have to stand throughout the trial, but usually one might have to get up and talk to them. A lot of this depends on the practicalities in the court room. Some had weirder structures or odd layouts that meant that you had to be careful about generalising.
This is all "traditional" court room. Hearings can be in chambers for some purposes, which is all around a table, and tribunals each do their own thing. Francis Davey (talk) 20:28, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
We don't have felonies and misdemeanours any more. Broadly speaking we have indictable only offences (which must be tried on indictment and heard in the Crown Court before a jury), summary only offences (which must be tried by laying an information before Magistrates and for which there is no jury trial) and "either way" offences which may be tried either way (the court or defendant may opt for jury trial). There's a technical exception for criminal damage which is getting too complicated.
So, an indictable offence will go to the Crown Court. The Crown Court sits all over England and Wales not just in London. There are administrative rules that prefer some court centres for more serious kinds of offence. So murders or treason would be tried in very few. But a great deal of business happens outside London. Barristers are also located all over the country - there are substantial numbers in many regional cities such as Cardiff, Birmingham, Liverpool or Manchester. Its just that the biggest concentration is in London. It is also true that big name cases are often transferred to London. Francis Davey (talk) 20:28, 3 December 2012 (UTC)

Now I do gather that things are done differently "on TV" but these some of these seem to be quite different from what I am used to seeing. So I thought I'd ask.

As to courtroom practice in the U.S., it is essentially as you say. The entire trial, ideally, is to create the record for appeal. Thus, while the formal English procedure would be fine here, most U.S. advocates would probably consider it either too involved or too soft. What typically happens is that you ask your police officer an question the answer to which would be hearsay, I would then object, and you could either withdraw the question or the judge would overrule or sustain the objection. If the question had been answered, I don't think "withdrawing" the question would preserve the issue for appeal, but I am not a trial attorney. The events in the trial follow the pattern you describe, with the plaintiff getting the last word.

The extent of formally in court itself is a function of the level of the court and the particular judge. Thus practice before a municipal court will almost always be less formal than practice before the court of common pleas, the courts of appeal, the Ohio Supreme Court. Same for the federal courts, though there the pattern would be magistrate's court (you get nicked for speeding on the air force base), the U.S. District Court, or the U.S. Supreme Court.

I've been in courts where no one ever stood up, and in others where even approaching the bench without permission to hand a document to the clerk would be viewed with shock. In Ohio, appeals from decisions of the lower courts are always subject to appeal as of right, except in the case criminal jury verdicts, where the right of the prosecution to appeal is restricted. Several years ago I saved a case from the advance sheets and noted on it, "Skip the rest of law school and just read this." It's a good review, if you can take the jargon. Cincinnati Bar Assn. v. Bailey, 110 Ohio St.3d 223 (2006).
kcylsnavS{screechharrass} 01:35, 3 December 2012 (UTC)

Thanks. If I get a chance I will have a look. Formality does vary. I've seen inexperienced counsel say "good morning" to the Court of Appeal (second highest court) and be frowned at. Equally in many tribunals "good morning" would be the normal way for the chair to open proceedings. So the "feel" of a court will vary a lot. The form of address varies too: "My Lord/Your Lordship/Ladyship" in the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and High Court, "Your Honour" to a Circuit Judge or Recorder in any county court of in the Crown Court, "Sir/Madam" everywhere else (ignoring a few odd posts like registrars and masters of the high court).
I hope I've answered a few questions. Do get in touch direct if you have more. Francis Davey (talk) 20:28, 3 December 2012 (UTC)

United Kingdom labour law page move[edit]

Hi Francis. Just to make you aware I have put a page move request up on the United Kingdom labour law talk page so that we can get a consensus and action it at the same time. Feel free to add your opinion (again!) regarding this. Thanks, iComputerSaysNo 08:58, 3 June 2013 (UTC)

Book of Genesis[edit]

Hi Francis. Please see the note I left for you on the talk page of Book of Genesis, which explains what I see as the problem that needs addressing. As I say there, I don't much care what the solution is, but the problem is real enough, if rather niggley.PiCo (talk) 10:08, 14 September 2013 (UTC)

Publicly Available Specification[edit]

Francis Davey, check out Talk:Publicly Available Specification, if its no longer on your watch list. I couldnt agree more with your assessment but look what is happening.--Wuerzele (talk) 04:08, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

ArbCom elections are now open![edit]

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You have mail[edit]

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Hi Francis, I've sent you an email. -- Marek.69 talk 17:11, 27 July 2016 (UTC)

ArbCom Elections 2016: Voting now open![edit]

Scale of justice 2.svg Hello, Francis Davey. Voting in the 2016 Arbitration Committee elections is open from Monday, 00:00, 21 November through Sunday, 23:59, 4 December to all unblocked users who have registered an account before Wednesday, 00:00, 28 October 2016 and have made at least 150 mainspace edits before Sunday, 00:00, 1 November 2016.

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ArbCom Elections 2016: Voting now open![edit]

Scale of justice 2.svg Hello, Francis Davey. Voting in the 2016 Arbitration Committee elections is open from Monday, 00:00, 21 November through Sunday, 23:59, 4 December to all unblocked users who have registered an account before Wednesday, 00:00, 28 October 2016 and have made at least 150 mainspace edits before Sunday, 00:00, 1 November 2016.

The Arbitration Committee is the panel of editors responsible for conducting the Wikipedia arbitration process. It has the authority to impose binding solutions to disputes between editors, primarily for serious conduct disputes the community has been unable to resolve. This includes the authority to impose site bans, topic bans, editing restrictions, and other measures needed to maintain our editing environment. The arbitration policy describes the Committee's roles and responsibilities in greater detail.

If you wish to participate in the 2016 election, please review the candidates' statements and submit your choices on the voting page. MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 22:08, 21 November 2016 (UTC)