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Legal Aid Bill: The Media Whitewash

Posted on December 31, 2018 in Uncategorized

The current attempt being made by the UK government to limit access to justice for blameless victims of negligence or wronged victims of defamation, by changing the playing field in relation to legal fees, should be appreciated as a serious assault on the rights of the unsuspecting British public.

Whilst the government is getting a well deserved thrashing in relation to the proposed assault on the NHS, and the Welfare Reforms, there is much less noise and also much less support in the media in relation to the Legal Aid Bill currently making its way through Parliament. Bearing in mind that the Bill involves the issue of legal fees it is unsurprising that the majority of people at best don’t know and/or don’t care about this issue, as not only is it a dry and seemingly removed subject from our everyday lives, but also as the image of lawyers is historically so negative in the media.

I would hazard a guess that the large majority of the British public who have come into contact with lawyers at some point or another would no doubt admit that their solicitor was perfectly agreeable and even did a good job. However, there is still an underlying urban myth promoted by the media that lawyers are somehow slightly tawdry and only out for their own interests. I am sure that there are such lawyers out there, but the same could be said of any group of people in any walk of life.

The problem with the media and other large corporations, such as insurance companies, is that they just do not like lawyers, as lawyers are more often as not representing “the little guy” and presenting something of a thorn in their side. David Cameron himself recently commented (off the record) “I hate lawyers” and is no doubt pushing against an open door in relation to seeking to reform No-Win No Fee Agreements as far as most people are concerned, especially given the relentless bad press.

The media silence in relation to the proposed changes to No Win No Fee Agreements, involving legal fees for defamation; poor journalism in relation to the promotion of the myth of “rampant compensation culture”, together with a good bout of “lawyer bashing”, especially of personal injury lawyers, seems at best self-serving and at worst slightly sinister, masking the reality of the government, seemingly in the pocket of large-scale corporations, including the insurance companies, laying siege to the British public’s right to access to justice.

Suburban Gun Violence and Urban Gun Violence

Posted on December 29, 2018 in Uncategorized

Series: Guns for Drugs

Where do I begin this conversation that has been crawling its way up the doorsteps of every home in America? This past week I appeared on NPR’s “Where We Live” to participate in a national discussion on gun violence in America. What I quickly realized is that there are two different conversations taking place in this country about the effects of gun violence. One debate is taking place in suburban communities and the other in urban cities.

In 1985, after returning home from my first college break, I soon became acquainted with the harsh reality that many of my childhood friends from the inner -city were dying from gun violence–often by other childhood friends from that same community. Back then, it certainly was no secret as to why it was happening. It was mainly tied to the trafficking and sale of “crack rock cocaine” in many predominantly Black communities across America’s inner cities. It was all about the drugs, and the guns were to protect the street corners they were being sold on. As time passed, the drug trade became stronger despite President Richard Nixon’s Declaration of the War on Drugs in 1971. This was supposed to reduce drug related crimes and deter criminal behaviors that were associated with the illegal drug trade.

Unlike the inner-cities, whose residents are often poor and disenfranchised, the suburban communities represent the ideals of the American Dream. As I look back on my days at Notre Dame High School, there were only 11 African American seniors out of 262 total graduating seniors. Surprisingly enough, I was the only one from the inner-city. I was not poor, but my family was not nearly are financially secure as those of my peers. Approximately 99% of all the 262 seniors lived in the suburbs. I did not carry a gun and neither did they. Some of them would discuss that their fathers owned guns and hunted, and if they wanted, they could get a gun as well. However, there was no need for one. The only illegal thing that was going on in those days were sneaking cans of beer and cigarettes.

Fast forward to 2012, and guns are everywhere. Whether you are a poor kid from the inner-city or a rich computer geek, one thing is for sure– you either have a gun, or can buy a gun. It’s no secret. Just ask any street corner drug dealer. The one that sells the $20 bag of Heroin or cocaine. Ask him where he gets most of his guns? As a youth developer that has been running inner-city gun violence prevention programs since 2000, I’ve come to learn that most of the street drug dealers get their guns from suburban customers in exchange for illegal drugs. And though the drug dealer most often is too young or does not have the credentials to legally own the weapon, the suburban illegal drug buyer often does, which at the time of barter, is properly owned. This is not the only way guns make it onto inner-city streets, but it is one of the most consistent means of continued delivery into these streets.

This is not an issue of gun control. This is an issue of supply and demand.

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A Career as a Legal Nurse Consultant

Posted on December 27, 2018 in Uncategorized

If you wish to become a nurse and are interested to work for courtrooms and emergency rooms then pursuing legal nurse programs is the best option for you.

Legal nurses utilize their health care knowledge and legal system interest to make a rewarding consulting career. Legal nurse consultants are also known to defense prosecutors or attorneys for their pharmacological or forensic familiarity to assist in determining the difficulty of civil or criminal cases. The legal nurses consult with prosecutors and others in legal field on topics related to personal injury, medical malpractice, workers compensation, etc. They are also responsible for reviewing medical records, interviewing clients, researching and processing medical literature, assisting in evaluating damages and liabilities, preparing exhibits, helping with depositions, and are considered as expert witnesses.

A legal nurse consultant often has a previous experience in emergency rooms and other disciplines and who further undergoes training at different legal nursing schools. The schools providing legal nurse programs also offer online degree coursework in personal injury, legal ethics, legal writing and forensic science to name a few. Also, you can also take dedicated classes in the legal issues about auto accident damage, medical malpractice, product liability and lower back pain.

A certified legal nurse is constantly hired to work with corporate lawyers and private attorneys. However, many of the legal court consultants are able to locate work outside the courtroom as well. You can also find work in insurance companies, hospitals and the government agencies. Many legal nurse consultants are also contracted to give quality assurance at various chemical companies and pharmaceutical firms. According to the recent salary survey by nursing management, 50% of the legal nurse’s work as a staff at insurance companies, law firms and other institutions, and they all earn similar salaries to those working as nursing administrators at the hospitals and make around $8000 a year. The rest 50% work independently and make around $100 to $150 an hour.

The jobs for them are predicted to grow in the next 10 years because many companies will introduce devices and medications that have been approved federally or have been reviewed by the governmental agencies and in courtroom. An individual does need formal training in this career to practice, and several educational and training programs are offered by community colleges, universities and various public institutions.

It is very easy to start your career in this domain because you don’t need a BSN but just require a valid RN license. Also, legal nursing experience is also not required. There are many legal nurses who are practicing in US in both urban and rural areas. Taking up legal nurse consulting as a career will not only provide you a great growth but will also open up new career prospective.

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