Friday, 27 July 2012

Lawyers & Bees - Part 2

As a personal injury claims solicitor, I sometimes have to use that time-honoured legal phrase “it depends”. I don't like using it. Honestly. However sometimes it is actually the only one which fits. A client wants a simple answer. Even when there really isn't a simple answer to be had.

“Will my case settle? And for how much?”Well it depends on so many factors – including choices to be made by the other side. The value depends on the medical evidence yet to be obtained.

As a beekeeper, sometimes I have to say “it depends” as well.

I am on a list of people to be contacted to collect swarms of honey bees from the gardens of members of the public .So callers phone in, “Can you come and remove the swarm of bees in my garden?”

Out comes the time-honoured legal phrase.... And I ask a few more questions about the bees.

“Well there're dozens of them on the flowers on a bush in my garden.”

They're foraging. They're doing what bees. They're not swarming. Just leave them alone.

Further questioning: Are they the big fluffy ones? When you say”loads”, do you mean a few flying every minute or hundreds? I explain I am trying to work out if they are honey bees or bumblebees. The difference is not just a matter of words, but is fundamental to my advice.

If they are honey bees and they haven't already set up home in the wall cavity, I may be able to help. They can be relocated successfully.

If they are the big fluffy ones, they are bumblebees; and moving the nest normally results in its death. In any case, the bumblebee lifecycle means the colony will be gone by autumn. They are harmless. In fact most species are in trouble and all of them can do with a bit of help.

So can I help with someone's bee problem?

Well it depends....

Author: Derrik Harris (Solicitor - Birchall Blackburn)
Derrik Harris is a personal injury claims solicitor based in Birchall Blackburn's Preston office

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Lawyers And Bees - Part 1

What do Bees and Lawyers have in common? “Both have a sting in the tail” is perhaps the cynical response. Indeed, at first sight, both tend to provoke a “Yuck-reaction”!  However, both are actually very important – even if you wouldn’t want either swarming around your barbeque.

Albert Einstein is quoted as saying that if we lose honey bees, then Mankind will be extinct within 4 years.  Einstein was neither a bee-keeper or a biologist, so has no qualification to comment outside his field of expertise.  His alleged quotation is actually nonsense.  However, life would certainly be very uncomfortable and much poorer without the vital pollination services of honey bees (and other pollinating insects).
Surely we can do without lawyers though? 

As a solicitor, I am sure that I will be accused of being biased.  On the other hand, I am perhaps qualified to comment – unlike Einstein on honey bees. At its most basic, Law deals with the relationships between people and things they consider important: Their family, their job and their society.  As an employee, should I be able to go to work with a reasonable expectation that I will be safe whilst I’m there? Should I expect my employer to treat me reasonably, including not dismissing me unfairly? And if I am an employer, what can my staff reasonably expect from me? Are there any limits? What can I expect from them?

So where there is Law, there is also a need for Lawyers.  Until the day that everyone can agree what is fair and reasonable – and agrees to follow it without any supervision.

Honey bees don’t have Lawyers, it is true.  But, as future blogs will reveal, their “harmony” is based on chemicals, violence and …dancing.

Author: Derrik Harris (Solicitor - Birchall Blackburn)
Derrik Harris is a personal injury solicitor based in Birchall Blackburn's Preston office