Sunday, September 05, 2010

When Lawyers Bring Themselves Into Disrepute

There's an astonishing story in the Mail on Sunday today about Cherie Blair and Peter Mandelson. Mandelson quotes a private note from her which she kindly sent him after his first resignation. In the note the makes critical comments of Gordon Brown.

She has now instructed lawyers who have written to Mandelson's publishers, HarperCollins, and demanded that the passage be taken out of the book and the note returned to her.

This sort of thing is becoming increasingly common, with publishers continually receiving veiled threats, which the lawyers must no have no basis in law. My company, Biteback, stood up to the threats of Wayne Rooney and his lawyers when we published a biography of him, Rooney's Gold, by John Sweeney. I can't say it didn't give me the odd uncomfortable moment, but in the end, if publishers give in to this sort of legal blackmail we might as well all give up.

So I hope Peter Mandelson and his lawyers will tell Cherie Blair's lawyers exactly what they can do with their letter, for which, by the way, her lawyers are charging £800 plus VAT. And they also have the cheek to demand those "costs" from HarperCollins.

They bring their own profession into disrepute.

30 comments:

MikeyP said...

Lawyers, disreputable? Surely not!

pete-s said...

So let me get this right, she sent a note, which Mandleson now owns, the words are still her copyright. She now wants to suppress a fact that she sent a note to Mandleson.

Human rights lawyer wants to suppress factual evidence. You could not make it up, except she is a Blair.

Rush-is-Right said...

"They bring their own profession into disrepute."

Too late!

starbush said...

But isn't a fact that the content of letters is the property of the sender? I have in my possession a few letters Philip Larkin sent to my dear old late mum when she was young and before I could quote from them in an article I had to get permission from his estate.

a girl called alex said...

surely its Cherie who is bringing herself into disrepute, her lawyers would only be acting on her instructions. I wonder if she is looking to muscle in on all of the attention Tony has been getting recently. I agree with Pete-s comment re. the irony of her being a human rights lawyer and wanting to suppress factual evidence. Didn't Tony say she was her own worst enemy or something similar.

JuliaM said...

It's the 99% of lawyers that give the others a bad name...

Forlornehope said...

"The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers." Henry VI Part 2, Act 4 Scene 2.

Man in the Street said...

You bring your 'profession' in to disrepute. Not that there is much 'repute' in it.

Stop being so hysterical, again.

Michael Heaver said...

I think any political books worth reading, being challenged legally, will be standard practise soon. Seems to be the case for individual news pieces in the sporting world enough of the time.

bonetired said...

Funny you should mention that oaf Rooney given today's news ...

Mirtha Tidville said...

The only thing to do with the legal `profession` is shoot half of them so that the other half might start to behave themselves..

Collectively they make Estate Agents look like pillars of virtue.

Danny Law said...

so lets get this right

a consultation and sending a single letter costs £800 ?

in what universe is that not a tad excessive rate of pay

Dick the Prick said...

Eh and perhaps even a double eh?

Soooooo, let's get this straight. Mandy is Tony's pal but also has had detente with Gordon but Cherie likes Mandy but not Gordon. However, Geoffrey likes Mandy & Gordon as well as Tony & Cherie. But Cherie doesn't like Gordon and now doesn't like Mandy but Tony likes Mandy but would go for a pint with Gordon (yeah, right) and all this through the lawyers.

Do you think Labour members have any idea what the hell they had leading them.

Hokely dokely, clear as mud.

OT - but accidently found myself watching the err..leadership debate on Skymadeupnewsandfilth this morning and all 5 were quite happy to call themselves Socialists - groovy!

Salmondnet said...

Don't blame lawyers, they do what they are paid to do in the same way as any other tradesmen or women.

Blame successive governments for too many ill-considered laws.

Grandpa said...

So Lets get this right she complains when confidential, personal exchanges are made public, her husband reveals private conversations with the Queen to sell his book & expects to receive money for doing it. Both are lawyers, it says all that needs to be said.

Roger Thornhill said...

This is some wierd n'th dimensional take on Cobbler's children.

Unsworth said...

I'm enjoying all this. It's fun to watch them all at each other's throats.

As to lawyers - let's not confuse their trade with their morals, eh?

MikeyP said...

@Salmondnet:

So you think we should blame hit men either, then?

The Grim Reaper said...

Lawyers don't care how disreputable they look to anyone, provided the money keeps rolling in.

Gallimaufry said...

Mandelson owns the paper but Booth retains copyright of the words. This article explains things.

Salmondnet said...

@MikeyP. An absurd comparison. Hit men do not ply a legal trade, nor does our legislature provide them with all the tools and materials with which they work, or create the conditions which provide them with both clients and victims.

tapestry said...

There might well be information Cherie Blair is extremely anxious to keep from public view, which this letter is hardly an example, and she likes to get a reputation as a hard bitch to keep potential revealers on their toes.

If Blair really is a gay, as suggested by Clarissa, that inevitably raises questions about Cherie's own private life, were it to be true.

The Hague sharing of a room revelations would pale into in significance if Blair is a closet gay as alleged, and not yet denied.

scotch said...

Wow. You've published this so that people searching for "Rooney" will hopefully find a link to you. Clumsy, Iain.

Iain Dale said...

Actually that hadn't crossed my mind (it's not as warped as yours, clearly) but seeing as you mention it, what a great consequence. Thanks for pointing it out.

Alister said...

do a search for ACS Law or Which complaining about lawyers demaind money over file sharing.
Basically demanding less than the cost of getting your own lawyer thus you either pay or pay more to say prove it!
And people wonder why lawyers have such a bad reputation?

Sean Haffey said...

Iain

Just to help out (wrt Scotch's note)

Rooney Rooney Rooney

football

Hitler cats golf sex

Darn. Ran into writers' block. Well, that will just have to do.

George said...

Let us be frank.......
is it the oldest or second oldest profession?
Whatever the response, in both cases, the practitioner sells their body/soul to the highest bidder on a regular basis for money.
So frankly you can hardly bring either profession into disrepute, though in all probability a whore is more honest and trustworthy....which says a lot.

As for Cherie, since when has she been reputable?
As for Mandelson, since when has he been honest and above board?

A pox and plague on the pair of 'em and all their advisors.

IfYouTickleUs said...

They should take a tip from the Spectator. When Cherie's lawyers wrote to them about a diary piece by Charles Moore regarding the Rothschilds, a shooting party and Cherie's attendance or absence therefrom, the Spectator published the letter on the letters page.

Thanks to Cherie or whoever paid the bill the readers had some free entertainment.

Gallimaufry said...

@George: The Law is the oldest profession because God created order out of chaos: and who created chaos?

chris said...

A Mafia Godfather finds out that his bookkeeper, Enzo, has cheated him out of 10 million bucks. His bookkeeper is deaf. That was the reason he got the job in the first place. It was assumed that Enzo would hear nothing that he might have to testify about in court.

When the Godfather goes to confront Enzo about his missing $10 million, he takes along his lawyer who knows sign language.

The Godfather tells the lawyer, "Ask him where the 10 million bucks is that he embezzled from me."

The lawyer, using sign language, asks Enzo where the money is.

Enzo signs back, "I don't know what you are talking about."

The lawyer tells the Godfather, "He says he doesn't know what you are talking about."

The Godfather pulls out a pistol, puts it to Enzo's temple and says, "Ask him again!"

The lawyer signs to Enzo, "He'll kill you if you don't tell him."

Enzo signs back, "OK. You win! The money is in a brown briefcase, buried behind the shed in my cousin Bruno's backyard in Woodbridge!

The Godfather asks the lawyer, "What did he say?"

The lawyer replies, " He says you don't have the balls to pull the trigger."