Law: Briefs

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The Independent Culture
THE OFFICE for the Supervision of Solicitors received its first fan mail last week. A complainant wrote to the trouble-dogged organisation to say that he was very pleased with the speed with which his grievance against a law firm had been dealt. We must assume he is not one of those who has been told that they will have to wait a year before the Leamington Spa caseworkers are able to look into a complaint.

IN A bizarre case of art imitating litigation, lawyers from Dibb Lupton Alsop are to act out the legal ramifications of a so-called millennium bomb disaster. The solicitors will perform their version of the legal catastrophe which would swamp the capital if the computers controlling the Thames Barrier fail to recognise the date change from 1999 to 2000. The rather undramatic message behind the drama is the important role played by mediation in settling disputes. Among the baffled audience will be Lord Woolf, the Master of the Rolls, whose own reforms have made Alternative Dispute Resolution a centrepiece of all litigation. The production is to be performed at the Barbican on 30 September

IN AN even more bizarre case, this time of litigation imitating art, a lawyer is to sue the US government for its refusal to hand over secret documents which he believes would prove the existence of UFOs. Peter Gersten, an attorney from Scotsdale, Arizona, claims that the Department of Defence and the CIA are keeping secret real-life X-Files. "I believe that the authorities have evidence," says Gersten, "and I believe I can prove it in a court of law."

BRIAN MOORE, the former England rugby hooker, is leaving the law because he has grown "bored". Moore, who is due to take up a career as chairman of an Internet development company, is a partner at the Holborn law firm Edward Lewis where he specialises in professional negligence. Moore was reported to have said: "I am bored. I have got as far I can and I want a change."