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<< May 2005  | June 2005 |  July 2005 >>
Bit of JAA history

Been busy this evening just preparing a brochure for the JAA and I thought I would include an extract or two:

The Johannesburg Attorneys Association was formed in response to the Council of the Law Society of the Transvaal, in 1943, announcing an amendment to the voting procedures for the election of its members, with a circular advising people how to vote and the Council's subsequent treatment of a Pretoria attorney.  This caused an outcry amongst Johannesburg attorneys and a meeting was convened and the Association formed by approximately 60 attorneys.  Membership grew quickly particularly given that, quite unusually for the time, the Association did not at any time in its history, record racial or other personal details of its members, but rather encouraged all to join.

 The Association history is to be found on our website at www.jaa.org.za.  The history records events such as the reaction of the Johannesburg Attorneys Association after the Council of the then Law Society invited the Minister of Justice, Mr J. Kruger, to address its annual general meeting shortly after he had remarked, with respect to the death of Steve Biko that it left him cold.  When the Johannesburg Attorneys Association first asked the Council of the Law Society to withdraw the invitation to the Minister, and when the Council refused to do so, it then requested the Law Society Council member who was to have chaired the conference, who was also a member of the Johannesburg Attorneys Association, to resign as Chairperson.
Posted by Michael de Broglio on Wednesday 08-Jun-05   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  Comments
New brochure for JAA

The designer I use is an artist - in 24 hours, from me starting to dictate it, till now, the JAA has a new brochure for the SADC conference next week - and of course for our offices.  The cover - back and front can be seen again.

The current JAA committee is vibey, full of new members who are doing some work and just filling me with excitement for an organization I absolutely love - and which encourages so much more than perhaps some organizations may allow!

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Thursday 09-Jun-05   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  Comments
UShaka project in Durban

A week ago tonight I was in Durban to see Sabina run.  She came 4th in a feature race, where effectively, given the weight she was carrying, at level weights she would have won the race.  With 3 year old horses getting more chances she is most unlikely to run in the July.

What I did like a lot, in a city I grew up in, but don't generally have much time for, was the UShaka project.  The only waterpark with a marine built in, its great for kids.  The layout of the aquariam though is what I enjoyed the most.  Its dark, old metal/ship type that makes one think more of a sci-fi movie - or of an exclusive party being held there - not to mention being a wonderful set for a photo shoot.  The interior designer really had fun - and its magnificent.  Still the same sharks and dolphins etc that used to be a bit higher up the road, but the layout is great.

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Friday 10-Jun-05   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  Comments
Security companies

I decided to test the alarm system at my house today - amazing how you have to jump into the air to catch the attention of the sensor.  If a 2m thief breaks in at the right door, we might just get him.  While reading an article on personal injury attorneys lodging fraudulent asbestos claims in America in the latest Fortune magazine, I thought I may as well try the panic button.  I guess Coin, who won't be responsible for my security past tomorrow, are short staffed because, in 25 minutes they haven't had the time to get here yet.  About time a few of them get sued for their non-existent service - particularly when houses get cleared out.  I am an attorney, but i could install the sensors better than the half wits they must have sent here.  I guess they tested them on people on stilts or another technician also at the top of a ladder

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Sunday 12-Jun-05   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  Comments
Michael Jackson and Zuma

Court cases are increasingly becoming the main fare for media.  Michael Jackson not gulity.  Zuma guilty.  Constititutional court holding in favour of a young lady raped by policeman.  Its all over every page of the media.

I am not sure what to make of it all, but its surprising that the same media who attack us all day, cover the cases all day.  In between we get to watch TV coverage of cars on the way to and from Michael Jackson's trial.  Its a little over the top I think.  I guess though, for the people who were last week's news, it can be a relief to see a new story.  Its a little over 3 weeks ago that Johannesburg attorney, Ismail Ayob, probably thought his everyday coverage would never end - but that Zuma case was always going to wipe everything else off the map once it returned a verdict.

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Tuesday 14-Jun-05   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  Comments
Comrades Marathon

I have a picture of Bruce Frordyce finishing Comrades in I think 3rd position, and in the shot you can see me, aged 12, leaning over a fence, taking pictures of runners.  I always loved photography - and then, much more, Comrades Marathon.  It now takes place on 16 June and sometimes I don't even get up to watch the start.  When I was 15 we moved to Hillcrest and every week after I finished the 4km time trial I used to watch a young athlete blaze home in the 8km.  A number of years later he came 1st in the New York Marathon.  I have always dreamed he will win Comrades, and at 42, Willie Mtolo, takes one more shot at it this year.

I ran the race 3 times and I haven't run again since 1994.  It was important to run then, I took part in the Soweto Peace Marathon in late 1993 in my Wits University running gear, and I wanted to run Comrades again.  Its not that I haven't trained enough - I never did.  Comrades is within the reach of most people physically - witness all the various body shapes that finish it - but many of them can't do it mentally.  Comrades is about mental strength, a determination to finish and I will always have time for someone that has got to the end - or at least respect - because I know what pain they went through to get to the end and somebody who can finish Comrades can do most things.  Its a special race, and its really uniquely South African - yet another special feature of this fantastic country of ours.

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Tuesday 14-Jun-05   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  Comments
Sunday comments

Sundays seem to be quite good for me and my blog.  Love David Bullard's comments about the awful statue of Nelson Mandela in Sandton Square in today's Sunday Times - will try and insert them later....

Solo, my dobermann, came 2nd in his breed competition - basically judging him on his looks, and with what it costs to feed him - and grow him from 8kgs to 29kgs in three months, I would hope so!  Think its time for a picture of him.

Looking ahead, a very busy week for me - an RA meeting, a Gauteng meeting - and Sabina running - and with my bad luck, all on the same day!  The week ends with a Law Society meeting on Friday.

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Sunday 19-Jun-05   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  Comments
Odds

Some odds - South Africa now 33/10 to win Tri Nations ( that still makes us outsiders - but less generous than the 8 to 1 I got last year).  Lance Armstrong about 11/10 to win Tour de France with Jan Ullrich 2nd favourite at just short of 4/1 available on Betfair.  Australia are not at 6/10 to beat England in the Ashes - bit more generous than they were before they lost to Bangladesh!  Paris now at 2/10 for the 2012 Olympics with a bit of support for London at 7/1.

Just got to get them to do some legal bets - but most of my suggested topics would be a bit controversial and since I am in the mood for a more peaceful life right now, perhaps I better not!  The odds of the next Law Society AGM being at Sun City for starters?!  On colleagues actually turning up in real numbers to support any AGM?  At the JAA we do quite well, about 5% of members attending each AGM - and about 10% in one year when I was Chair.  The Law Society and Gauteng get bigger numbers, but not percentage wise in relations to total membership.

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Sunday 19-Jun-05   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  Comments
Sabina runs Wednesday
Sabina runs tomorrow at 3:30 in Pietermaritzburg, and I will miss her race, and a Racing Association Directors meeting, for a Gauteng Law Council meeting in Pretoria.  It's a small race, but still the feature of the day and I am hoping she can win again.  The only problems are that again she has drawn badly, and she carries top weight.  She has won 5 races, one of her competitors, Far off Thunder, has already won 4 of 5 races - and gets to carry 8 kilograms less!  Sabina would effectively, apart from the bad draw, have to be 8 lengths better than her to win - and that would be most unusual for a horse that has won 4 races already!  I don't bet often or very much, but the money has already come in Durban for her - they priced her up at 7/2 and someone has already bet to win R20 000.  So her odds have been cut to 2/1.  I am hopeful, and I know she is well, but weights do stop trains as the racing saying goes - so I will have to hope!  I guess 2/1 is fair - for those who understand odds, that means 1 chance in 3 of winning - and I guess that's a pretty fair assessment with the proviso that if Far off Thunder is any good, Sabina can't beat her at these weights.

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Tuesday 21-Jun-05   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  Comments
Taking on Goliath without a sling

I just wrote a long blog about thecourts and how they view Law Societies and how little chance one has once a decision has to been taken to proceed with one's striking.  It got lost in a crash, so for now, rather than not write at all, I'll quote from a judgment in the Cape recently where the Law Society applied to suspend an attorney Andre Berrange, of the firm Buchanan Boyes, after evidence came to light of "marketing agreements" entered into with SEEFF and PAM GOLDING where essentially they were paid R1000 per transfer referred to them.  The Judge held that, "The Court is not bound by the views of the applicant.  On the other hand it is not an ordinary litigant .... the applicant's views should accordingly be given proper weight."

My comments dealt with the whole voting process at Law Society meetings, the next one which takes place the whole of Friday, but my fury with my computer and limited time now means I'll have to try and cover it another time!  Save but to say I did say that litigation with your own professional society is not something to get into!

Oh yes, Sabina came 2nd - beaten very narrowly by a mare carrying 9 kilograms more than her - so effectively, at level weights she would have beaten the field by more than 8,5 lengths - a thrashing - which shows how sad it is that in the interest of betting, top horses are effectively crippled under heavy weights.

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Thursday 23-Jun-05   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  Comments
Law Society Boardroom

Thought I'd share a pic of the Law Society boardroom with you today.  Most attorneys don't get to see it - and those that do, often do so on ocassions they would rather forget - such as Rule 101 appearances.  Its where decisions are made as to which attorneys are struck off, who is suspended and all manner of other decisions affecting colleagues.  Its great for meetings though, microphones at each seat and a place I spent one and a half days at last week!

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Monday 27-Jun-05   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  Comments
RAF issue looking very serious

Things are looking bleak for those who do RAF work.  If you do, time is running out to contact Daleen at the JAA offices and arrange a monthly debit order - so please call as soon as possible - 011 3377269.

The Portfolio Committee meets 7 August and it is expected they will approve legislation effectively stripping the public to claim in all cases considered minor - which of course includes whiplashes and a whole host of other serious injuries.  Get involved now, help us publisize what is going on - and make a contribution!

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Wednesday 29-Jun-05   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  Comments
Sabina races on July day, but not in July

Since I have been getting a few calls about Sabina's chances this Saturday in the Grade 1 Garden province Stakes (2nd most important race of day behind the July) and since Sabina's appearance with a shocking pic of me in this month's TOP BILLING magazine, I thought I would bring you the latest update from www.sabinapark.co.za :

This time they all have the same weight, or pretty much.  She should be in the July handicap field, but instead she gets to compete over 1600m, a distance way short of her best.  It is an exceptionally high quality field and one could only hope that all Grade 1 races had fields such as this!  Sabina's last start showed that she is almost back to her best and she is going to be in cracking good shape on July day with, for a change, a great draw.  She clearly is not the stable elect judging by the Jockey choices but Mike told me that he is confident about her chances and that she can win the race.  She has won three times at distances shorter than this, but all of those occasions were when she was two years old and I'm not sure that she still has the same acceleration as she had then.  I do know this, that she could run fantastically in this particular race and still finish sixth, and at a very best she could beat them all, Overarching included.  Overarching deserves to be hot favourite, but I don't think she'll win, and not because she has a bad draw.  Sabina used to raid Natal last year by truck and I don't believe it works well for all trainers.  She is an exceptional sort, but I would expect Sabina to beat her over 2000 m and while she is the best handicapped horse in the field, the draw and the raiding method has to give Sabina a good chance of causing a huge upset here.  I think that odds of 12/1 are good value and while once again we are somewhat limited by the options when it comes to races for her, I'm sure that she will give another gutsy performance.  If I had to price this field up, I would probably have put Sabina at 5/1 so I'll certainly have a small bet at the current price.  Who knows, maybe I'll get lucky with a July double with Dunford.  It's going to be a very exciting race and while the July will of course be exciting, like any owner who has a runner in another race, the big race for me start at 6 p.m.!

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Wednesday 29-Jun-05   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  Comments
Too many takers and fakers

Was looking at the stats for the site today and its funny how visits to a site work - I mention the TV show Show me the Mommy early in the blog, and we get visits on that basis!  Can't imagine people who found the JAA website on that basis can be happy with what they came across - but thats the power of Google - and people not reading the text.  The share is exploding and Fortune reckons it has more to come.  Its one of the things I do have expertise in, but like everyone, I guess one does not write much on certain topics where you have accumulated lots of knowledge.  I guess I should focus more on divorce, maintenance and custody here - not to mention personal injury matters, but sometimes I am preaching to the converted, some things you can't share, some you don't want to....

Its amazing with attorneys how many request we get for info.  If I mention in 3 newsletters in a row that we are having terrible problems getting birth certificates and appealing to members for help or suggestions do we get any replies?  None.  Its the kind of attitude that makes you think twice before you give out anymore free advice to colleagues - there are too many people out there who just take and so few who give back anything.

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Thursday 30-Jun-05   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  Comments

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