Why are there seven days in a week?
The Biblical answer I suppose is that Genesis tells us that God created the earth and all that is in it in six days and on the seventh day he rested.
The Babylonians had seven days in their calendar and the lunar rotation takes 28 days and the ancients might have thought that a quarter of that time was a useful measurement.
Astrology also plays a part in that in the days before powerful telescopes were invented there were only five planets visible in the sky and together with the sun and the moon there were seven heavenly bodies. The English and French languages continue the tradition with their names of the week, eg Lundi, Monday, Moon or Tuesday, Mardi, Mars etc.
One of the best loved stories of recent years is Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman with its music by Howard Blake. In case you are not familiar with the story (and surely everyone has heard the main theme tune Walking in the Air) it concerns a little boy who makes a snowman one day. Unable to sleep he decides to check on the snowman in the night and finds it has come to life. They have a number of adventures together before returning to the garden of the house where the boy lives.
We have all had to get used to a snowy theme in the past week or so. Tales abound of difficulties encountered by this person and that but I wonder if you heard the story of the woman who dialled 999 and explained to the switchboard operator that her snowman had gone missing?
“I went out to have a fag,” she said, “and he’s gone.”
There is an old saying which suggests that you should be careful what you wish for!
I was asked recently to come up with five top tips to keep down the cost of e-disclosure for an article in SA Law’s Stay Alert! newsletter. As a former litigation partner at Eversheds, I have seen my fair share of heavy cases. Now I see matters from a different perspective and try and bring my former experience of litigation to bear on cases where I am asked to help law firms and their clients cope with e-disclosure. Our guidebook to all this is the new Practice Direction 31B, which came into effect on October 1st 2010 and which broadly applies to multi-track litigation commenced after that date.
There are a number of things I might wish for if I were to be able to choose the starting point of advising a client how to approach a piece of litigation where e-disclosure is likely to be an issue. In fact it is almost inconceivable today that a case will arise where there are no electronic documents and, even if that were true, it is inadvisable not to give due consideration at the outset to how you might manage electronic documents in a given case. Managed properly, e-document management can be a cost effective, quick and reliable way of seeing what your strengths and weaknesses are and ensuring you are one step ahead of the opposition.
So what would be my top tips for businesses faced with litigation in 2011?