‘Not funny’

THE WEEK BEGAN with some debate from news organisations as to whether this Monday or last Monday was “officially” the most depressing day of the year, and The Times newspaper chose to run an exclusive interview with President Elect Donald Trump on its front page. Erstwhile Prime Ministerial contender turned Times columnist Michael Gove received considerable criticism for his interviewing style – not least his decision to strike a “thumbs-up” pose with Trump in his gilded office (or “man-cave”, as the Daily Mail’s helpful guide had it). Gove’s transition from ideologue would-be prime minister to gushing media hack was painfully obvious. Trump’s inauguration is less than one week away and his lawyers are as busy as ever. One of that number, tax lawyer Sherri Dillon, who appeared alongside the President Elect at last week’s infamous press conference, now has the dubious honour of being parodied on America’s leading sketch show, ‘Saturday Night Live’. Whether she will take to Twitter, as Trump does late every Saturday night to lambast the programme’s portrayal of him – “Saturday Night Live is the worst… Not funny, cast is terrible. Really bad television!” – remains to be seen.

THE SUPREME COURT, taking a break from Brexit related cases for the moment, delivered another landmark ruling on Wednesday morning. Inevitably dubbed the “Wheelchair vs Buggy” case, disabled man Doug Paulley first brought a case against FirstGroup bus company in 2012 when he was refused access to a bus because a mother with a buggy would not vacate the wheelchair space on the bus. Wednesday’s ruling fell short of finding that those refusing to give up space for a wheelchair can be forced to leave the bus, but made clear drivers must do more than “request” the passenger move. As the BBC’s legal affairs correspondent Clive Coleman highlighted, “This places a lot of responsibility on the driver”. Mr Paulley’s solicitor, Chris Fry, welcomed the partial victory but said overall the ruling had fallen short: “The judgement should have gone further – there’s no right as things currently stand to force someone off a bus”. Disability charity Scope said the ruling was “an important milestone”. Bus companies will not be the only service providers with wheelchair spaces or facilities who will be affected by the judgement – the case will also have implications for the railways, supermarkets and others.

MUCH INTEREST on Twitter and elsewhere this week in the WS Society’s conference, “The Law According to Star Trek”, to be staged in the Upper Library on 23 February. “BRILLIANT EVENT” and “This looks BRILLIANT” were representative of ‘learned friends’ responses. Other more regular features of the WS Society’s conference programme were also welcomed this week, including the flagship Charities Conference.

MEANTIME the Signet Library welcomes a new Head of Hospitality Marion Danyach. Marion comes with events experience in Paris and London and has moved to Edinburgh to work at developing the hospitality experience at the Signet Library. Marion will work closely with fellow French national, Vincent Guérin, developing exciting experiences for guests and visitors. Bienvenue Marion!

FINALLY, nothing can separate golf and the law its seems, this time colliding in Scotland, with the opinion of Lord Uist in the Court of Session, in the case of Colin Taylor against Des Quigley and Others. Mr Taylor had been a member of Colville Park Golf Club North Lanarkshire for a number of years when he injured himself on a loose manhole cover located on the golf course. Mr Taylor raised an action against the club’s board members as individuals, rather than as representatives of the club, in an attempt to establish that under particular circumstances board members had a duty to take care of other persons at the golf club. His Lordship did not agree, finding that whilst a duty of care might exist for third parties or outsiders, it was not owed to members. Golf club members, it appears, deserve one another.

— “Writer”

Writer's Week is not intended to represent the views of the WS Society or its members.