The Inside Guide to Your Legal Rights & Winning in Court or Losing Well
"Unquestionably the legal book of the year, if not the decade" Professor Dominic Regan, New Law Journal
From the Foreword by Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert
“What would a judge say? Never a bad question to ask before you undertake any form of legal action. And that’s the joy of this book - it reveals what someone who until very recently wore a wig, thinks and how he’d approach an enormous compendium of problems.”
Breaking Law is written by a former judge. It’s a unique, inside guide to the law which is irreverent, entertaining and bulges with advice on what the law can do for you in countless situations.
So whether you have been overcharged at a supermarket, overlooked in a relative’s will, sold duff goods, sued for repossession by mortgage lender or landlord or threatened to be left penniless after a divorce, you can find help here.
You’ll discover rights you never knew existed, how to avoid getting involved in a court case in the first place and how to cope with proceedings should they be started, whether you are bringing them or defending them.
Template letters and court documents are all included. For example, if you want to protect yourself before setting up home or marrying your partner, cohabitation and pre-nuptial agreements are at your service. There’s even a template agreement on what happens to the pets should the relationship break down.
And to keep it lively, the author also takes you through some of his own legal tussles so you can get a glimpse of his own inimitable style when pursuing and protecting his rights and those of his clients (the Krays included!)
The book is for you if you are forced to go it alone without a lawyer but should you need representation, you can find out how to get it before handing over any money.
All of which means that, if you thought there was no way you would ever be able to get your case through court, this book may prove you wrong.
About the Author
Stephen Gold has many years’ experience both as a recently retired civil and family judge and, before that, as a practising solicitor.
In numerous national and regional broadcasts and in articles, Stephen has brought the law to the general public and lawyers alike with a unique mix of practicality, straight language and humour. Among the programmes contributed to have been the Jimmy Young Programme, The One Show, Panorama, Top Gear, Pebble Mill at One, The Home Service and Radio 5’s Drivetime.
One of the pioneers of live legal advice phone-ins he has helped many hundreds over the airwaves on LBC and BBC Radio Solent as well as Richard and Judy.
While a judge, he was an accredited media spokesman for the judiciary and is a long standing columnist for the leading legal weekly New Law Journal. His columns have also appeared in
House Beautiful and The Independent.
Part 1: SOME FUNNY THINGS HAPPENED TO ME ON THE WAY TO COURT
1. Look, No Maths
2. Let Loose
3. Ron And Reg
4. Legal Print
5. Let Right Be Done
Part 2: HELP!!!
6. Lawyer Or Litigant In Person?
Part 3: IS THE REST OF THIS BOOK WORTH READING?
7. Preserving My Premium Bonds
Part 4: STARTING A CASE AND BEFORE
8. Pre-match muscle flexing
9. Where To Start “This was a court. Do you want mushy peas with your fish and chips?”
10. Time Limits For Starting Court Proceedings - Disaster or Windfall?
11. Getting Your Opponent’s Documents - The sooner the better
12. In Full And Final Settlement - Take it or leave it
13. Court Fees - Save £s £s £s
Part 5 CRIKEY! PROCEEDINGS HAVE STARTED
14. Witnesses And Their Statements - Sock it to ‘em in writing
15. Daft Cases And Daft Responses - The early kill
16. Outside The Court Room For A Civil Case - Waiting around
17. In Court For Your Civil Case - “What am I doing here?”
18. Small Claims - Small but beautiful
19. The Tomlin Order - Kissing and making up after proceedings started
Part 6 JUDGMENT HAS BEEN GIVEN
20. The Register Of Judgments - The ugly face of proceedings
21. Challenging The Judge’s Decision - After court
22. Getting Your Money Under A Judgment - Can’t pay, won’t pay
23. Execution - The bailiff strikes
Part 7 RIGHTS AND WRONGS
24. Interest On Debt, Compensation And Judgments - and now for something completely interesting
25. Compensation For Hassle And Mental Distress - Inconvenience, distress, disappointment, annoyance, frustration, anxiety, displeasure, upset, vexation, tension, aggravation
26. The Litigant In Person’s Bill - And why not?!
27. Court Error Compensation - HMCTS blunder money
28. Money Wrongly Paid To You - Estoppel does you good
29. Company Down Drain: Directors Laughing - Squeezing money out of the culpable
30. Protection From Your Creditors - Though shalt not harass me
31. Claiming On Your Credit Card - The joy of equal responsibility
32. Neglected On Death - Gone but not forgotten
33. Adverse Possession - How to become a landowner without really trying
34. Libel, Slander And Malicious Falsehood - Troublesore v Whitecock - Statement in Open Court
35. Bankruptcy - The ecstasy and the agony
Part 8 GONE SHOPPING: SEE YOU IN COURT?
37. At The Supermarket - Lousy plastic bags, parking machine clocks and suspected shoplifting
38. Receipts And Sale Goods And Cheques - and Planes and Boats and Trains
39. The New Consumer Laws - Buyers’ Kit to be carried at all times when away from home
40. Unfair Trading - The Price (and possibly any one of a dozen other things) Is Wrong
41. Small Print - And bigger print
Part 9 HOME UNDER ATTACK
42. Behind With The Mortgage
43. At War With Your Landlord - Home attack
Part 10 RELATIONSHIPS: BEFORE AND AFTER
44. Domestic Violence Damages Claims
45. Cohabitation - The Scandal
46. Pre-Nuptial Agreements With What Should Happen To Fifi Thrown In
47. The No Sex Agreement - A customised marriage or civil partnership
48. Divorce, Judicial Separation, Nullity And Dissolution
59. After The Breakdown
60. Money For The Kids
Latest posts from the Breaking Law blog
"This is unquestionably the legal book of the year if not the last decade""Make no mistake. This is a work of genius, produced by Stephen Gold, he of the invaluable NLJ “Civil Way” column. I read it in one sitting and on a hot August day, rather than whilst in quarantine with nothing better to do. On several occasions I howled with laughter....."
Reviewed by Professor Dominic Regan in the New Law Journal, September 2016
Read the full review here
"self-deprecating, funny, practical and wise""A legal textbook that is genuinely funny? You are joking. Well, not if it is written by one of the best legal communicators of my lifetime. Stephen Gold has crammed in too much as a successful solicitor, district judge and prolific author to be restrained by convention. He writes as he speaks, self-deprecating, funny, practical and wise. ...."
Reviewed by Nigel Pascoe QC in Counsel Magazine, January 2017
Read the full review here
"At £20 for over 500 pages this book is great value.""so full of useful stuff that it will be of great use to advisers as well as the advised. It includes information on costs, how to get legal help, limitation, and judgments and enforcement. Gold suggests that if you cross-examine a judgment debtor about their assets, you should ask them to empty their pockets first. Car keys, for example. It also includes the information that a guide dog is exempt from bailiff seizures (something I admit had never occurred to me)...."
Reviewed by David Pickup in the Law Society Gazette, November 2016
Read the full review here
Read a free chapter: "This used to be a court. Do you want mushy peas with your fish & chips?"