Where to start?
I became a lawyer in 1988. Since then, and unlike many in the profession, I have maintained an interest in the law and even, on occasion, have been known to read legal cases for other than professional reasons. It does not quite make me unique in Scotland, though it sometimes seems that way!
I also like to talk about the law and recall a drive to Fort William with my wife where I spent the entire journey explaining the significance in jurisprudence of the American and Scandinavian Legal Realists.
In 2010, as a result of a combination of ill-health, financial pressure and stresses of the job, all of which worked together to deepen the problems, I stopped working and my firm closed. A grossly inaccurate newspaper story about me, on a low news day, did not help. I have expressed apologies many times for the mistakes I made, for what that is worth.
My lapses led to disciplinary action by my profession, and that, combined with bankruptcy, left me at a very low ebb.
My wonderful wife, fantastic daughters, family and friends however enabled me to climb out of the hole I was in.
I am hugely grateful to the Hamilton Citizens Advice Bureau and to the Hamilton In Court Advisor. Since mid 2011 I have spent many days volunteering in the CAB and at the court, where my experience was put, I hope, to good use. I have had the experience of countless Sheriff Court appearances as a Lay Representative, combined with conducting an appeal before the Sheriff Principal and even appearing at the Inner House of the Court of Session as a Lay Rep too!
I have now started work in a legal practice again, and am again practising as a solicitor.
I started this blog in 2011 simply because my wife got fed up listening to me waffle on about legal things, or Doctor Who, or baseball, or Douglas Adams and I thought I could share my deep thoughts (or meaningless guff) with the wider world.
My footballing loyalties lie at Cliftonhill, where the mighty Albion Rovers play. I admit to having attended Parkhead to watch Celtic on occasion. I can honestly say that, on every visit, I have been there because of the person I have been accompanying – whether friend or family.
My blog focused in 2011 on Tommy Sheridan’s case
and the anti-sectarian bill.
However the legal travails of Rangers FC and the remarkable Craig Whyte came to occupy much of my time, as it provided a case study in almost every single aspect of the law.
I have since also written extensively about the Scottish Businessman of the Year 2012 – Charles Green.
I can be found on twitter at – @Paulmcc12
And on email at scotslawthoughts AT aol DOT com (Readers will, I hope, realise how to type the address. Doing it this way seems to prevent spam emails being received, apparently)
Since starting the blog, I have had the privilege of having my ramblings appear on some other websites.
I therefore am very grateful to Scotzine, to Labourhame, to The Firm Magazine and to the Journal of the Law Society of Scotland for publishing pieces by me.
I also had the privilege of being asked to speak to the Scottish Press Club last summer, to describe the experiences of being a blogger caught up in a remarkable news story.
Through the blog I have had the pleasure of meeting many remarkable people – some face to face and some electronically. I still get encouraging messages from some Rangers fans, who seem to credit me with influence far beyond what it actually is. So much so that I even merited threats of legal action from Rangers itself, although this was settled amicably, quickly and fairly after discussions with some very civilised and skilled solicitors for the football club.
It becomes almost like a drug – if I go a day or two without blogging, there is an itch which needs scratched, and that is done by writing.
I have no idea how many hundreds of thousands of words I have written so far, but I hope there are many more to come.
More importantly, I am proud that an online community has developed where issues can be discussed, and where, on almost every topic, the commenters take on and develop arguments I have suggested, frequently enlightening me, and regularly amusing me.
Last update – 22nd February 2013