February 2016


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I have now received the written determination. If I harboured any residual doubts whether to appeal this case, they are summarily dismissed after reading this determination.

The positives are really straightforward, there are ample grounds to appeal this on a point of law [several actually].

There is an appeal as of right, either on points of law, or as a de novo hearing. My preference at this point is on a point of law.

All three grounds provide ample legal challenge.

I have 28 days from [today] to file an appeal. I have already obtained the correct forms. I shall complete them over the next couple of days and file them with the court.

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The short trade in SPY is currently working well. Still plenty of time for it to go wrong of course, but with a pretty tight correlation to oil and the Saudi’s refusing to cut production, oil will probably be weak for a few days, thus, SPY weak for a few days.

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So yesterday I was in court. Cutting straight to the chase, it did not go well, I lost on all three grounds.

Do I agree with the decision [in law]…no I do not and will file an appeal.

The writing was on the wall almost immediately with the Judge [who is the Authority Member, but who I’ll simply refer to as the ‘Judge’] being very hard on the complainant, who was the witness. By the time she had finished with him, he was a very confused witness.

Some examples;

“Feel free to disagree with me if you feel that I am being unfair….”

” I disagree…”

“Really?  Why? Be specific.”

These were not questions on the evidence, more questions on the law, which in a breach of contract case will be technical and sometimes quite subtle.

Anyway, we eventually got through his testimony relatively intact considering the intensity of the questions.

I had a chance to re-examine and bring the evidence back on track. Things went reasonably well until we came to an important word in the clause that the Judge had spent almost 15 mins of her time trying to elicit a very precise answer.

The word was ‘recurring’.

I had addressed this word at length in my submissions. It was a technical argument. I led the witness [without appearing to lead] through the definition that we wanted the court to construe the word in the contractual clause.

The Judge was not happy. She questioned me more specifically on the interpretation of the word and I provided her with the same example that I had used in my submissions.

She ‘hurrumphed” and said, “good luck with that!”

At that point, if any remaining doubt existed, I knew that this was going to be a long day.

The day continued with my cross examination questions to the respondent’s witnesses being answered largely by the Judge.

It concluded with an oral determination, read from a written determination, that she [the Judge] had prepared in 2.5 hrs.

No surprises, I lost all three grounds plead.

However, possibly due to the quickness of writing the determination, the legal arguments put forward were not strong reasons for dismissing the case. I will receive the written determination later today and carefully read the reasons provided.

If my initial reaction to yesterday’s oral determination remains unchanged, or changes for the worse, I shall file an appeal into the Employment Court on a point of law, rather than pursue a de novo hearing.

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Just gone short SPY at $194.51

Anything lower than that by the 29 Feb [next Monday, or Tuesday US time]. This trade will sit for a week.

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Night before court and I have completed my questions to be asked to the primary witness. There are actually far more questions than I first anticipated. The questions essentially generated themselves from the Witness Statement that was provided.

I have read a number of texts on witness cross-examination and have some experience [although not a lot] from previous trials, so the number of questions is a little bit of a concern.

I think this time, as contrasted with previous times, I have a much better understanding of what I’m trying to achieve with the cross-examination.

I am seeking to test the evidence that I wish to use in my closing submissions. To do so I must ask the questions [already knowing the answer, or offering a choice of a finite number of answers] to elicit a favourable answer to the evidence I wish to apply the law to.

Therefore I have very carefully prepared my questions only to elicit a very limited answer and not provide an open question where the witness can offer an opinion or explanation. I only want, yes, or no, apart from some very limited exceptions.

If I carry it off well, then, there should be no major issues in obtaining the judgment sought and the full quantum of damages.

Of course I spent quite a significant amount of time preparing my witness on how to answer various questions designed to muddy the water and create doubt. Hopefully they have been studying their Witness Statements diligently and can answer naturally without undue hesitation, confusion or providing totally the wrong answer.

All will be answered tomorrow!

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Trump still winning and keeping his Presidential bid on track. In the same vote, Jeb Bush drops out of the race.

 

And exit polls showed Trump dominated with nearly every single voting bloc in the Republican Party’s Palmetto State electorate:

  • He won pluralities among both men (36%) and women (29%).
  • He fared best among all age groups except the 17- to 29-year-old group, which narrowly favored Cruz.
  • He dominated among voters who had not completed high school (45%) and some college (40%), while winning more narrowly among college graduates. Rubio beat Trump, 32% to 20%, among voters with a post-graduate degree.
  • He captured more than 30% pluralities among voters making less and more than $50,000 annually.
  • While scoring best among Republican voters, Trump also captured 33% of the vote from self-identified independents, who made up more than one-fifth of the electorate.
  • He won among both self-identified moderate (34%) and conservative (32%) voters.
  • He grabbed 35% of the veteran vote, despite a week in which he criticized former President George W. Bush and suggested he may have “lied” about the existence of weapons of mass destruction in the country.
  • He won among born-again or evangelical Christian voters, a group that had broken for Cruz in Iowa.
  • He was the top choice for voters whose top issues were immigration (51%), the economy and jobs (36%), and terrorism (31%).
  • Finally, the 74% of South Carolina voters who agree with Trump’s provocative proposal to temporarily bar most Muslims from entering the US chose him at a 44% clip.

With his win on Saturday, Trump became the fourth Republican presidential candidate to have won both the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries since 1980. The other three candidates — Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and John McCain — went on to win the nomination.

“Let’s make no mistake: Trump, amazingly, is in a commanding position to become the Republican presidential nominee,” Larry Sabato, Geoffrey Skelley, and Kyle Kondik, of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, wrote Sunday.

They added: “The fact that he won about the same share of the vote in New Hampshire and South Carolina — two wildly different states — shows the broad appeal of his campaign among a significant portion of the Republican electorate.”

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So the short SPY trade was a winner. I’ll be looking for another trade in the SPY next week.

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