Ask the QC

Assisted suicide: a very grey area

By Jonathan Goldberg, July 1, 2010

Rebecca from Cardiff writes: My elderly friends have an unmarried son aged 43 who has recently been diagnosed with motor neurone disease. The prognosis is awful. He may live for as long as 10 years apparently, but between one and two years is more likely. He will end up as a quadriplegic, totally dependent on others for his daily care and hygiene. Death when it comes will be painful if unassisted, and will most likely be by inability to breathe or swallow. There is no known cure.


Save cash - let the Beth Din be the judge

By Jonathan Goldberg, May 27, 2010

Joseph from Ilford writes: I am an insurance broker. The landlord of my commercial premises is threatening me with High Court litigation arising from a long-running and angry dispute between us. He claims increases of rent and/or seeks to forfeit my lease because of clients parking on the forecourt. I say that he has failed to keep the entrance and common parts in a clean and decent condition, such that I am losing business. We are both observant Jews. Could an arbitration by the Beth Din be appropriate, and is it binding?


The law for security volunteers

By Jonathan Goldberg, April 8, 2010

Amir from Golders Green writes: Perhaps because of my service in the Israeli Army, I am regularly asked to do security duty on Shabbats and festivals at my synagogue. We have been given little training or instructions, and I would like to know what (if any) lawful powers I have if there were some real incident.

Amir your question is an important and timely one. I wonder how many of the dedicated volunteers guarding our synagogues and communal buildings have any real clue.


Your duty to testify, and when not to

By Jonathan Goldberg, March 11, 2010

Jeremy from Liverpool writes: My children attend a Jewish school in an inner city area. There has been a lot of bullying from local youths. Last week my son, aged 16, was standing at a bus stop with three friends, when they were robbed of their mobile phones by two youths. My son suffered a black eye. He attended an identification parade and picked out one of his attackers but I am now fearful of reprisals to him if I allow him to be a prosecution witness at trial.


Save us from this blackmailer

By Jonathan Goldberg, January 28, 2010

John from London writes:


Send an Asbo over the fence

By Jonathan Goldberg, December 30, 2009

Ingrid from Sunderland writes:

I was recently widowed, and now live alone in the same terraced house where we lived throughout our 60 years of marriage. Until last year we had lovely neighbours, but then a new family moved in, who have caused us constant trouble. They play music loudly all day long, such that I have to keep my doors and windows shut to deaden the noise, and they have ignored my many polite requests to turn the volume down.


Depression was no defence for drug rabbi

By Jonathan Goldberg, December 3, 2009

Michael from Manchester writes: I have been following with interest the recent case in which you defended the rabbi who was arrested in a cocaine den. It would appear from the newspaper reports that he suffered severe depression after the untimely death of his wife, which led him to take up illegal drugs. But is this a defence to criminal charges, and if so, how does it differ from insanity?


Speeding ticket? Don’t pull a fast one

By Jonathan Goldberg, October 28, 2009

Elaine from Stanmore writes:

I have been a careful driver for over 40 years. Unfortunately, in the past two years I have attracted the attentions of just about every speed camera I drive past.

I have racked up three fixed-penalty tickets for speeding and nine points on my driving licence. To my horror, I am in trouble again. My husband complained of chest pains.

I phoned the ambulance but they warned of a long delay, so I drove him to hospital. It turned out to be heartburn. I accept I was speeding.


Inside story of the brit death case

By Jonathan Goldberg, September 24, 2009

I thought I would abandon my usual format in order to give readers “the inside track” about the coroner’s inquest into the tragic death of baby Amitai Moshe which concluded a fortnight or so ago. I have defended many causes, some good and some not so good, but none, I think, as important to the Jewish people as this one, nor with such sinister potential to have done us harm.


Can we change a mean father’s will?

By Jonathan Goldberg, August 20, 2009

Nat from Brighton writes:
My elder brother, who is now aged 80 and is gravely ill, has been a selfish man all his life and has been largely estranged from the rest of our family for many years. He is, however, an extraordinarily brilliant entrepreneur who amassed a great fortune.