More than a month after their season ended in the 6A state title game, the honors keep rolling in for Dustin Delaney and his SM East football team.Gang: Given what happened on Saturday, I think we could all use a reminder about some of the positives that came out of this past football season, particularly at the local level.Which is why I’m particularly grateful to the good people at Sports in Kansas for releasing their Coaches of the Year list on Friday – especially since SM East’s own Dustin Delaney won both the 6A category and the “All-Classes” honor, the top distinction given.“East may have not won the 6A state title in 2013, but its hard to argue with the job first year head coach Dustin Delaney did for the Lancers this season,” said the editors. “Look for many more bright years for the Lancers.”Sports in Kansas also released a list of the Top 100 senior players in the state, including the Lancers’ Dominique Atkinson, Mitchell Tyler, Luke Taylor and Ryan Carter.Junior defensive end Kyle Ball received Underclassman Defensive Player of the Year honors, while James Woolridge, Devin Price and Charley White all received honorable mentions on the underclassmen list.
Cuts to paralegals’ guideline hourly rates (GHR), reported by the Gazette last week, will prompt an urgent review of law firms’ approach to costs and staffing, leading practitioners predicted this week.John Bramhall (pictured), president of the 1,500-member London Solicitors Litigation Association, told the Gazette that if the rates involve substantial reductions for paralegals, ‘the current drive to hire paralegals in place of more qualified staff may be brought to a swift halt’.GHRs apply to summary judgment for the purposes of recovery of costs from the losing party in civil litigation. The rates are also used much more widely because of their acceptance by the courts.‘Many use the GHR as a failsafe,’ Sue Nash, chair of the Association of Costs Lawyers, said. A change in the rates ‘should encourage firms to look more closely at expense rates’.Richard Burcher, chairman of pricing and costs consultants Burcher Jennings, was critical of the principles used to reach guideline rates. ‘I continue to be dismayed at the simplistic, clumsy, myopic and one-dimensional approach that continues to be taken to this issue,’ he said.A ‘clear articulation of the need to take a granular and nuanced approach to pricing legal work and not simply rely on time billing’ is, Burcher urged, available in the principles set out in Civil Procedure Rule 44.4 and The Solicitors (Non-Contentious Business) Remuneration Order 2009.Burcher said that both could help by ‘determining what constitutes a fair and reasonable fee from the point of view of both the client and the practitioner’.Master of the rolls Lord Dyson is expected to make a decision on the rates, based on the report of a Civil Justice Council committee, shortly.
Jack Grealish in action for Aston Villa Aston Villa boss Roberto Di Matteo says an investigation into an incident involving Jack Grealish is ongoing.The 21-year-old was reported to have held a rowdy late-night party at a Birmingham hotel following his side’s 0-0 draw with Ipswich Town on Saturday.According to the Daily Mail, balloons containing nitrous oxide, known as hippy crack, were found in the room and police were called to halt the bash.It is not the first time Grealish’s off-field behaviour has been called into question.The youngster was forced to apologise to then-Villa boss Tim Sherwood early in 2015 after pictures emerged of him inhaling from balloons.He was subsequently pictured that summer drunk and sprawled out on a road while on holiday in Tenerife.Grealish, who has made eight appearances for the Championship side this season, could be facing a fine of two weeks’ wages – around £50,000 – for his latest indiscretion. 1