|Welcome to the June 2012 edition of Proctor, Volume 32, number 5, which has been made available in a text format for vision-impaired practitioners.
This Word document is divided into nine sections, specifically a contents section, a news and editorial section, including the executive report, a feature section, a professional development section, an early career lawyers section, a regular features section, a practice skills and management section, a careers and professional information section and an outside the law section incorporating travel, dining and other distractions. Items in the contents section are hyperlinked to the relevant article within the document.
Each section is preceded by three hash marks ###, and each item within each section is preceded by three plus signs +++.
This document does not contain any graphics, photos or advertisements from Proctor. Your comments on the usability of this service and suggestions for improvements are always welcome; please email email@example.com, or call the editor of Proctor, John Teerds, on 3842 5934.
Section 1: News and editorial
Item 1: President’s report: Our duty of self-regulation
Item 2: Our executive report: Renewal easier than ever
Item 3: Member benefits
Item 4: Foremost jurists for Brisbane seminar
Item 5: Criminal injury compensation applications to lapse in December
Item 6: Griffith opens way for disabled law students
Item 7: Top law students take a bow
Item 8: Resilience the Gold Coast way
Item 9: Cancellation notice
Item 10: Conference spotlight – A new view of expert evidence
Item 11: Letter – Professional courtesy
Item 12: Challenge for student crime-fighters
Item 13: Scholarships build futures for Indigenous lawyers
Item 14: In camera – Intensive work, intensive fun
Item 15: Law Week 2012: 14-20 May
Section 2: Features
Item 1: Australian Solicitors Conduct Rule 2012: One nation, one rule
Item 2: Advocacy:17-year-olds and criminal justice
Item 3: Evidence: Worldwide witnesses
Item 4: Queensland Law Schools: Law – the QUT way
Section 3: Professional development
Item 1: Diary dates
Section 4: Early career lawyers
Item 1: Town agents: Town agents – do’s and dont’s
Item 2: Queensland/federal pleadings: Pleadings here and there
Section 5: Regular features
Item 1: Advocacy: The voice of your profession
Item 2: Advocacy: Plea for portfolio committees
Item 3: Advocacy: Key concerns in criminal law
Item 4: Advocacy: Seeking justice within prisons and parole
Item 5: Advocacy: Child protection leads our Communities agenda
Item 6: Advocacy: Our civil matters wish-list
Item 7: Advocacy: ILPs transfer duty and ‘death duties by stealth’
Item 8: Back to basics: By your leave
Item 9: Banking and financial services: Finally FOFA
Item 10: Book review: Lessons in liberty
Item 11: Practice and procedure: Pro bono – but what about costs?
Item 12: Hurley’s casenotes: High Court and Federal Court notes
Item 13: Family law casenotes: Interim sole responsibility order upheld
Item 14: On appeal: Court of Appeal judgments
Section 6: Careers and professional information
Item 1: Career moves
Section 7: Practice skills and management
Item 1: Client service: Client service: Myth or reality?
Section 8: Outside the law
Item 1: Wine: Fit for a queen
Item 2: Humour: Hearing aid
Section 9: QLS contact directory
Section 1: News and editorial
Our duty of self-regulation
What role should we take?
Self-regulation is critical to a true profession.
It is a key characteristic that distinguishes us from a trade union or other association, and something which we, as a profession, have embraced. It is a policy position that was recently confirmed by Council.
I have informed the Attorney-General and the Legal Services Commissioner that, while we support the concept of a national legal profession, we believe that the profession should retain its current level of self-regulation, that is, QLS wishes to retain its role in auditing trust accounts and our external intervention function, in which practice supervisors or receivers are appointed when necessary.
I have also advised them that we wish to continue the assistance we provide to the Legal Services Commission (LSC) in the investigation of complaints against solicitors, administration of the Legal Practitioners’ Fidelity Guarantee Fund and the issuing of practising certificates. (The latter two roles do not appear to be earmarked for regulation and control by others, although changes to control of the fidelity fund have been mooted.)
Effectively, we are seeking to maintain the status quo. As members would be aware, the LSC institutes and determines disciplinary action and has been active in consumer dispute resolution. It has also taken a role in educating the profession in its responsibilities to legal services consumers. But we consider that the Society has a prime role to play in establishing the standards for the profession, against which the regulator might regulate.
It will be some time before this and the other issues associated with a national profession are decided, and I will keep members informed of developments.
New conduct rules in force
The Australian Solicitors Conduct Rule 2012 (ASCR), which comes into force this month, is immediate and pertinent proof of the profession’s ability to provide self-regulation.
Developed by the profession for the profession, the ASCR provides the ethical standards that will guide our conduct for many years to come.
It would be untrue to say that the ASCR was developed without argument and angst. There were times of intense debate and there were wins and losses as the constituent bodies of the Law Council of Australia worked through the mammoth task of devising and agreeing on the final version.
The point I make here is that we have shown that we can all work together, and that we are a vibrant profession with members who care deeply and passionately about their work and the service we provide to the Australian community.
For the first in a series of comprehensive briefings on the content of the ASCR, please turn to page 18 in this issue of Proctor.
Building better laws
With the first sitting of the new Queensland Parliament on 15 May, the legislative affairs
of our state are in the headlines again.
Much is being achieved, and much is still
to be achieved. Those who read last month’s Proctor interview with the Attorney-General, Jarrod Bleijie, will be well aware of how much there is on his agenda alone.
I would like to take this opportunity to remind all members of our Parliament that the QLS and its members are ready to contribute to the development of legislation through the input of our committees.
We have a proud record of advocacy, and
you will find ample evidence of our activities in this, and previous, editions of Proctor and
We continue to look forward to the improvements that will be made to our laws by the Government and are eager to assist
in this process.
Dr John de Groot
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Our executive report
Renewal easier than ever
Online process draws positive response.
By now all practitioners should have renewed their practising certificates for the year ahead, and I would like to thank all those who have provided positive feedback on how easy the process was.
Renewing both practising certificates and Society membership online really was just a matter of ‘a few clicks’.
This year’s renewals program has gone very smoothly, and our thanks also go to the many practice managers who coordinated the process so well for their firms. More than half of all practising certificate holders had renewed in the first two weeks.
However, it is my duty to remind the handful of practitioners who have not yet renewed their certificates that a failure to do so before the end of this month will mean that they will no longer be able to practise. Annual renewal of your practising certificate is a legislative requirement and there is no opportunity for negotiation or delay.
A city to watch
A recent news snippet drew my attention and is worth passing on because of its implications for our future business and professional prosperity.
The Jones Lang LaSalle paper, ‘A New World of Cities: Redefining the Real Estate Investment Map’, provides fascinating insight into trends in urbanisation and their likely impact on global real estate markets, but the item that piqued my interest was a table forecasting the average annual growth rate in gross domestic product (GDP) for key cities in the Americas and Asia-Pacific from 2012 to 2020.
The table, sourced to IHS Global Insight, features the “top 20 fastest growing mature cities”, including Calgary, Atlanta, Dallas, Perth, Hong Kong and Singapore, all with a forecast annual average GDP change of 3 or 4percent. However, sitting at the very top of the list is Brisbane with 5percent!
New systems enhance efficiency
Over the past 18 months, we have been engaged in a significant technology upgrade, called ‘Project Connect’, which is working on replacing our 20-year-old systems with a new membership management and allied systems.
We have now completed the installation and implementation of a new finance system, and are now working on integration with other business systems, including linking to an upgraded web content management tool.
We are already using some of the new system’s capability for our new Update newsletters, and in the gradual upgrading of our website.
The new membership system is scheduled to ‘go live’ next month, and while the main benefit will be increased internal efficiency, there are related benefits for members.
The changes will provide you as a member with the ability to service your own needs, among them updating your contact and firm details, registering for events and checking the currency of your professional development, such as CPD points and specialist accreditation.
Information relevant to QLS committees will be accessible to committee members via a secure web portal, so that announcements, papers and the like can be shared.
The upgrade will allow our member service staff to gain a better understanding of your needs and therefore service those needs more effectively. It will also help us make better business decisions on products and services, based on your identified areas of interest and to identify any gaps in our priorities.
While the installation project is due to conclude next month, the next 12 months will see intensive implementation to ensure that we get the best value from the new systems.
The profession – be in it!
Last month was particularly busy, with all the activities of Law Week, including the wonderfully successful criminal history tours of Brisbane, which were a hit with the public and practitioners alike.
The ethos and camaraderie of our profession were highlighted in the gala Winter Wonderland Ball presented by the Early Career Lawyers Committee, the QPILCH Walk for Justice and our sponsorship of the play,
A Man for all Seasons, held in the Banco Court.We also held a social function welcoming
new members and a ‘thank-you’ event for our professional development presenters.
There were many other events across the state, and they are a reminder to all of us that our professional life isn’t all about long hours and dealing with the pressures of practice.
We belong to a strong and vital profession.
We should all embrace and take part in the good times as well.
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Queensland Law Society membership gives you unrivalled professional, commercial and mutual advantages. As a member, you’re entitled to the following exclusive commercial benefits ...
The Queensland Law Society Platinum Edge Credit Card is a members-only card offering you all the prestige of an American Express Credit Card plus the ability to earn extra points so that you get the rewards you deserve.
Receive complimentary enrolment in your choice of reward program. Select Qantas Direct to earn Qantas Frequent Flyer points for eligible spend, or Membership Rewards Ascent to earn Membership Rewards points and receive a complimentary Virgin Australia domestic economy return flight to selected destinations each year.*
You will enjoy a $250 David Jones gift card if you apply, are approved and spend $500 on your card before 28 June 2012, plus a bonus $30 David Jones gift card when you apply and are approved for a supplementary card before 28 June 2012.*
All up, Queensland Law Society members receive up to $827* in value for an annual card fee of only $99.
*Full terms and conditions are on the American Express Platinum Edge application form.
OnePath (a company of ANZ)
OnePath is one of Australia’s leading providers of wealth, insurance and advice solutions. It has a range of income protection insurance products, available direct to Queensland Law Society members. For more information, call OnePath on 1800 658 679.
QLS + AMP Bank =
more benefits for you.
Through partnership with AMP Bank, you
have access to two specially designed banking packages – it’s your choice. Enjoy special rates on a range of home loan and banking products to help you get more from your money. www.amp.com.au/qlshomeloan
The Caltex StarCard provides you with monthly ATO-approved tax invoices for your business vehicle. Other benefits include: a discount of two cents a litre off the pump price for premium unleaded or Vortex Gold; a discount of four cents a litre off the card price or pump price for unleaded and up to 51 days interest-free days on purchases.
Hertz offers you special rates at more than 220 rental locations in Australia, New Zealand and selected overseas locations. You also receive fee-waived membership to Hertz #1 Club Gold (a saving of $50 a year).
The Qantas Club
Generous savings are on offer from the Qantas Club under the Law Council of Constituent Bodies Corporate Scheme. Membership is subject to approval and individuals must both confirm QLS membership and be eligible under the LCA scheme. A one-year membership is $505 (including GST) – a saving of more than $270 on the individual membership price!
Education and training
Conferences and seminars – quality professional development at half the price of our major competitors
Specialist Accreditation – peer-reviewed, advanced level assessment program in specialist areas, giving you a professional edge in a competitive marketplace
Practice Management Course – prepare for the next step in your career
In-house training solutions – tailor-made workshops and presentations on -site
Skills Accelerator series – equipping early career lawyers for legal practice
DVD resources – helping you gain CPD points at a time and place that suits you
Online learning – flexible interactive training at your desktop.
News and information
qls.com.au – dedicated member-only access to sections of our website providing invaluable information and practice tools
Proctor – our flagship publication keeps you, your clients and the public informed on all aspects of law and legal practice
QLS Update – a weekly email service with legal news, legislative updates and professional development opportunities.
Advice and practice support
Practice support – free information and support on practice management
QLS Ethics Centre – free ethics advice from a QLS solicitor and ethics website
IR Assist – free independent industrial relations and HR advisory service
LawCare – free, independent and confidential counselling for you, your immediate family and legal support staff
Free legal advice – from experienced independent solicitors for members under Legal Services Commission investigation
Locum register – advertise your services as a locum, or find a locum
Senior counsellors – experienced practitioners to advise on any practical or ethical problem
Solicitor Assist – practical assistance for members, including the 24/7 Solicitor Hotline, Solicitor Helping Hand and benevolent fund. Services provided through Law Foundation Queensland.
Library and research services – a valuable resource in Brisbane’s CBD, or search the catalogue and submit requests online
QLS Legal Directory and Diary – allowing you to organise your busy schedule and providing an easy-reference legal directory
Meeting, mediation and conference rooms – conveniently located in Brisbane’s CBD at Law Society House and featuring state-of-the-art facilities including statewide videoconferencing in key locations
Members’ Lounge – access to newspapers and magazines, coffee, photocopiers and more
Brisbane Law Courts Complex access card – saves you time, particularly in peak sitting hours.
Referral List – helping law practices connect with potential clients
Discounted Proctor advertising – receive a 50% discount on classified advertising.
Business and lifestyle offers
Queensland Law Society Limitation of Liability Scheme – offering you protection by capping your occupational liability
Commercial and discounted benefits – receive discounts on a range of services
Business Supporter Scheme – linking you with products and services from select companies and organisations.
Social and community benefits
You can participate in
Committees –advocate for improvement to laws and review proposed legislation
Presenting at our conferences and seminars – contribute to the profession while building your professional reputation
Pro bono scheme – contribute to the community and use your professional knowledge to help the disadvantaged
Professional networks – expand professional networks at the Society’s many and varied professional development and social events.
Want more information? See qls.com.au or call 1300 FOR QLS
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Foremost jurists for Brisbane seminar
Several of the world’s leading jurists will speak at a special seminar on Saturday 4 August to commemorate the opening of the new Supreme and District Courts complex.
Featured speakers include Chief Justice of Australia Robert French AC, Master of the Rolls Lord Neuberger, Chief Justice of New Zealand Dame Sian Elias GNZM, Chief Justice of Hong Kong Justice Geoffrey Ma and Lady Justice Hallett DBE of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales.
The full-day seminar at the Banco Court is organised by the Supreme Court of Queensland Library and sponsored by Queensland Law Society, Bar Association of Queensland, LexisNexis and Thomson Reuters.
See sclqld.org.au/seminar or call 07 3247 4267 for more information.
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Criminal injury compensation applications to lapse in December
Criminal injury compensation claims made under legislation repealed by the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 2009 (VOCAA) will lapse on 1 December this year in certain circumstances.
VOCAA, which was introduced on 1 December 2009, replaced the repealed Criminal Offence Victims Act 1995 (COVA) and Chapter 65A of the Criminal Code Act 1899.
Where an application was made under the repealed legislation before 1 June 2012 and a Victim Assist Queensland request for further information, documents or assistance has not been met, the application will lapse at midnight on 1 December 2012.
Applications under the repealed legislation received by Victim Assist after 1 June 2012 will have six months in which to submit all necessary information for the application to be decided.
There is also a strict time limit of six months to apply for compensation under the repealed schemes from the date of a compensation order in the District or Supreme Court.
Once an application lapses, the applicant is not permitted to re-open the matter under the repealed schemes or make a further application under those schemes. However, if eligibility requirements are satisfied, the applicant may apply for financial assistance under VOCAA.
More information is available from Victim Assist on 1300 546 587 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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Griffith opens way for disabled law students
Griffith Law School (GLS) has partnered with the Spinal Injuries Association to improve access to legal education for those with physical disabilities.
Under the ‘Breaking Into Law: Disability Education Options’ program, claimed to be the first of its kind hosted by a law school in an Australian university, up to 10 participants with physical disability will be referred to the law school by the association.
They will attend two preparatory workshops, receive post-enrolment mentoring, and be eligible for a bursary to help meet the extra costs of disability in education. Students will also be able to explore the many employment options available with a law degree.
A GLS spokesperson said Australians with disability had very low employment rates, with only a third having a wage or salary as their primary source of income, so creating easier access to higher education was vital.
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Top law students take a bow
The top female law graduates of Queensland’s six law schools have received the Una Prentice Award in recognition of their achievements.
The award, presented by the Women Lawyers Association of Queensland (WLAQ), supported by The College of Law Queensland, honours Una Prentice, the first woman to graduate from the Faculty of Law at the University of Queensland in 1938.
Justice Debra Mullins of the Supreme Court of Queensland recently presented the certificates of achievement to this year’s winners – Freya Sorensen (Griffith University), Elizabeth Mathews (University of Queensland), Danielle McCarthy (Queensland University of Technology), Lisa Butson (James Cook University), Katherine Mansted (Bond University) and Rosemary Wilkins (University of Southern Queensland).
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Resilience the Gold Coast way
More than 70 Gold Coast practitioners learnt the essentials of resilience at an April breakfast focusing on depression in the legal profession.
Chaired by Queensland Law Society CEO Noela L’Estrange, the session covered key research findings and explained how to identify warning signs and symptoms of depression in the workplace. It included information on assessing the health and culture of a firm and provided tips on implementing appropriate strategies and supervision.
Organised by the Gold Coast District Law Association and QLS, it included a discussion panel featuring Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation director Marie Jepson, Cronin Litigation partner Derek Cronin, QUT senior law lecturer Rachael Field, HopgoodGanim partner Sarah Persijn and Rachael Hannam from Assure Programs, which provides the QLS LawCare service.
All QLS legalsuper regional workshops this year include a free two-hour session on resilience provided by Assure Programs. These include:
legalsuper Sunshine Coast – Regional Workshop – 5-6 June
legalsuper Rockhampton – Regional Workshop – 13-14 June
legalsuper Ipswich Regional Workshop – 11-12 July
legalsuper Hervey Bay – Regional Workshop – 18-19 July
legalsuper Mackay Regional Workshop – 1-2 August
legalsuper Toowoomba – Regional Workshop – 19-20 September
legalsuper Cairns Regional Workshop – 17-18 October
See www.qls.com.au for details.
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At its meeting on 26 April 2012, the Council of the Queensland Law Society cancelled the practising certificate of Michael James Quinn, who was the legal practitioner director of Q5 Law Pty Ltd, with effect from 5pm on Friday, 4 May 2012.
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A new view of expert evidence
Attendees at the Queensland Law Society 12th Annual Personal Injuries Conference next month will learn how concurrent expert evidence is expediting trials.
Supreme Court of Queensland Senior Judge Administrator Justice JH Byrne RFD, with barristers Gerard O’Driscoll and Jessica McClymont, will present the opening plenary address on concurrent expert evidence, including how the process works, how it should be implemented, and how it benefits practitioners and their clients.
“The conventional way of adducing expert evidence is unsatisfactory,” Justice Byrne said. “Reasons for the differences between experts are too often exposed too late and ineffectively explored.
“When experts confer before testifying, to narrow and reveal the reasons for their differences, that helps to reduce the cost of calling expert evidence and to promote reasonable compromise.”
The session will also examine taking the evidence of experts in court together. His Honour said that concurrent expert evidence led to quicker, cheaper, better quality outcomes.
The conference will be held at Brisbane’s Royal On The Park on Friday 27 July. For more information, see www.qls.com.au
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I am becoming increasingly frustrated at the lack of basic common sense and professionalism creeping into some firms’ correspondence style.
I refer, of course, to firms which think it is acceptable to write to colleagues but decline to put on file reference numbers and/or the name of the intended recipient of the correspondence. While you might be uncertain as to the intended recipient, surely a phone call to the firm would identify the person who was likely to action correspondence quickly.
There is simply no excuse when firms know the reference number and author from existing correspondence but seemingly adopt a practice of not even having fields on their letterheads for inserting this important information.
It surely must be a matter of professional etiquette that correct references are included in correspondence to allow a more efficient response. I am close to adopting retaliatory tactics, but would not wish to be seen to participate in professional discourtesy.
Let’s lift our game and get back to a proper cooperative relationship with each other.
Peter Eardley, Eardley Motteram
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Challenge for student crime-fighters
Senior police, solicitors and Justice Department staff lent their expertise to a new Crime Club at QUT that ended in a student-led ‘trial’ at the Banco Court last month.
The Queensland Law Society, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Queensland Police and the Australian Federal Police partnered with QUT’s Faculty of Law to mentor 90 law and justice students participating in the crime-solving challenge.
Student teams had to piece together forensic data, interview suspects, prepare an investigative strategy and deliver an intelligence briefing to successfully prosecute an offender and solve the simulated theft of $80,000 worth of computer equipment.
Club co-founder and senior lecturer Dr Peter Bell said the club was the first activity of its kind in Australia to engage students in a real-world crime solving experience that combined theory from QUT’s School of Law and School of Justice.
“The crime club brought together what they’d learned in different units of study and put it into practice,” Dr Bell said.
As the activity evolved, teams were eliminated, with the final teams preparing a court brief which was prosecuted in the courtroom, supervised by Judge Dearden.
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Scholarships build futures for Indigenous lawyers
Two Queensland law students have been awarded John Koowarta Reconciliation Law Scholarships by the Law Council of Australia.
The scholarships are available to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students enrolled in an approved course of study with an Australian tertiary institute and commemorate John Koowarta—a member of the Winychanam community at Aurukun and a traditional owner of the Archer River region on Cape York Peninsula in Queensland.
Recipient Melinda Mitchell is studying law at James Cook University in Townsville and aims to become a legal officer in the Australian Defence Force, while Danielle Davis, who is studying law and psychological science at Griffith University, aims to pursue Indigenous legal issues.
A third scholarship was awarded to Peter Dawson, who is in his fourth year of law at the University of Notre Dame in Fremantle, Western Australia.
Melinda Mitchell grew up and went to school in the south-western suburbs of Sydney, in the heart of Tharawal country, but a career in law never entered her “wildest dreams”.
“After doing extremely well in my HSC, and with encouragement from my family, I enrolled in a double degree in arts/law at Macquarie University, Sydney – being the first in my family to not only finish high school but to go on to university,” she said.
After completing her arts degree with a major in political science, Melinda married a soldier and moved to Townsville, where she joined the Australian Army in 2008. Resuming study in 2010, she is now in her final year at James Cook. She is also mother and foster mother to three boys, two of whom have special needs.
“I reflect often on the journey I have had so far and take great pride in my role in the emergent next generation of Indigenous lawyers,” she said. “In contemplating which area of law I will branch into, I have really enjoyed studying international facets and the role of the United Nations in engaging change at the human rights level, as well as constitutional and administrative law, which has allowed me to utilise some of my political science-learned tenets.
“I am hoping that my degree will help me make a difference by affording me the opportunity to address the disparity between our people and the general Australian population. I have witnessed first-hand the disadvantages our people face daily in regards to the law and have seen how there are barriers to access, especially for our brothers and sisters, uncles and aunties in the communities, where legal jargon, rules and procedures are culturally alien concepts.
“My passion revolves around being a strong and deadly role model for my children and my people, and for them to see that, no matter what challenges life puts in front of you, you must never give up and that you
are capable of greatness.”
Danielle Davis said she had wanted to study law for as long as she could remember.
“In year 12 I was fortunate enough to participate in the Griffith University Early Start to Tertiary Study (GUESTS) program and was able to complete three university law subjects while in year 12,” she said.
“When I began university in 2010 I was offered a place in the Griffith Honours College (GHC), a group for elite and high-achieving students. The opportunities offered by the GHC have allowed me to develop as a person, both professionally and on a personal level.
“At the beginning of my second year of study, in 2011, I applied for and was successful in obtaining an Indigenous cadetship at Gadens Lawyers. This cadetship has offered me an opportunity to obtain practical and hands-on experience in a reputable national law firm.
“I am currently working in litigation and corporate recovery. I find this work interesting and am particularly enjoying the court experience. In saying that, criminal law and family law are what first attracted me to studying law and I am still interested in those areas.
“I am particularly interested in partaking in some pro bono work in the future, particularly in order to assist Indigenous people, youth and women. In saying that, I am still only halfway through my degree and have not had a chance to gain an understanding of many areas in law as yet. I am hoping my law degree will simply enable me to help people.”
Later this year, Danielle plans to participate in an international student exchange to Canada.
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Intensive work, intensive fun
Colleagues, partners and friends enjoyed a sumptuous three-course dinner and drinks at Sails Restaurant during the AILA Insurance Intensive on 10 May 2012. At the dinner, Jean Kittson entertained guests with her comedic talents following an ‘intensive’ first day.
Thank you, speakers and sponsors
On 4 May at the beautiful Stamford Plaza, Queensland Law Society said thank-you to the many speakers and committee members who have donated their energy, expertise and guidance to the Society’s professional development program. Last year, our program attracted 6,425 delegates, who learnt from 598 urban and 131 regional speakers. The function also acknowledged the contributions of our many sponsors, without whom program events would not be cost-effective.
Welcome to new members
More than 50 guests attended the first New Member Welcome Drinks for 2012 on 9 May. Held at Law Society House, this was a fantastic evening for new members to meet senior staff from Queensland Law Society and network with fellow practitioners.
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Law Week 2012: 14-20 May
It was one of the most successful Law Weeks Queensland Law Society has been involved in.
We leveraged Law Week 2012 to educate the public on the evolution and practice of law, promote our community contributions, and celebrate our profession’s union, identity and place in the world.
We accomplished this through several stellar activities:
Queensland Law Society – Criminal History Tours
Our popular criminal history tours saw more than 300 people eagerly explore 160 years of Brisbane’s dark side.
The daytime bus tours around Brisbane included rare access to Boggo Road Jail and attracted impressive media and community attention.
They were proudly sponsored by QUT Practical Legal Training.
A Man for All Seasons
We were a major sponsor of a free performance of A Man for All Seasons with our president, Dr John de Groot, (literally) getting in on the act. A packed audience of 245 people where also entertained by Justices White, Fryberg and Daubney and Bar Association of Queensland past president Richard Douglas SC.
Walk for Justice
Early in the week, in Brisbane and across Australia, legal professionals braved cool winter temperatures at dawn- o’clock to take part in the Walk for Justice around their respective cities.
Queensland Law Society was a proud sponsor of the Brisbane event that aims to highlight the importance of
pro bono legal services and the volunteer solicitors who provide these services. About 650 participated, including 10 from the Society.
Queensland Law Society Ball
And on the last night of a busy week, 230 people took a breather from the frantic pace of practice, dolled themselves up and celebrated the role we play as members of one of the world’s oldest professions.
Spearheaded by QLS Early Career Lawyers Committee and sponsored by American Express, Mercedes Benz Brisbane, and Robert Walters, this inaugural event was a wonderful way to recognise our profession’s achievements, collegiality and dedication to justice.
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Section 2: Features
One nation, one rule
An overview of the Australian Solicitors Conduct Rule 2012.
by Stafford Shepherd
All practitioners should make themselves familiar with the new national conduct rules that come into force this month.
The Australian Solicitors Conduct Rule 2012 (ASCR) commences on 1 June and replaces the Solicitors Rule 2007.1
The ASCR applies to solicitors and to Australian-registered foreign lawyers acting in the manner of a solicitor.2 The rules:
apply to us as individual practitioners
will be breached if we permit an employee or associate to do anything on our behalf that is contrary to the rules.
The ASCR embodies key ethical principles that we as individuals and our legal practices must consider in the delivery of legal services to our clients. The rules are a starting point in thinking about how to resolve an ethical dilemma. The rules, however, are only one part of the resources we should consider, as they supplement our common law and fiduciary obligations.
The ASCR does not create a code. The rules in the ASCR are a framework and must be read in conjunction with the common law and equity.
It is important to recall the words of Sir Gerard Brennan AC (see opposite page) in an address to the Queensland Bar Association on 3 May 1992 about the relationship between professional rules and ethics. They reinforce the view that ethics are what we do on a daily basis in our dealings with the courts, our clients, our colleagues and the community.
This article is an overview of the ASCR. It does not set out a comprehensive consideration of all the rules (there are 43 in total).