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New South Wales takes inaugural football match in penalty shootout

Mon Sep 08 2008

The inaugural NSW Bar v Victorian Bar football match was held on Saturday in appalling conditions.�The�NSW Bar�drew 2-2 with Victoria�during normal time,�but overcame�the�Vics�4-2 in the penalty shoot out. The Victorian goalkeeper was injured after 10 minutes and had to be taken to hospital. John Harris from NSW lent himself to the Victorians but couldn't save them from defeat.�

Simon Philips accepted the grand trophy on behalf of the NSW team. Nick Tiffen, who (with his daughter) refereed, announced the best and fairest: Greg Watkins for NSW and Jim Fitzpatrick for Victoria. President Anna Katzmann SC, who�was at the game to present the trophy.

The�support game�against the solicitors of NSW�-�the Sir Arthur George Challenge Cup - was abandoned due to the conditions.�

Our thanks go�to Anthony Lo Surdo and Simon Philips for a fantastic job organising the match, the jerseys, medallions and trophies; and to Suncorp and LexisNexis for their sponsorship.

8 September 2008

Update on the condition of Chris Branson QC

Mon Sep 08 2008

Chris Branson QC was seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident on the Sydney Harbour Bridge on Monday, 1 September. He remains in the Intensive Care Unit at Royal North Shore Hospital. His injuries are primarily orthopaedic and he is extremely fortunate not to have suffered any neurological damage.

Since the accident Chris has undergone several lengthy procedures, all of which have gone well. He will require further surgical procedures over the coming months and for this reason he is likely to be hospitalised for two to three months with a lengthy rehabilitation period thereafter.�

While he remains in the ICU he is unable to receive visitors or phone calls nor can he accept gifts. Information regarding his status will not be provided to anyone other than his wife. At this point there are no plans to move him out of the ICU.

His wife Annemarie and their young children have been overwhelmed by the care and concern from his colleagues and would like to thank you all for your messages of support.

Annemarie has asked that Chris's colleagues check for updates on his progress via In Brief rather than attempting to contact her directly by telephone or e-mail so that her time away from the hospital can be spent taking care of the children.

8 September 2008

Full house at the Federal Criminal Law Conference

Fri Sep 05 2008

The Federal Criminal Law Conference, sponsored by the Bar Association, the Law Council and ThomsonReuters, got underway this morning. Guest speakers included�Stephen Keim SC and Mark Ierace SC. Topics discussed at the conference will feature in the Summer 2008/2009 edition of Bar News, the journal of the New South Wales Bar Association.

5 September 2008

Final reminder: Inaugural NSW Bar v Victorian Bar football match

Fri Sep 05 2008

The inaugural NSW Bar v Victorian Bar football match will kick off at St Andrews Oval, University of Sydney, tomorrow at 3.00pm. The curtain-raiser will be a game between the NSW Bar and the NSW Solicitors,� to contest the Sir Arthur George Challenge Cup. The last challenge (won by the NSW Bar) was in 1988. That game will kick-off at 1.00pm.

The matches will be followed by drinks/dinner in the Grandstand Bar. President Anna Katzmann SC will present�the trophies. For further information, contact Anthony Lo Surdo on ph: (02) 9223 3181 or Simon Philips on ph: (02) 9223 8233.

5�September 2008

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Transcripts from recent High Court ceremonial sittings

Fri Sep 05 2008

Transcripts from the recent ceremonial sittings of the High Court are now available. On Friday, 29 August 2008, a ceremonial sitting was held to farewell Chief Justice A M Gleeson AC.�On Monday, 1 September, the Hon Justice French was sworn in as the new chief justice of Australia. The president of the Australian Bar Association, Tom Bathurst QC, spoke at both occasions.

View the transcript from the ceremony marking the retirement of�Chief Justice AM�Gleeson AC�and the swearing-in of the Hon R S French as the new chief justice of Australia�>

5 September 2008

Extension of time for Haneef Inquiry

Fri Sep 05 2008

Attorney-General Robert McClelland has agreed to a request by the Hon John Clarke QC for an extension of the reporting date for the Clarke Inquiry into the case of Dr Mohamed Haneef until 14 November 2008. View the attorney's media release>

5 September 2008

Federal Court issues new Practice Note on investment accounts

Fri Sep 05 2008

On 2 September 2008 the chief justice of the Federal Court issued a new _Practice Note No 28 – Investment Accounts _under Order 63 rule 5 Federal Court Rules.�Download a�copy of Practice Note 28�>

The Practice Note sets out the type of investments that might be made by the Registrar in light of the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (Cth) (the FMA Act).� The Practice Note puts the parties on notice as to the types of investments they might seek when applying for an order under Order 63 rule 5 and refers to the FMA Act requirements concerning the title of investment accounts opened by the registrar.

5 September 2008

Federal Court revisions of Practice Note No 13

Fri Sep 05 2008

On 4 September 2008 the chief justice replaced _Practice Note No 13 – Service of Documents Outside Australia _with a new Practice Note No 13.��Download a�copy of the new Practice Note No.13��>

Practice Note No 13 has been revised to clarify the information that may be provided by the Attorney-General’s Department:

  • how documents may be transmitted to the relevant authorities in a particular country for the purpose of service; and
  • whether the laws of a particular country allow a document issued by an Australian court to be served by a private agent.

5 September 2008

Proceedings under the Patents Act

Fri Sep 05 2008

The NSW District Registry of the Federal Court of Australia has issued the Notice to� Practitioners - Proceedings under the Patents Act 1990 (Cth). This notice outlines the procedures for proceedings under the Patents Act 1990 (Cth)� in the NSW District Registry, Federal Court of Australia. Download a copy of the notice>

5 September 2008

Appointment to the Supreme Court of Victoria

Thu Sep 04 2008

The Victorian Government today appointed David Beach SC, as a judge to the Supreme Court of Victoria. Acting Attorney-General John Lenders said Mr Beach would bring a wealth of experience in common law and commercial litigation to his new role as a Supreme Court judge. Mr Beach was appointed senior counsel in 2001. View the acting attorney-general's media release >

4 September 2008

Speeches to note: swearing-in of the Hon Justice Jayne Jagot

Thu Sep 04 2008

The Hon Justice Jayne Jagot was sworn in at a ceremonial sitting of the Federal Court yesterday, 3 September 2008. President Anna Katzmann SC spoke on behalf of the Law Council of Australia, as well as the�Australian and New South Wales bar associations. View the president's speech as�delivered>

4 September 2008

Tonight: 15 Bobber for the Hon Justice Lindsay Foster

Thu Sep 04 2008

To celebrate the appointment of the Hon Justice Lindsay Foster to the Federal Court of Australia a 15 Bobber will be held tonight. Speaking for Justice�Foster will be John Nicholas SC. The 15 Bobber will commence at 5.15pm with the speeches beginning at 5.30pm.� Admission at the door will be $25. Please contact Katie Hall on ph (02) 9229 1720 if you have any questions regarding the 15 Bobber.

26�September 2008

Australian Government announces new Indigenous law and justice advisory body

Thu Sep 04 2008

Minister for Home Affairs Bob Debus has�invited Indigenous Australians to participate in the�development of a new national Indigenous law and justice advisory body. Nationwide advertisements begin tomorrow with expectations the first meeting will occur by December this year.

"The body will be consulted by the government and will have significant input into Indigenous law and justice matters and will report to the Standing Committee of Attorney Generals and COAG", Mr Debus said.

View the media release>

4 September 2008

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NSW Ombudsman's FOI review: have your say

Thu Sep 04 2008

The NSW Ombudsman has released a discussion paper�as part of�its review of freedom of information laws in�this state. The public discussion paper provides members�with�an opportunity to contribute to the review.�Submissions will�be posted on the ombudsman's�web site. The closing date for submissions is 31 October 2008.

View the Discussion paper: Review of the Freedom of Information Act 1989>

4 September 2008

A new look for the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission

Thu Sep 04 2008

The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC)�has been 're-branded'�as the Australian Human Rights Commission and given a new mission statement.�The commission's logo has been modified�to include a 'positioning statement', which�now�reads:�'everyone, everywhere, everyday'.�

In a media release issued today, the commission says that�"the new corporate image for the Australian Human Rights Commission is the first step towards ensuring that all Australian audiences know that Australia has an independent national institution with the responsibility to protect and promote human rights in Australia".

4 September 2008

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Last chance to register for the Federal Criminal Law Conference and Conference Dinner, Friday 5 September 2008

Wed Sep 03 2008

The New South Wales Bar Association and the Law Council of Australia are hosting the Federal Criminal Law Conference this Friday, 5 September 2008 in Sydney. The primary purpose of the one day conference is to generate new ideas for reform of criminal law and procedure at the Commonwealth level. The Sydney conference will also provide the opportunity for the legal profession to develop a 'reform platform' that can be fed into, and presented at, a broader Federal Criminal Law Conference <http://www.ag.gov.au/forum>� hosted by the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department on 30 September 2008 in Canberra.

The conference will be followed by a dinner at Establishment with an address given by The Hon Bob Debus, MP, Minister for Home Affairs. Tickets for the dinner are available separately�from those available for�the conference.��

The format for the event will be reasonably informal, with speakers invited to talk on their nominated topic for approximately 20 minutes - followed by a period of general discussion. Download the conference brochure

Please contact Katie Hall, 9229 1720 or khall@nswbar.asn.au prior to midday, Thursday 4 September to register for the conference and / or the conference dinner.

3 September 2008

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Official opening of Indigenous Art Exhibition, 5.30pm this afternoon

Wed Sep 03 2008

You are invited to an exceptional exhibition of fine Indigenous art from the Papunya Region and Utopia people of Central Australia. Ars Musica Australia (AMA), together with the Indigenous Barristers Trust, are hosting an Indigenous Art Exhibition at the Bar Association Common Room.

The Official Opening of the exhibition takes place this afternoon, Wednesday 3 September 2008, in the Bar Association Common Room�from 5.30pm.�If you are interested in attending the opening, please contact Michelle Kearns on kearns@mpchambers.net.au�

Learn more

3 September 2008

Request for donation of Supreme Court Rules to Crown Law Office, Tonga

Wed Sep 03 2008

The Association is seeking members who may be able to assist with a request from the Crown Law Office in Tonga.

A large number of books�have been destroyed�when the Office was burnt down in a relatively recent fire. �� Although through a number of donors the Office library collection has been built up, the Office urgently requires a copy of the�last "White Book" (Rules of the Supreme Court) before their replacement by the 1998 Civil Procedure Rules.� � A copy of the Rules is urgently required as the Tongan Supreme Court Rules provide that where they are silent on a matter, the Rules of the Supreme Court of New South Wales apply to proceedings.

If any members can assist, they should contact Peter Little at�peterlittle52@gmail.com

3 September 2008

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NSW Attorney General's Department policy on robing rooms

Wed Sep 03 2008

The NSW Attorney General's Department has recently confirmed with the Association that it is Departmental policy to provide robing room facilities for barristers in courthouses.

In response to enquiries from the Association, the Director General of the Department, Mr Laurie Glanfield AM, has written to the Executive Director to assure the Association "that it is still our policy to provide facilities for barristers to use to prepare for court. A suitable room will be made available with coat hooks or a coat rack and storage to allow barristers to change before court commences. This will be done in consultation with local staff. As you will appreciate, space in our courthouses is at a premium with increased demand for the delivery of services from a range of agencies, and balancing these competing needs is an ongoing process."

The Director General's letter also states that "The Attorney General's Department is committed to providing suitable facilities for barristers and solicitors to use in courthouses. We acknowledge the role these facilities provide in ensuring our courts run efficiently and effectively."

3 September 2008

Increase in interest on unpaid legal costs

Tue Sep 02 2008

At its meeting on 2 September 2008, the Reserve Bank Board decided to decrease the cash rate by 25 basis points to 7 per cent, effective 3 September 2008. Accordingly the rate of interest on unpaid legal costs, prescribed by clause 110A(3) of the Legal Profession Regulation 2005, as of�3 September�2008, is 9%.

Section 321 of the Legal Profession Act 2004 ‘Interest on unpaid legal costs’ provides:

(1) A law practice may charge interest on unpaid legal costs if the costs are unpaid 30 days or more after the practice has given a bill for the costs in accordance with this Part.

(2) A law practice may also charge interest on unpaid legal costs in accordance with a costs agreement.

(3) A law practice must not charge interest under subsection (1) or (2) on unpaid legal costs unless the bill for those costs contains a statement that interest is payable and of the rate of interest.

(4) A law practice may not charge interest under this section or under a costs agreement at a rate that exceeds the rate prescribed by the regulations.

(5) ...

Clause 110A of the Legal Profession Regulation 2005 prescribes the relevant rate of interest. It provides:

110A Interest on unpaid legal costs—section 321 (4) (b) of the Act

(1) This clause is made for the purposes of section 321 (4) of the Act and prescribes the rate of interest in excess of which a law practice may not charge interest under section 321 of the Act or under a costs agreement.

(2) The rate for the period commencing with 1 October 2005 and ending immediately before the date of commencement of subclause (3) is 9%.

(3) The rate for the period commencing with the date of commencement of this subclause is the rate that is equal to the Cash Rate Target as at the relevant date, increased by 2 percentage points.

(4) In this clause:

Cash Rate Target means the percentage (or maximum percentage) specified by the Reserve Bank of Australia as the Cash Rate Target.

relevant date means the date the bill was issued by the law practice concerned.

The Cash Rate Target�decreases to 7%�from�3 September 2008 (visit the Reserve Bank web site)

Accordingly the rate of interest prescribed by clause 110A(3) as of�3 September�2008 is 9%.

2 September 2008

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