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Swearing-in ceremony for Mahony SC

Wed Feb 29 2012

Phillip Mahony SC will be sworn-in as a judge of the District Court of NSW at a ceremonial sitting�on Monday, 19 March at 9.30 am in Court 21A John Maddison Tower.�

7�March�2012

CPD in March

Wed Feb 29 2012

Please note the following seminars to be held in March. Further details can be obtained through the NSW Bar Assosciation website or by following the links attached.�

Tuesday, 13 March: Judicial Recusal (Substantive Law / Ethics) Wednesday, 14 March: Damages Considerations in Complex Litigation (Substantive Law) Thursday, 15 March: Is it a Motor Accident? (Substantive Law)

Monday, 19 March: ADR Ethics (Ethics / Advocacy) Tuesday, 20 March: TBC Wednesday, 21 March: Personal Property Securities Act (Substantive Law) Thursday, 22 March: Regulation 176 (Management / Ethics) Monday, 26 March: The secret Life of Documents (Substantive Law) Tuesday, 27 March: International Arbitration (Advocacy) Wednesday, 28 March: Concurrent Expert Evidence (Advocacy) Thursday, 29 March: Risk Management (Management)

29 February 2012

Call for Additional Volunteers, BPC Advocacy Coaches

Wed Feb 29 2012

The NSW Bar Association’s Professional Development Department is seeking experienced members of the Bar to assist with advocacy coaching during the upcoming Bar Practice Courses (May and October 2012). Volunteers should be prepared to assist with seven evening sessions and one whole Saturday each course. The sessions in question are designed to help readers in developing their advocacy skills.� The advocacy coaches’ ability to demonstrate and provide feedback, as well as their experience and insights, is a critical component in this process.

To ensure consistency in approach and assessment, volunteers are provided with a one day course conducted by the Australian Bar Association Advocacy Training Council.� There will also be opportunities for further ongoing training through the Australian Advocacy Institute (AAI).

The call for further volunteers comes as a result of increasing numbers in the course and a desire to maintain small groups and provide sufficient support for current coaches, as well as readers.

Should you have any questions at all, or to register your interest, please contact Chris D’Aeth (9229 1712 cdaeth@nswbar.asn.au) or Anna Hurtig (9229 1722 or ahurtig@nswbar.asn.au).

29 February 2012

Volunteering for the Benjamin Andrew Footpath Library

Tue Feb 28 2012

The Benjamin Andrew Footpath Library has allocated one Saturday every second month to Clayton Utz and the NSW Bar to attend the storage unit at Kennard's Storage in Brookvale.� A combination of 4 volunteers is required for each session.�

Our next volunteering opportunity is on Saturday, 3 March at 1pm and we are asked to send two volunteers.� Here you will spend a couple of hours packing books for various hostels in New South Wales.� If you wish to register for the session, please email Lisa Allen at library@nswbar.asn.au.

Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Lisa Allen at the Bar Association Library.

28 February 2012

Review of court support for victims

Tue Feb 28 2012

Attorney General Greg Smith SC today announced an independent review of all NSW court support services for victims of crime. The review will go out to tender and be completed by the end of year. Learn more >

28 February 2012

Bar Library Academy Awards Competition Winners

Tue Feb 28 2012

And the winner AGAIN is Mr Barrie Anthony, the NSW Bar Association’s esteemed Certification Officer and movie connoisseur with a score of 16. He was closely followed by Justin Hewitt of 8 Selborne on 15. To spare those not so successful entrants, a list of your results is on the Bar library’s noticeboard. If you can’t make it to the library, email library@nswbar.asn.au and I will reveal your score. No recounts will be considered. Thanks for your participation in this contest.

28 February 2012

Agreed outcomes from Bar Council Strategy Day

Tue Feb 28 2012

The Bar Council held an all-day meeting in the Common Room on Saturday, 4 February. Topics discussed included services for members, the Bar Association’s role in public debate on issues affecting the administration of justice, diversity at the bar, governance and practice development. Listed below are the agreed outcomes from that meeting.

**PLENARY SESSION 1

1.�What more can /should the Association do for members?**

Cost recovery/Costs and Fees

  • The Association’s cost recovery assistance service should be regularly advertised to members via In Brief.
  • An annual seminar should be held on cost recovery, primarily aimed at the junior bar. The New Barristers Committee should be involved in its preparation.
  • The Costs and Fees Committee should consider the case for increasing the rate of interest on unpaid fees, which is currently set under the Legal Profession Act at 2% above the Reserve Bank Cash Rate Target, along with the suitability of current disclosure requirements concerning interest rates on unpaid fees. Once the Committee’s advice is received, Bar Council should consider the need to lobby Government for any relevant changes in this regard.
  • The Cost and Fees Committee should also consider how, if it can, the Bar can receive fees in advance without the need for a trust account.
  • The Association take up with the Law Society the large firms’ policies on delayed payment to the Bar.

Financial Planning

  • The Executive Director is to report to Bar Council on a possible model for a pilot programme for the provision of financial planning and superannuation advice to the members of the Bar, and on the financial implications of such a service.
  • The Association should conduct several seminars a year for its members on financial management, including planning for retirement.

Older/Retired members

  • The Executive Director is to provide Bar Council with a report on what can be done to involve retired members more in the affairs of the Association, both in terms of specific functions and services that could be offered, and encouraging their contribution, eg mentoring.

Member Services Committee

  • A sub-Committee of Bar Council be established to examine and report back on what we are doing for members, and what more might be done.
  • The Association should provide a service of connecting senior members with conference organisers for the giving of papers.
  • The Education Committee is to consider whether there should be a series of seminars for those about 10 years out and who may in due course be candidates for silk.

2.�Should we do more to initiate/participate in discussion/debates on law reform/public issues?

  • The process by which the Association brings issues to public attention and responds to significant public issues should be considered in detail by the Bar Council. The coming Criminal Law Committee report on drug law reform should be used as a trial on how the Association might initiate/encourage public debate on issues of public importance. 3.�Diversity at the Bar/Women at the Bar
  • A Bar Council policy meeting to be arranged in the near future so that issues surrounding diversity at the Bar can be discussed, including there being exit interviews with practitioners leaving the Bar in order to obtain a better understanding of individuals’ reasons for ceasing practice, and the possibility of following a Bar Practice Course cohort for 5-7 years (Traill to provide a paper on this suggestion).
  • The Executive Director is to have statistics taken out of the number of barristers entering/leaving the Bar over the past 5 years by gender.� These statistics are to show separately the private/non private Bar.

SESSION 2: GOVERNANCE

1. Delegations/ Role of the Executive

  • An induction package, including documents such as the Association’s Constitution, Annual Report, Benevolent Fund Constitution, delegations in force, the senior staff’s duty statements and Committee membership, be provided to Bar Councillors before the first substantive meeting of each incoming new Bar Council.
  • A register of all future written legal advice received by the Association (apart from advice relating to PCC matters) is to be established and be available for access by all directors, subject to any conflict of interest and privilege considerations.
  • The Executive Director’s statement of duties is to be considered at the next suitable meeting of Bar Council.

2. Meeting protocol

  • The agenda for Bar Council meetings dedicated to policy issues should only include PCC matters if they are genuinely urgent.
  • PCCs are to be requested to provide an Executive Summary for each Report where the Committee recommends that to Bar Council that a complaint be dismissed. � A brief statement, rather than a detailed report, is all that is required by the Bar Council when considering a PCC’s recommendation not to grant a request that a complaint be summarily dismissed.
  • The question of whether Bar Council should delegate its functions in relation to the summary dismissal of complaints will be the subject of a note to Bar Council from the Director, Professional Conduct.
  • Bar Councillors who wish to raise policy matters at Bar Council may consult with the chair of the relevant Committee before doing so, and should provide adequate documentation and notice in these circumstances, unless the urgency of the matter does not allow this to be done.
  • The President and Executive Director will speak to a tabled ‘dot point’ note for their reports to Council.
  • Noted that all Committees provide a written report to the Council each six months.�

4.�Bar Association elections

Information about candidates

  • The Bar Council considered three options in relation to the placement of election candidate information on the Association’s website:

i.�the status quo, ie. labels made available to candidates;

ii.�candidates invited to provide a photograph and brief biographical information to be included on the Association website; and

iii.�candidates be permitted to include their policy platform on the Association’s web site. Issues such as length, defamation, accuracy and the Association’s liability need to be considered.

Most favoured option (ii). Agreed that Kylie Nomchong would prepare a paper proposing the kinds of candidate information that could be included.� The Executive Director is to supplement that paper with a note on the cost and staffing implications of the proposal.

Direct election

  • Agreed that the arguments for direct election of officeholders do not outweigh the advantages of the present system.

One year Presidential terms

  • Agreed not to support a change to the Association’s Constitution to reduce the maximum term that can be served by a President to one year.� Many spoke in support of one year Presidential terms, as a matter of convention that may develop.� If a member of the Bar Council wishes to initiate a change to the Constitution,� it is open to them to do so.�

Bar Council edited minutes

  • Noted, the existing practice whereby edited Bar Council minutes, with PCC and other sensitive matters removed, are made available to members via In Brief, and are searchable on the website.

AGM timing

  • Agreed that the 2012 AGM is to be held at 5.15pm on Thursday 8 November 2012.

SESSION 3 - PRACTICE�DEVELOPMENT

1.�Marketing the Bar

  • The Practice Development Committee is to prepare a report to Bar Council on its ideas for marketing the Bar’s services to in-house counsel, including recommendations and the estimate cost of any proposals.
  • The Treasurer said $25,000 could be accommodated in the 2012/2013 budget for this purpose.
  • The ADR Committee is to be asked to identify further opportunities for promoting the Bar’s expertise in ADR.
  • The Practice Development Committee is to consider the Association assisting chambers undertaking their own marketing, rather than marketing being centralised in the Association.
  • The New Barristers Committee is to be asked whether there is anything further that came out of its recent survey that needs to be done in the area of assisting new barristers to establish a viable practice.
  • The Practice Development Committee is to consider the establishment and maintenance of a page on the Association’s website describing what a barrister need do to be placed on the various ‘panels’ for Government business – e.g. for Legal Aid, the NSW Crown Solicitors’ office.
  • Association staff should monitor developments with the recently announced Commonwealth Legal Assistance review, with a view to the preparation of a further submission promoting the cost effectiveness of the Bar to the Commonwealth Government.

2. The future of the Bar

  • It was agreed that Street SC’s proposals for changes to the way in which barristers practise be considered at a future Bar Council meeting, having in mind the effect of the new National Model Law and National Barristers Rules in this regard.
  • That a note to the Bar concerning the circumstances in which monies can be received in advance in direct access matters be again published in In Brief.

Strategic Plan

  • A Strategic Plan, setting out the Associations aims and objectives, is to be developed.

Counsel without chambers

  • Agreed to consider further what the Association could do for those barristers who do not practice from established chambers, noting that a disproportionate number of complaints are received in relation to this group.
  • The Executive Director is to prepare a list of practitioners who do not practise from chambers.

SESSION 4 – SILK SELECTION

  • Bar Council agreed that its consideration of issues surrounding Senior Counsel selection be adjourned until the next policy meeting of the Bar Council in 2012.
  • David Smallbone’s Standing Notice of Interest be tabled at the next Bar Council meeting.

Outcomes of strategy day

  • A document noting the outcomes of the Strategy Day will be distributed to Bar Councillors.
  • A short note will be published in In Brief noting that the Strategy Day has been held and providing a general list of the issues discussed.

View the agreed�outcomes in pdf>

28 February 2012 �

This Week: Personal Injury Conference

Mon Feb 27 2012

The NSW Bar Association's annual Personal Injury conference will be held this in Sydney this coming Saturday, 3 March.

Please download the full program for further details. To register, please complete the registration form and forward to the NSW Bar Association.

If you have any questions about the conference, please contact Anna Hurtig (9229 1722 or ahurtig@nswbar.asn.au) or Katie Hall (9229 1720 or khall@nswbar.asn.au).

27 February 2012

Bar Association launches its Member Benefits Program

Mon Feb 27 2012

Members of the New South Wales Bar Association now have access to a first-rate benefits program.�Launched by the ABA, but designed to meet the requirements of local barristers, it�will be complemented in coming months with new products and services. The service partner, MBA Benefits, has negotiated special offers on luxury motor vehicles, car rental, travel, Qantas Club Membership,�health and life insurance policies, premium wines and petrol discounts. For more information about the program: visit the New South Wales Bar Association's web site and click on the Member Benefits icon (wait until you are redirected);�download�a brochure; or call Tony Kregor from MBA Benefits on mob: 0418174 974.

27 February 2012

Examination Power Seminars

Mon Feb 27 2012

Places are still available for the Examination Power workshops run by Open Door Productions. Registrations close this Friday, 2 March. For further details, please download a brochure. Registration forms are available from the NSW Bar Association website or through this link.

27 February 2012

Appointments to note

Mon Feb 27 2012

The�Hon David Henry Lloyd QC�has been appointed as an acting judge�of the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales for the period commencing on 5 March 2012 and expiring on 4 May 2012.

Associate Professor Paul Adam, Mr Ernest Craig Miller and Dr David Roland Rupert Parker have been reappointed as acting commissioners of the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales for the period commencing on 22 February 2012 and expiring on 21 February 2013.

Russell George Cowell and David Owen Johnson have been reappointed as acting commissioners of the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales for the period commencing on 28 February 2012 and expiring on 27 February 2013.

27 February 2012

Opportunities wanted for Indigenous law students

Mon Feb 27 2012

Do you need some clerical, administrative or research assistance to run your practice? If the answer is yes - why not employ an Indigenous law student for a day a week? The Indigenous Barristers Trust is also currently seeking mentors for its Mentoring Indigenous Law Students Program. The purpose of this mentoring program is to provide opportunities for barristers to share their wealth of professional and life experiences with New South Wales Indigenous law students.

Please contact Chris Ronalds SC at ronalds@fjc.net.au or on 9229 7378 if you have any employment openings or if you are interested in becoming a mentor please fill in the registration form and send it Joss Separovic at jseparovic@nswbar.asn.au or call 9229 1760 for more information.

PA Selth Executive Director

27 February 2012

Web watch: NSW Courts and Tribunal Services

Mon Feb 27 2012

NSW Courts and Tribunal Services have launched a new website, www.courts.lawlink.nsw.gov.au The new website will help court users resolve enquires more efficiently, without the need to attend a registry. It provides comprehensive, up-to-date and user-friendly information about courts and tribunals, the court process and alternative dispute resolution options. It also provides the public with information on how to obtain free legal advice and links to other support service websites.

For legal professionals and litigant organisations the website provides links to all courts and tribunal websites and quick links to frequently accessed information such as forms and fees, publications and CaseLaw.

The site incorporates the Online Court List launched in early 2011, enabling people to check court listing details online at a time that suits them, 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week, from anywhere in the world.

The website has also absorbed the former website of the Office of the Sheriff, contains more extensive information for about jury service and offers the new tool ‘Jury Attendance Lists’ which allows jurors to check the website from 5pm each day to confirm if they are required for jury service the following day. The online Jury Attendance Lists tool provides jurors with an alternative option to calling the 1300 pre-recorded phone message service.

This new website is just one of the upcoming online services we have created in order to offer court users alternative ways to interact with the courts. More websites will be launched over the coming months.

For more information about the website or to provide feedback email, channel_management_program@agd.nsw.gov.au

27 February 2012

AACL 2012 seminar program begins today

Fri Feb 24 2012

The Australian Association of Constitutional Law invites members to attend a�seminar on The High Cost of Judges: Reconsidering Judicial Pensions and Retirement in an Ageing Population, to be presented by Professor Brian Opeskin (Macquarie University) on Monday, 5 March 2012 at 5.30pm. The�seminar will be held in Court 18D�of�Federal Court, Queens Square. Commentators will be Sir Anthony Mason AC KBE QC and Professor Michael Lavarch AO (Dean, Faculty of Law, Queensland Institute of Technology). It will be chaired by�Professor Andrew Lynch (University of New South Wales).

Most Australian judges are remunerated through a package of benefits that includes salary during their years of judicial service, a judicial pension paid during their years of retirement, and a spousal pension paid to a judge’s surviving spouse until the spouse’s death. These non-contributory pensions are calculated as a proportion of the current judicial salary and their cost is rising rapidly. The unfunded liability at 30 June 2008 amounted to $586 million for federal judges alone, an increase of 23 per cent on the liability just three years earlier. Substantial increases in the life expectancy of Australians over the next 40-50 years will impose a very significant strain on the current system of judicial remuneration. This is because the judicial pension and the spousal pension will continue to rise substantially, while the period of judicial service remains constrained — at the lower end, by the need to acquire legal skills prior to judicial appointment; and at the upper end, by mandatory retirement of judges at 70 or 72 years.

This paper develops two metrics for measuring how the cost of judges changes under different assumptions about their age of appointment and retirement, and under different conditions about life expectancy of judges and their spouses. Three changes to the law will help to address the long term pressures of demographic change, namely: (a) increasing the maximum retirement age of judges; (b) increasing the minimum age at which judges qualify for the judicial pension; and (c) increasing the minimum years of service required to qualify for the judicial pension. Consistently with the core value of judicial independence, the second and third changes should be put in place for new judicial appointees only.

The paper appears in (2011) 39 Federal Law Review 33.

Membership of AACL is $50 per annum. Among other benefits, it confers the right to attend AACL events (4-5 seminars per year). Membership fees for new members will be credited for the financial year 2012/13. See the attached program for 2012.�

5�March�2012

Appointments in the Local Court

Thu Feb 23 2012

Peter Feather and Robert Stone will be sworn in as magistrates�at a ceremonial sitting of the Local Court on Monday, 26 March 2012 at 9.00am in Courtoom 5.2. Jane Needham SC will speak on behalf of the New South Wales Bar.

23 February 2012

Renovation of Liverpool Courthouse

Thu Feb 23 2012

NSW Attorney General Greg Smith SC today awarded the contract for the $6.5 million expansion of Liverpool Courthouse. Renovations�will include the construction of an additional courtroom and new meeting rooms. Learn more>

23 February 2012

Bar Book Club meeting

Thu Feb 23 2012

The next meeting of the Bar Book Club will be held on�Tuesday, 27 March at 6pm in the library. Wine and cheese will be served. The next book is Old Filth by Jane Gardam. For those who have read this book or who are very keen, there is a later book, The Man in the Wooden Hat which deals with the same events from Betty’s point of view.

23 February 2012

Australian Women Lawyers 4th National Conference (ADVERTISEMENT)

Wed Feb 22 2012

The Australian Women Lawyers 4th National Conference will be held on 10-12 August 2012 at University House, ANU. The Hon Diana Bryant, chief justice of the�Family Court of Australia is opening the event,�and the Hon Robert French AC, chief justice of�High Court of Australia�and the Hon Justice Virginia Bell, will also be presenting.

It is vital that all lawyers connect with like-minded people where they can be inspired, challenged and encouraged in their professional and personal lives. No matter what area of law you are involved with, you will take away valuable insights, meet new friends and get closer to achieving that elusive work/life balance.�

28 June�2012

Naming, shaming, but no renaming

Tue Feb 21 2012

The New South Wales Government has announced it will introduce legislation in parliament this week to prevent prisoners from applying to the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages for a new name. Inmates and forensic patients will be blocked from submitting any application to the BDM if a name change is reasonably likely to: threaten security; jeopardise a person’s health or safety; or be used for an unlawful purpose.

21 February 2012

CPD Intensives - Dates for your Diary

Tue Feb 21 2012

A number of CPD Seminars are being arranged for the month of March to assist Barristers in obtaining their required annual CPD points. Please note for your diaries the following seminars:

Wednesday, 14 March - Damages Considerations in Complex Litigation Monday, 19 March - ADR Ethics Wednesday, 21 March - Personal Property Securities Act Monday, 26 March - The Secret Life of Documents Wednesday, 28 March - Concurrent Expert Evidence Thursday, 29 March - Risk Management

Please keep an eye on the CPD web page for up to date information and full details.

If you have any questions about these seminars or your point requirements, please contact Anna Hurtig (ahurtig@nswbar.asn.au or 02 9229 1722).

21 February 2012

NSW Bar Association CPD Conferences

Tue Feb 21 2012

The New South Wales Bar Association are holding the annual regional conferences in February and March 2012, to assist members in meeting their CPD requirement. Conferences run from 8.00am to 6.20pm and full attendance will attract 10 CPD points. There is still space available at the upcoming conferences in:

Newcastle: Saturday, 25 February, Crowne Plaza North Coast: Saturday, 10 March, Ramada Hotel & Suites, Ballina Parramatta: Saturday, 17 March, Crowne Plaza Sydney: Saturday, 31 March, Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Registration is open and downloadable forms are available through the attached link. Click on the location above for the conference programs.

Please contact Anna Hurtig (02 9229 1722 or ahurtig@nswbar.asn.au) if you have any questions regarding the conferences or your CPD requirements.

21 February 2012

Bar Association opposes organised crime bills

Tue Feb 21 2012

The Bar Association has written to Attorney General Greg Smith SC,� strongly opposing the Crimes (Criminal Organisations Control) Bill 2012 and the Crimes Amendment (Consorting and Organised Crime) Bill 2012, which are currently before the Legislative Council.

The association reiterated its concerns with respect to the proposed legislation, noting that "The purported function of the Criminal Organisations Bill is already substantially served by the existing provisions of the Crimes Act 1900 relating to participation in criminal groups."

Coinciding with the introduction of the two bills, the Parliamentary Library Research Service has issued e-brief 6/2012 regarding the constitutional issues surrounding the Crimes (Criminal Organisations Control) Bill 2012.

21 February 2012

Federal Court issues new practice note

Mon Feb 20 2012

The chief justice of the Federal Court has issued Practice Note CM 21 – Title of proceedings for relief under section 39B of the Judiciary Act 1903 (Cth) or section 5 Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (Cth) against Commonwealth Tribunals.

20 February 2012

Judges wanted for UTS Senior Witness Examination Competition

Mon Feb 20 2012

The UTS Law Students’ Society will run the LSS Senior Witness Examination Competition in the coming weeks, and they are looking for legal practitioners who would be willing to volunteer as judges.

This year the Senior Witness Examination Competition will be running throughout the day on a Wednesday each week (with breaks between the final rounds) at the UTS Haymarket Campus. The competition will commence on 21 March 2011.�

The dates of the rounds are as follows:

Practice Round – 21 March 2012 Round 1 – 28 March 2012 Round 2 – 4 April 2012 Round 3 – 11 April 2012 Round 4 – 18 April 2012 Quarter-Finals – 9 May 2012 Semi-Finals – 23 May 2012 Finals – 6 June 2012

Members who are interested in judging any rounds please provide your name and contact details to the competition director, Sage Nemra, witex@utslss.com or on 0402 730 742.

20 February 2012