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Justinian Archive Articles from 2009
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Baby Barristers    December 24, 2009  
Perpetual fear

Paradox of the bar … Even when the work is streaming in there is an ever-present fear that the briefs will dry-up … Fretting while you flourish ... more

Evan Whitton    December 23, 2009  
Whitton at large

Munchkin, Abbott and the sitting ducks … Cory Bernadi’s unique take on the way the ETS will fundamentally change the law … How the King of Torts scammed the tobacco boys … The galloping presumptions of libel law ... more

Leverhulme    December 21, 2009  
London Calling

Chapter 7: Deuteronomy … Supreme Court grapples with Jewish school admission policy … Is this discrimination against a Jewish school or discrimination by a Jewish school? ... Bibi Giles has form in the sausage stakes ... more

Victoria Mole    December 21, 2009  
Going public

Ms Mole goes on secondment from The Firm to The Department, where the absence of time recording makes up for the poor quality stationery … Plus there’s a retro vibe ... more

Stephen Keim    December 16, 2009  
The vagaries of death row

US Supreme Court unanimously saves double murderer from the chair … The law has a soft spot for heroic, decorated, war vets … Deficient performance by defence counsel … Willie Nelson sings … Stephen Keim reports ... more

Featurettes    December 16, 2009  
Justinian Twitter

testing … more

Deja Vu    December 15, 2009  
Rewind

From Justinian’s storeroom of hard copy treasures comes a few tales of woe about former Dizzo judge John Lloyd Jones … Interruptions galore and testiness with counsel … The Court of Appeal dished out some medicine ... more

Wendler on Wine    December 15, 2009  
The man with the million dollar nose

No sane man can afford to dispense with debilitating pleasures … From farm boy to banking lawyer to taste Czar … For wine buffs G.D. Wendler recommends Elin McCoy’s bio of Robert Parker Jr, The Emperor of Wine ... more

City Desk    December 14, 2009  
Love letters from Godwin

The email traffic between Godwin Grech and Liberal Party apparatchik and former Freehills’ partner John O’Sullivan makes for disturbing reading … The world of conservative manipulation … No wonder Godwin is not feeling well ... more

Judges    December 10, 2009  
The Great Wall

Apprehended bias application after judge runs off at the mouth in public … Qld’s former chief barman sent to the stipes after trying to protect dignity of District Court judge Clive Wall ... more

Leverhulme    December 8, 2009  
London Calling

Leverhulme is mightily discombobulated by Christmas and “diversity awareness” ... Law school under investigation over “accounting error” ... A nation of shopkeepers ... more

JustyFlix    December 4, 2009  
Waiting for the new Premier of the Premier State

JustyFlix had a film unit outside the New South Wales parliament to capture the tension as seasoned observers and old lags waited to find out who would be the new Premier … Citizens did not seem troubled by the malevolent forces at play … Cameraman just out of rehab ... more

Deja Vu    December 4, 2009  
Rewind

Seventeen years ago there was a huge stoush in Sydney between the bar and the big law firms … The solicitors were pressing for efficiencies and cost savings … The bar would have none of it … From Justinian’s hard copy archive ... more

Tulkinghorn    December 3, 2009  
Kable barks at ex parte

IFTC v NSW Crime Commission ... High Court’s thinking on ex parte procedures … When ex parte proceedings are converted to proceedings on notice duty of full disclosure evaporates … Why should that be so? ... more

On the Couch    December 3, 2009  
David Williams

We wrestled the hyperactive David Williams SC onto Justinian’s couch … The man from 9 Wentworth who slayed ASIC on behalf of Jodee Rich reveals his greatest talent and his most disturbing personal obsession ... more

Theodora    December 1, 2009  
Goings On ...

Malcolm Turnbull – from ruthless self-server to martyred man of principle … Godwin Grech’s lickspittle emails and the “inappropriate” replies … Were the glory days of ICAC so glorious? ... It helps to have a record of tax avoidance to get special kid-glove treatment from the ATO ... more

Roger Fitch Esq    November 30, 2009  
Our Man in Washington

Two-tiered trial system for Guantánamo detainees smacks of a clunky political compromise … Obama lawyers subvert Supreme Court ruling on habeas ... more

Barry Lane    November 29, 2009  
Current tax notes

Great names in Australian taxation – Packer … Vesty … Archer … Stevens … Now they’ve been joined by the cleaning contractor AES Services and the Myer private equity investor TPG ... more

Theodora    November 28, 2009  
Goings On ...

UPDATE Premier Rann and the unsavoury history of political libels … Is a lie detector test more reliable than a defamation trial? ... College rape “happens all the time” ... more

Evan Whitton    November 25, 2009  
Whitton at large

We’ve already had an inquiry into Scientology … Who’s going to kill off this no fault disability idea? ... ASIC v Rich unlikely to improve citizens’ happiness with the system … One day the beaks will go too far … Whitton returns ... more

Bar Talk    November 23, 2009  
Courtly attire

It can be stressful deciding what to wear in court … Particularly in Victoria where parliament says one thing and the Bar ‘n’ Grill says another … A voyage of culinary adventure with Justice Hormones Harrison ... more

Theodora    November 20, 2009  
Goings On ...

Lawyer politics and election fever … Leadership ambitions will end in a few tears at forthcoming LCA elections ... more

Hellfire Club    November 19, 2009  
The Archers

Ins and outs of Stephen Archer’s lifestyle … The income … The spending … There was always a Merc in the garage and excellent wine on the table … All helped along with a special tax rate of eight percent ... more

Polly Peck    November 17, 2009  
Capital Offences

UPDATE ... Chief Magistrate of ACT resigns as investigation into his alleged misconduct about to gear-up … Suppression of the identity of a public figure facing a criminal charge ... more

Roger Fitch Esq    November 13, 2009  
Our Man in Washington

Gitmo closure looms … FBI releases documents on extraordinary rendition … Rendition lawsuits bogged down in US courts … All’s well that ends well for Ali Al-Marri ... more

Deja Vu    November 12, 2009  
Rewind

From Justinian’s vast treasure trove of stories from the hard copy era comes the famous exchange between celebrity solicitor Chris Murphy and magistrate Douglas Simpson … Don’t call me “insolent” ... Custody cases get priority over Murph’s costs … Complaint about solicitor’s conduct goes nowhere ... more

Theodora    November 11, 2009  
Goings On ...

DPP Cowdery adrift in South Africa … The joys of legal education … Sydney Law School yearning for a rich name … Clarrie Stevens’ latest CV … No room for reptiles at the court ... more

Tulkinghorn    November 7, 2009  
Value billing

Does better lawyering achieve better results? ... If it doesn’t, should clients pay more for it? ... The US CJ sticks his oar in … Value billing – even more upside than time billing? ... more

On the Couch    November 6, 2009  
Robert Green

Robert Green is a Sydney solicitor and a celebrated cabaret singer, whose fame and fortune have been steadily growing for over 20 years … Just before his last show of the year opens we persuaded him to slip onto Justinian’s couch and talk about his world, where law and singing collide ... more

Stephen Keim    November 5, 2009  
Climate litigation hots up

Global warming can be a real nuisance … US appeal courts open the way for injunctions and damages against big CO2 emitters … Global warming is not only a political issue … The common law gets into the act … Stephen Keim reports ... more

Leverhulme    November 4, 2009  
London Calling

Self-righteous BBC show gives the BNP plenty of free oxygen … Remembering the legendary lawyer David Shapiro … Judge ordered upstairs by wife ... more

Victoria Mole    November 3, 2009  
The Denominator

Vicki Mole thinks the Frenchman should spend a few days at the Firm … That would quell his fears of “quarantined” lawyering ... more

Judges    November 2, 2009  
More charges please

Federal Court CJ Michael Black tried to intervene in the criminal justice process … Crossing the line … How often do judges get their staff to ring the DPP and suggest that charges against an accused be cranked-up? ... more

Roger Fitch Esq    October 28, 2009  
Our Man in Washington

A few big cases get a hearing despite US Supremes’ shrinking docket … Latest notes from the Guantánamo turnstile … Government dismayed at decision to extend habeas to US prisoners held in Afghanistan jails … Obama’s “terror” policy looks strikingly similar to George Bush’s ... more

Theodora    October 27, 2009  
Goings On ...

Reptile of the press upsets court with spiky email to counsel assisting … When a nice jacket saves the day ... more

Judges    October 23, 2009  
Fresh federal judges

Today the Attorney General Robert McClelland will announce the names of five new Federal Court judges … Here are four of them … Late Extra! ... more

Judges    October 23, 2009  
Federal Court appointments

It pays to wait for the official announcement … Here they are … From a pond of 200 plus applicants five new Federal Court judges have been selected … Including a unique dual Federal-State judge ... more

City Desk    October 22, 2009  
Cutting the mustard OS

No longer girt by sea … Jonathan Gadir takes a look at some of the tallest Australian poppies plying their trade in global legal fields ... more

Court in the Act    October 21, 2009  
Adventures in litigation

Judges’ associate Ginger Snatch has been ringside at some recent exciting court cases … A splendid display of Tourette’s Syndrome … The arrival of badly needed competition for the Competition Tribunal … Doubts about lawyers’ ability to give impartial evidence in cases where they are acting for companies in which they have an interest ... more

Only in America    October 20, 2009  
Roman holiday

Pint-sized Polish root-rat Roman Polanski is banged-up in a secret Swiss location … Pillsbury Flom’s advice to the justice dodger is forget about the extradition appeal … Go straight to jail in California … Retribution for brazen libel foray ... more

Around The Firms    October 16, 2009  
Life at Clutz

The NSW ADT has decided there is nothing sexual, as such, in the words “trench” and “trench coat” ... But it doesn’t stop there … Clutz required to defend claims of disability discrimination, sexual harassment and victimisation … Trouble at SCUM ... more

Tulkinghorn    October 16, 2009  
Law, politics and a Charter of Rights

Law as an extension of politics … Objection to a Charter of Rights on the grounds that it would drag judges into the political arena … But judges are doing politics already ... more

Sir Terence O'Rort    October 14, 2009  
Client care

The incoming president of the Queensland Law Society shows the way on client care … If the punter grumbles, just open your own wallet and all will be well … Triumph of the will over early misadventure … Bravo … Sir Terence O’Rort reports ... more

Bar Talk    October 13, 2009  
J'accuse

Silk selection process to be “reviewed” in NSW … Barrister distributes open letter to members of the bar … Bar council asleep at the wheel … Current method of appointment deeply flawed and unacceptable ... more

Leverhulme    October 9, 2009  
London Calling

Leverhulme at Longchamp ... Baroness Pat and Lolo the maid … Hattie Harman leaves the crash scene … Sergeant Pepper’s psychedelic design comes to the new Supreme Court … Paying off the Serious Fraud Office ... more

On the Couch    October 8, 2009  
Sophie York

Barrister … law lecturer … campaigner … believer … author … wife … mother … wonder woman … On the Couch with Sophie York ... more

Court in the Act    October 7, 2009  
From the annals of litigation

Barrister points to some of the “appalling problems” facing litigation in Oz … Artificiality, complexity and obscurantism … Witnesses not properly tested … Right to justice lost to all, except the wealthy ... more

Judges    October 6, 2009  
Federal Court CJ

Here’s a list of contenders for an upcoming vacancy – Chief Justice of the Federal Court … Refined speculations … Weight for age … Jockey Club selections ... more

Percy Lo-Kit Chan    October 5, 2009  
Letter from Honkers

Government “tampers” with judicial salaries … While Ernst & Young tampers with collapsed company documents … Legco’s power to call witnesses upheld … Percy Lo-Kit Chan reports ... more

Deja Vu    October 5, 2009  
Rewind

Aleco Vrasakis, one time dazzling orb at Blake Dawson Waldron, caught in Rothwells crunch … Defence fund set up to pay his fines and costs … Heady days ... more

Hellfire Club    October 2, 2009  
Lander case - revisited

New president of the ACT Law Society rushes to justify failed attempt to discipline feisty letter-writing solicitor … Fresh fuel on the flames ... more

Roger Fitch Esq    October 2, 2009  
Our Man in Washington

Roger Fitch traces the last gasp of the Guantánamo military commissions … Government continues to ignore court orders … Habeas appeals abound … And civil torture suits gather pace ... more

Critics' Corner    September 30, 2009  
Lambs to the Slaughter

Stephen Estcourt reviews Debi Marshall’s latest book Lambs to the Slaughter, about the sadistic paedophile murderer Derek Percy … The details are almost too obscene to publish – but too important to ignore ... more

Court in the Act    September 30, 2009  
Gang bang

Kable watchdog barks again … The South Australian Full Court strikes down key part of the state’s anti-bikie law as unconstitutional … High Court appeal on the way … NSW gangs’ law ripe for a tickle-up ... more

Bar Talk    September 29, 2009  
Preliminary silks

The fur is flying because a list of NSW silks emerged last night … Apparently, it is not the final list … We’ll know for sure this afternoon ... more

Only in America    September 29, 2009  
State of Excitement

Pillsbury Flom visits Perth and is entranced by the Lloyd Rayney case … The State of WA is in an exquisitely delicate position … Meanwhile, an important new development in the case against Anna Nicole Smith’s “professional” advisors

... more
Bar Talk    September 29, 2009  
Silk list plumps up

Finessing the gold standard … Three names have been added to an earlier list of NSW senior counsel for 2009 … Fortunately, no scratchings ... more

Jaws    September 28, 2009  
Cumulus Inc

There’s nothing like having your “heart whipped into a frenzy” ... Lawyers cancel meetings so they can eat here three times a day ... more

Judges    September 25, 2009  
Dr Flak

Access to justice means more judges … Justice Flick lets fly about the failure to fill gleaming new rooms at the (Sydney) Federal Court with fresh judges … But hold – help is on the way ... more

Victoria Mole    September 25, 2009  
Melbourne's bar culture

Ms Mole’s seven point plan for barristers … or how to secure a lifetime of kisses and backsheets ... more

Tulkinghorn    September 23, 2009  
The Good Samaritan

Attorney General McClelland is barking up the wrong tree … Lawyers have not done themselves a disservice … Lack of clarity and gobbledegook suit them down to the ground … Ethical rules are about legitimising bad behaviour … Tulkinghorn lets fly ... more

Barry Lane    September 23, 2009  
My piece of Myer

Jennifer Hawkins gets behind the Myer share roadshow … Using sex appeal to flog stock … Barry Lane asks, why not sex to sell policies and politicians? ... more

Baby Barristers    September 22, 2009  
A question of faith

Junior Junior discovers that you’ve just got to believe in your clerk … After all, four percent of nothing much is not worth bothering about ... more

Hellfire Club    September 22, 2009  
Capital capers

ACT Law Soc tried to discipline a lawyer over robust letter to government department … Court of Appeal to the rescue … Lawyers now free to criticise bureaucracy … The flag of freedom is unfurled … Graham Hryce reports ... more

Deja Vu    September 21, 2009  
Rewind

From Justinian’s print archive … Snaggy President hits reef … Vast amounts of energy and emotion expended over the NSW bar’s Geoffrey Proud painting … Call for the creation of a cultural sub-committee ... more

Percy Lo-Kit Chan    September 17, 2009  
Letter from Honkers

Too many convictions … Not enough legal aid … Shenanigans across the strait ... more

Theodora    September 17, 2009  
Goings On ...

Do or Dye … Cocky Telegraph goes down in big-ticket defo case ... more

Barry Lane    September 15, 2009  
Keep it simple

Aiding and abetting … How clear do directions to a jury have to be? ... If everyone else can get the drift, why can’t the appeal court? ... more

Leverhulme    September 14, 2009  
London Calling

News of the World on the case … Leverhulme visits Northern Ireland … Lawyers feast on the nine year Saville Inquiry … A Belfast cabbie’s take on The Troubles ... more

Roger Fitch Esq    September 14, 2009  
Our Man in Washington

Roger Fitch surveys the forthcoming Supreme Court term, with new justice Sonia Sotomayor in harness … She’s probably not as liberal as the conservatives are conservative … Major national security appeals on the docket ... more

Theodora    September 13, 2009  
Goings On ...

UPDATE ... Exciting new selection process sees magistrate elevated to Supreme Court of Van Diemen’s Land to replace The Red Slice … Slow moving turtle trying to protect soft underbelly of Melbourne clerks ... more

Jaws    September 9, 2009  
On Digestion

In praise of food that is simple and truthful … And hold the TV chefs … Famed foodie Stephen Estcourt review’s Gay Bilson’s book On Digestion ... more

Percy Lo-Kit Chan    September 8, 2009  
Letter from Honkers

Shock retirement … Hong Kong CJ bails out five years early … Is the mainland meddling? ... Trouble attracting talent to the bench … Percy Lo-Kit Chan reports ... more

On the Couch    September 7, 2009  
Sandy Street

Barrister … Commander … Constitutional swordsman … Sculler … Swimmer … Elvis fan ... more

Stephen Keim    September 4, 2009  
Prison reform gathers momentum - slowly

The crisis of overcrowding in the Californian prison system has seen a federal court order a reduction in the number of inmates … Australian prisons are heading in the same chaotic direction … Stephen Keim reports ... more

Bar Talk    September 3, 2009  
Challenge to cosy clerks' club

Berlinda Lyus, the feisty barristers’ clerk from Sydney, is banging on the door of the Victorian bar … She has met resistance … So too has Norman O’Bryan’s Barristers’ Logistics … Suddenly there are inner clerks and outer clerks … Update – exciting new manoeuvre by the bar ... more

Court in the Act    September 2, 2009  
No molluscs in Melbourne

Appearance of conflict … It took Justice Paul Brereton nearly two months to recuse himself from hearing tobacco litigation in the NSW Supreme Court … It took Justice Elizabeth Hollingworth just a few moments to do the same thing in Victoria … What’s in the water? ... more

Only in America    September 1, 2009  
Only in America

Jay Bybee … Is he a hopeless judge or do his colleagues just hate him? ... Dominick Dunne RIP … If only court reporters here could have such daring … Pillsbury Flom reports from the land of the free press ... more

Tulkinghorn    September 1, 2009  
Right to silence

The right to silence in criminal cases is a huge money spinner for defence lawyers … Tulkinghorn gets to grips with the ethical issues … Apart from the accused there are other “stakeholders” in a fair trial ... more

Roger Fitch Esq    August 31, 2009  
Our Man in Washington

The report on CIA torture is the talk of the town … Despite heaps of redactions the dump of torture documents is a goldmine … A laundry list of US war crimes ... more

On the Couch    August 28, 2009  
Wayne Martin

One of Australia’s liveliest Chief Justices, Wayne Martin from WA, slips onto the couch and lets his fears, regrets and fantasies all hang out ... more

Theodora    August 27, 2009  
Goings On ...

There’s not much nobility to be found amid the ruins of the NSW government … Attorney General Hatzistergos comes up with some cheap shots in the on-going stoush with the DPP … Nicholas Cowdery shoots back ... more

Around The Firms    August 26, 2009  
Fire away!

Latest musing about what’s happening in law firm land ... more

Around The Firms    August 26, 2009  
Open a vein

Allowing thoughts to fester is bad for bodily and mental health … Here’s an opportunity to get healthy ... more

Court in the Act    August 26, 2009  
Map of Tasmania

Political skulduggery … Senior legal appointments derailed … Newspaper leaks … Shredded documents … Unsavoury odours … Rumour … Innuendo … Mayhem … Even though it’s cold, reporter Natalie Buck discovers that Tasmania is surprisingly steamy ... more

Victoria Mole    August 24, 2009  
Lawyers begat other lawyers

It makes sense for lawyers to hang-out with other lawyers … to mate … to breed … As long as you’re not in the same practice group … Vicki Mole explains the logic ... more

Deja Vu    August 21, 2009  
Rewind

Patrick White biography upsets the neighbours … Simos family livid … Lawyers to the rescue ... more

Barry Lane    August 21, 2009  
Send lawyers, guns and money

Unfortunately for Mercurial Malcolm and “Otto” Abetz they mucked-up their blame-Godwin strategy … The delights of unsworn testimony … More fodder for the privileges committee … Barry Lane has the drop ... more

Theodora    August 20, 2009  
Goings On ...

A strange figure in black disturbs the recital hall … A silk’s poetic tribute to trees … Big law shops have their hands out for money … Canberra to be infused with fresh magistrates … Advocates immunity and the far off finality principle … Unlawful courtroom constructions ... more

Baby Barristers    August 20, 2009  
The Club

Life at The Swine … Junior Junior turns his phone off as he explores the obscure rules that are the preserve of Melbourne club land ... more

On the Couch    August 20, 2009  
Rebecca Davies

Former Freehills partner and senior commercial litigator Rebecca Davies visits Justinian’s couch and unburdens herself about … fantasies … fears … regrets … obsessions … Australia … and the law ... more

Leverhulme    August 19, 2009  
London Calling

Britain’s Solicitors Regulation Authority struggles to get its ethnic and minority balance up to scratch … Leverhulme encounters the SRA census form, which probes the mental health and gender assignment issues facing solicitors ... more

Procrustes    August 14, 2009  
Plutocracy

Corporate donations to political parties … What is the problem, asks Procrustes? ... WA Inc showed the way … Others have followed … It’s democracy – sort of ... more

Court in the Act    August 13, 2009  
Lemon Grass interruptus

Terrible birching for ACT Supreme Court judges … Canberra lawyers jubilant at High Court’s wake-up call … Ten months to decide procedural issue … Drowsy procrastination … Natalie Buck reports ... more

Bar Talk    August 13, 2009  
Silk worms

Who are all these people who want silk? ... There’s 120 applicants for SC on the New South Wales bar’s 2009 list … Here they are ... more

Tulkinghorn    August 11, 2009  
Success fees

Queensland log-rollers to lose their success fees … Happily lawyers can keep theirs … Tulkinghorn goes to the heady days of the 1850s to trace the modern history of lawyer “success fees” ... more

City Desk    August 7, 2009  
Supreme Court preened for action

October 1 sees a significant constitutional event as the House of Lords closes down its appeal function and the new Supreme Court opens for biz … Alex Mitchell in London inspects the fit out ... more

City Desk    August 6, 2009  
The world of WikiLeaks

Journalism by-passed as WikiLeaks lifts the lid … Its leaks played a big part in outing Turks and Caicos corruption scandal … Court forced to lift injunction in British outpost … Stephen Keim has the story ... more

Around The Firms    August 5, 2009  
Perth law grad shambles

Law firm graduate recruitment in Perth descends into a mad grab as big firms dump Law Society protocol … Offers being made more than a month before agreed date … This email from Blake Dawson says it all ... more

Roger Fitch Esq    August 5, 2009  
Our Man in Washington

David Hicks strung-up for something the Administration now says is not a “war crime” ... Habeas challenges stonewalled by Bush holdovers at DoJ … Case against child detainee collapses … Mohammed Jawad sent back to Afghanistan ... more

Sir Terence O'Rort    August 4, 2009  
Redchip off the old block

“Experienced” Queensland litigation solicitor found to be in serious dereliction of his duty … Indemnity costs awarded against law firm in Mareva lapse … Sir Terence O’Rort has the details ... more

Barry Lane    August 4, 2009  
Boys and their toys

Litigation as public entertainment … Barry Lane takes Attorney General Hulls’ plans for more judicial mediations one step further ... more

Judges    July 31, 2009  
Spry's fresh spray

Lecture on trusts. Ian Spry QC continues to argue the High Court was “clearly wrong” in its decision last December over the distribution of family trust assets. In a new missive to the Chief Justice Spry picks at the majority reasoning and tosses in some feisty personal barbs ... more

Procrustes    July 31, 2009  
The Attorney General and the Sheik

A great beat-up about AG McClelland’s nice reference for Sheik Mansour Leghaei … ASIO says the Sheik is a danger … Procrustes thinks much the same thing about ASIO ... more

Leverhulme    July 29, 2009  
London Calling

Britain sinks into a mire of hopeless bureaucracy and political correctness, according to Leverhulme … Crown Prosecution Service strives for efficiencies by using more in-house barristers … Large proportion of prosecutors are found to be “lacklustre” ... more

Jaws    July 29, 2009  
Embrasse

Our food and restaurant explorer ventures to Drummond Street, Carlton, to soak up a menu suitable for the boozy and the hormonal … Jaws, your time starts now ... more

Only in America    July 29, 2009  
Trying to catch-up with Catcher

Swedish twerp tries to plunder J.D. Salinger’s legacy by ripping-off Catcher in the Rye ... Pillsbury Flom is far from impressed by the effrontery … 60 Years Later Coming Through the Rye is injuncted … Appeal pending ... more

City Desk    July 20, 2009  
Wig & Pen

Clarence Darrow and the vanishing art of advocacy … Doctors convinced David Kelly was murdered … Alex Mitchell files from what’s left of Fleet Street ... more

Tulkinghorn    July 20, 2009  
More bumf means more value

The economics of lawyering … Lawyers who create lots of bumf can increase the GDP by reducing certainty … Tulkinghorn explains how this notion works ... more

Sir Terence O'Rort    July 20, 2009  
The life and times of Monte Di Carlo

Brisbane barrister Sammy Di Carlo is in a spot of bother over his relationship with an ACC lawyer … Don’t you worry about that … Monte is one hell of a ducker and weaver … He has weaved his way around plenty of tight corners … Sir Terence O’Rort shows us how ... more

Deja Vu    July 16, 2009  
Rewind

From Justinian’s hard copy archive we’ve unearthed a plea from Adrian Powles at Parklea Prison … Allens’ former top dog asks the law ‘n’ order brutes of the airwaves for a bit of understanding about the real deprivations of doing time ... more

Procrustes    July 14, 2009  
The law is the law

Julie Bishop’s faux concern about Aboriginal welfare … She’s from WA, after all, where there is a finely crafted love of the Crown avoidance mechanism … Tony Templeman showed how to do it … Procrustes lets fly ... more

Victoria Mole    July 13, 2009  
On porridge, small children and other breakfast foods

You’d think that the next addition to the partnership would be someone who was a glorious blend of perfectionism and hands-off trust … Instead, we got A Pig ... more

Court in the Act    July 13, 2009  
The human cost of litigation

BlueScope Steel is defending a damages claim as though its life depended on it … After a 94-day trial the NSW Court of Appeal has ordered a fresh start … Now it’s off to the High Court … And the meter is ticking madly … Nicole Eastaway reports ... more

Theodora    July 10, 2009  
Goings On ...

Malcolm Turnbull’s brilliant myth-making credentials … More old letters from the Leader of the Opp … One Federal Court judge chips another about failure of duty … Frosty Hughes and the anti-conscription demos … Sydney’s Union Club loses top-tier reciprocity and lawyers want to bail … The heat in FNQ ... more

Critics' Corner    July 8, 2009  
The Wolf

Former big wheel in the Canberra legal scene Peter Hohnen and feature writer Richard Guilliatt have produced a cracker of a book about the exploits of a German raider during WW1 … But there’s more to this than a boy’s own adventure … Graham Hryce reviews The Wolf ... more

Baby Barristers    July 5, 2009  
What I learned from Malcolm

When life goes Turnbull-shaped all is not lost. A young barrister can pick-up valuable tips from the way Mr 18 Percent handles things ... more

Deja Vu    July 3, 2009  
Rewind

It’s 1995 and John Marsden, the colourful Campbelltown solicitor, has just started his marathon defamation action against Channel 7. In March that year Justinian published a background piece on the battles Marsden was fighting on various fronts. In 2001 he won his dafamation case with an award of damages of $525,000 by Justice David Levine (subsequently settled after an appeal) ... more

Tulkinghorn    July 1, 2009  
The barrister cartel

How Australia inherited barristerial rorts from the Old Dart … Latest ABS figures show Australian barristers have profit margins four times that of US drug companies … Up there with cocaine dealers ... more

Roger Fitch Esq    July 1, 2009  
Our Man in Washington

“Terrorist Incapacitation” – the new gloss for indefinite detention … If tax lawyers can be indicted for fraudulent advice, why not John Yoo for torture advice? ... Suppressed report on “interrogation policy” due to see the light of day ... more

Leverhulme    June 30, 2009  
London Calling

The feedback form is wreaking havoc with continuing professional development. Leverhulme explains how whinging law firm students rort the CPD process ... more

City Desk    June 30, 2009  
More vroom-vroom

Those culture vultures are at it again in New South Wales. Polluting, noisy and crass car rally given its head as Rees government suspends environmental and safety protections throughout northern shires. Bruce Donald reports ... more

Procrustes    June 30, 2009  
Keep them out

House of Lords has overthrown British sovereignty on national security … At least our High Court is made of sterner stuff … Beware a Bill of Rights … Procrustes prefers the well-manicured approach to society ... more

City Desk    June 25, 2009  
Godless Wrech

Turnbull – professional bully, leaker and steamroller – seems to have got himself into a frightful pickle … Naturally, we are overcome with grief … The Godless Wrech affair … Scramble to cover-up … The last shoe to fall ... more

Polly Peck    June 23, 2009  
Hefferlump and the judge

Senator Heffernan wants the Commonwealth DPP to get down and dirty about sentencing kiddie fiddlers … More madness from the Land of Senate Estimates ... more

Deja Vu    June 23, 2009  
Rewind

From the hard copy era … Law Society singalongs on the train trip to Adelaide … “Disappointing legal advice” from Abbott Tout ... more

Polly Peck    June 22, 2009  
"I put it to you ..."

How laughable are the Libs? ... The toxic world of Senate Estimates … The Feline’s Friend stumbles as Utegate fails to skittle Wax or Wayne … Then there was Soapie Brandis’ blustering cross-examination of the HRC’s Catherine Branson, which went precisely nowhere ... more

Polly Peck    June 22, 2009  
Libs' "balanced" approach on human rights

Liberals’ uncomfortable straddle on human rights … They are for HR, as long as the Human Rights Commission advocates against a Charter of Rights ... more

Jaws    June 19, 2009  
Gigibaba

A case of not quite enough gigabites at Gigibaba, the mod-Turkish eatery that has Melbourne’s fooderati hip-hopping. It was just a matter of time before Justinian got into restaurant reviewing. Our menu maven Jaws takes her cake hole for a test run ... more

City Desk    June 17, 2009  
Love letter to a cat

Love in the seventies … A young Malcolm Turnbull warns his ex-girlfriend’s cat about the treachery of new boyfriends … Cat asked to intercede in broken romance drama … A Justinian exclusive ... more

Baby Barristers    June 17, 2009  
Three good reasons

Our Junior Junior is freshly turned out as a barrister with tons of work-free time to ponder the brilliance of this career move … Surely the lack of fee-producing activity is due to an electrical fault in chambers ... more

Victoria Mole    June 16, 2009  
The performing Mole

A film set … The scene is a meeting room at The Firm … There are three actors in the room … Victoria Mole’s performance is being reviewed ... more

Critics' Corner    June 15, 2009  
The privilege is all ours ...

What got the privileged Julian Burnside hooked on the underprivileged? He explains in his essay On Privilege, reviewed here by The Worm ... more

Sir Terence O'Rort    June 15, 2009  
Tat-tar Tampoe

Another spivvy lawyer struck from the jam roll in Qld … Robin Tampoe fell out with the Corbys and potty-mouthed his way to extinction ... more

Department of Gripes    June 12, 2009  
Unburdening

More unfortunate tales of life in the big city … We feel your pain … Nothing to do at TressCox ... more

Only in America    June 12, 2009  
Woody's big fat right to privacy

American Apparel ripped off the image of Woody Allen … Strange marketing idea … The CEO of the company thinks that he and Woody are victims of unfortunate sexual innuendos … If only his lawyers had read Nixon v Slater & Gordon ... Pillsbury Flom reports Stateside ... more

Critics' Corner    June 11, 2009  
On Doubt

It’s Just One of Those Things … As Abelard said to Heloise, ‘don’t forget to drop a line to me please’ ... Uncertainty has it’s virtues … Or does it? ... Stephen Estcourt QC* reviews Leigh Sales’ essay On Doubt ... more

Leverhulme    June 11, 2009  
London Calling

Nothing like a warm drink on a hot day … In praise of Tom Bingham – A Book of Friends ... Immigration judge gets away with some hot chilli stuff … The Prime Minister wants Balls ... more

Tulkinghorn    June 11, 2009  
Jury reform hobbled by truth problem

Secrecy and lack of reasons mean juries can be as irrational as they like … A process based on unwise assumptions … South Australian DPP says it’s time for change … Should judges sit with juries or in them? ... more

Bar Talk    June 9, 2009  
The protocols of barristering

VicBar has been working out how to massage the message … In NSW barristers chew the fat on the imperfect silk selection system ... more

Deja Vu    June 9, 2009  
Rewind

We’ve just had the 20th anniversary celebrations of the ABC’s Media Watch. What a rollicking program it was with Littlemore and Salter in the saddle, as this piece from Justinian’s hard copy days shows … The Bar Rat blunder … That Qantas flight ... more

Roger Fitch Esq    June 9, 2009  
Our Man in Washington

President Obama says he wants to close Guantánamo Bay … This Konzentrationslager was flawed from the start … There was no law to support the “enemy combatant” regime … Roger Fitch tracks the fate of some of the better known detainees ... more

Theodora    June 4, 2009  
Goings On ...

Law Society’s birthday boy … Renovations in the Street of Broken Dreams … Solicitor General’s dark ale … Fast and furious judgment from on High … Silk selection in Tassie ... more

JustyFlix    June 3, 2009  
No bad whores, just bad laws

International Whores Day … Discrimination against sex workers … Protest outside Parliament House, Macquarie Street … Banks, local councils and newspapers making life difficult for hookers … Speaking of whores, The Daily Telegraph charges a fortune for two inches … JustyFlix caught the action ... more

City Desk    June 3, 2009  
Fiji - more nasties

Threats and menaces … A crippled Fiji Law Society attempts to fight off strangulation by the Suva junta and its cronies … New practising certificate options put to members ... more

Sir Terence O'Rort    June 2, 2009  
High on Hamilton Hill

Justice Berna Collier loses another round in the struggle to protect her heritage home from neighbouring redevelopment … Insensitive P & E findings … Costs fiasco … Sir Terence O’Rort reports on the latest twist in the saga of the pool side views ... more

Barry Lane    May 29, 2009  
Corporate equine manslaughter

Racing Victoria says its primary responsibility is to its “stakeholders” ... and a dead horse is not a stakeholder … Deputy Premier Rob F* Hulls may have an ace up his sleeve … A uniform OH&S regime … Barry Lane investigates ... more

Victoria Mole    May 28, 2009  
Dressing to solicit

The law is not a sartorial hotspot … The message is – you will never be any good as a lawyer unless your clothes blend into a sea of monotones ... more

Leverhulme    May 27, 2009  
London Calling

MPs’ expenses plunder brings some sparkle to politics … The role of jazz in finding the right judicial note … Huge row breaks out as judge pours scorn on solicitor advocates ... more

Court in the Act    May 27, 2009  
Smoke rings

Shades of Rolah McCabe … Batties beware … Philip Morris goes down in huge US$79 million punitive damages case in US … Valerie Perumalla chased down Peter Semmler QC, hoping he’d blow a bit of smoke her way ... more

City Desk    May 25, 2009  
Fiji's bogus judiciary

Tony Gates is back as Chief Justice of Fiji … London silk advises Fiji lawyers not to accept judicial appointments from unconstitutional regime … Sacked Australian judge defends the patch ... more

Deja Vu    May 25, 2009  
Rewind

From Justinian’s grab bag of hard copy delights we pull out a fabulous 1994 survey of councillors of the NSW Law Society, who had recently passed a motion calling for the decriminalisation of the personal use of marijuana. “Have you ever smoked pot?” we boldly asked members of the council. We got some heady answers ... more

City Desk    May 23, 2009  
Fiji Law Society closed down

Military stooge to issue lawyer practising certificates in Fiji. Complaint files seized from the Fiji Law Society as junta takes over all lawyer regulatory functions ... more

Department of Gripes    May 21, 2009  
The vanishing

Fresh opportunities for gripes … This time it’s Gadens and a member of staff who disappeared … Has anyone else gone missing? ... more

Tulkinghorn    May 20, 2009  
Criminal law and the Baroque

One criminal trial efficiency report bombed out, so let’s have another. Maybe NSW should subcontract Queensland to run its criminal cases ... more

City Desk    May 18, 2009  
Selby is as mad as hell

Hugh Selby wants an apology. The ANU academic whose submission to Chief Justice Spigelman sparked the judicial inquiry into the murder conviction of Phuong Ngo, says he’s been smeared in the Patten report and by the media … and he’s not going to take it anymore ... more

Court in the Act    May 15, 2009  
A most regrettable trial

NSWAppeals’ stinging rebuke of judge’s “fundamentally flawed and inadequate” findings following a 94-day personal injury trial. Nicole Eastaway reports ... more

Hellfire Club    May 13, 2009  
Avery scales

Van Diemen’s appeal bench travels to strange places while trying to calculate how long to slot Hobart solly John Avery for snipping his clients ... more

Barry Lane    May 12, 2009  
A touch of hermeneutic exposition from VicAppeals

Defamation cases have never been simpler. With the assistance of “hermeneutic exposition” the defence of comment can be batted up and down the supply chain almost indefinitely. Heaven help a jury that misconstrues the subtlety of the hendiadys ... more

City Desk    May 11, 2009  
Ex-judge sups with a long spoon at reptiles knees-up

Former NSW defamation list judge David Levine made a glamorous appearance at the recent Free Press dinner in Sydney. We get his impressions about J.Lo Oakes … the state of media freedoms … judges, reptiles & pollies … and the strange sample bag of skin care products ... more

Deja Vu    May 6, 2009  
Rewind

More from Justinian’s hard copy archives … How the Curse of Justinian struck Sir Arthur George … 1994 Sydney bar ‘n’ grill election results … Rozenes’ special thoughts on rape ... more

Leverhulme    May 6, 2009  
London Calling

Getting the whole class to pay attention … Illiterate LLB makes his mark … Family Court swings open its doors to the meeja … Lord Justice Wall quotes Philip Larkin to warring South Africans ... more

Victoria Mole    May 6, 2009  
The L word

There are limited social occasions when it is safe to mention that you are a lawyer. Vicki advises to use the L word sparingly, otherwise you’ll look like a “twat” [surely “twit”? Ed.] ... more

Only in America    May 5, 2009  
Flom goes to Perth

The no holds barred language of the SCOTUS judges might just catch-on with the High Court of Oz … Meanwhile, in Perth the Lloyd Rayney affair catches the attention of Pillsbury Flom ... more

Elizabeth Street    May 4, 2009  
In-house

From golden egg to pain in the bottom. Lizzy has it on good authority that changing from private practice to an in-house career isn’t what it’s cracked-up to be ... more

City Desk    May 1, 2009  
Fire ... Fire

Expensive blame game Royal Commission into Victorian bushfires will keep truck loads of lawyers fully employed for the next year or so ... more

Tulkinghorn    April 30, 2009  
Mooning access to justice

The Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee is to make recommendations on seven terms of reference … The Devil gave Bedazzled’s Stanley Moon seven wishes … When it comes to “access to justice” will the committee be able to do any better than Stanley? ... more

Court in the Act    April 29, 2009  
A chorus of non-recollection

To save you ploughing through 315 pages of mostly bone dry gumph we’ve distilled the rewarding morsels of Justice Ian Gzell’s judgment in the James Hardie case … It’s complete with lots of “feigning” and a company PR man who knows nothing – did nothing … Jonathan Gadir reports ... more

Procrustes    April 28, 2009  
Not cricket

The rule of law hasn’t changed that much in Fiji. The White Chaps used to govern the place through Orders in Council from London. Now the ukases are being handed out by the Fuzzies. Procrustes asks, what’s the big diff? ... more

Bar Talk    April 28, 2009  
Riordan v The Known World

Evidence of Vic silk quota … John Riordan says it’s Supreme Court “engineering” ... Latest round in Riordan’s war … There’ll be no surrender ... more

Theodora    April 28, 2009  
Goings On ...

Secret incomes to guide VicBar subscriptions …The fate of The Mensch’s gong … When Turnbull poisoned the fountain of justice … Fiji and Sackville … Adams J gets UN gig … Meeting Rex Jackson ... more

Department of Gripes    April 24, 2009  
Unburdening

Get it off your chest … Insights, suggestions and provocations … There’s so much wrong with just about everything – now is your chance to put it right … Just another helpful community service from Justinian. (All comments will be anonymous, unless you choose to add your name) ... more

Roger Fitch Esq    April 23, 2009  
Our Man in Washington

Memos from Bush lawyers giving advice on torture read like an SS training manual, particularly the finer points of waterboarding. Their release was compelled by a federal court order … Department of Justice continues to obstruct … Good Guantánamo prisoners can now watch Al Jazeera ... more

Deja Vu    April 17, 2009  
Rewind

Slices of life from Justinian’s hard copy days. Fifteen years ago Ian Temby defended his role as a spinner for ICAC … And how did hourly rates of pay stack-up 21 years ago? ... more

Only in America    April 16, 2009  
Bestiality and the law

Animals vulnerable to abuse throughout the union – Alaska acts … A woman’s right to urinate in public … Penis pump judge fighting for his pension … Pillsbury Flom reports ... more

City Desk    April 15, 2009  
Fiji - deep in the shadows

Already Fiji military types are being appointed to judicial positions … The DPP refuses to renew his oath of office … Courts to close for 30 days … Will Australians resist fresh judicial appointments? ... Was Bret Walker’s phone tapped in Suva? ... Boy, what a firestorm those Australian judges ignited ... more

Leverhulme    April 14, 2009  
London Calling

Allen & Overy opens its vaults and discovers unpublished letters from Nuremberg prosecutor David Maxwell-Fyfe … Leverhulme is fired-up about the art of cross-examining … British barristers are second to none when it comes to knocking Nazi war crims off the perch ... more

Roger Fitch Esq    April 13, 2009  
Our Man in Washington

Old wine in new bottles as DoJ rejigs the definition of “enemy combatant” ... Red Cross interviews with “high value detainees” leaked … Bush lawyers in sights of Spanish prosecutors … Obama under pressure to bury legal memos on torture … Contempt proceedings begun against prosecutors in Sen. Stevens corruption case ... more

Barry Lane    April 9, 2009  
Casuistical paltering

Lawyers deceiving the courts. Issac Brott tried to wriggle off the hook with a bit of casuistical reasoning. VicAppeals was wise to his ploy ... more

Elizabeth Street    April 9, 2009  
Stick your stimulation

Lizzy’s in a dither. She sort of wants the tax bonus, but it didn’t arrive. Now she’s opposed to it as a matter of principle. In fact, she’s sorry Bryan Pape lost his case ... more

Deja Vu    April 9, 2009  
Ooh Carol

Remember the Carol Foreman saga? Justinian was there in 1994 when Justice Michael Kirby, then Prez of NSWAppeals, said that Clayton Utz’s fees in a family law case were “prima facie appalling” ... From our Dévù Vu collection ... more

City Desk    April 8, 2009  
Don't bully the fat prospectus

Henry Davis York partner James Lonie reaches for the crux of the problem. ASIC’s determination to help us make informed market decisions is fundamentally flawed. The slimmed down, easy-to-read prospectus won’t help either. Informed decision makers still lose money ... more

Victoria Mole    April 7, 2009  
Take her away, doctor

Vicki is on the cusp of being “admitted”. At that moment things will crystallise. All doubt will become certainty and all ignorance will turn into knowledge. Remember when that happened to you? ... more

Tulkinghorn    April 6, 2009  
The intent to commit a mistake

“I had no idea my fees speedo was so badly calibrated” ... The plebs commit crimes while their betters only make mistakes … The criminality of gross overcharging ... more

Deja Vu    April 3, 2009  
Rewind

Tubby Callinan’s ill-fated 1994 defamation action against The Sydney Morning Herald. He claimed the paper had called him a “parasite”. From Justinian’s bulging archive … 15 years ago ... more

Court in the Act    April 3, 2009  
You are safe Mr Pape

The Cour de Cassation downs Bryan Pape’s attempt to filch the stimulus from working Australians. None of that Keynsian stuff here, thank you ... more

Polly Peck    April 1, 2009  
Capital Offences

Reference appeal against ACT CJ’s definition of kiddie porn … Vienna Convention lets diplomatic lad off arson wrap … Parole people get a whack for slow release scheme ... more

Barry Lane    March 31, 2009  
Sydney lawyers and TINS

Barry Lane tracks in exquisite detail the Kala Subramaniam case, which should have sounded a warning bell for The Mensch. Alas ... more

Leverhulme    March 27, 2009  
London Calling

Leverhulme in despair about correctness … Headmistress collects damages after being accused of Islamophobia … Man demands apology after being locked in council library … Barrister’s confidence shattered by rude judge ... more

Deja Vu    March 27, 2009  
Rewind

Slices from Justinians past: 20 and 15 years ago … There’s an eerie familiarity to old news … Our hard copy days burst back to life ... more

City Desk    March 25, 2009  
News Ltd, the V8 Act and the exclusion of rights

Vroom, vroom … It’s all very well John Hartigan banging on about the right to know and the public interest … When it comes to the V8 motor racing at Sydney’s Olympic Park News Ltd lobbied to have the public interest run over by a speeding car … Petrol heads are king … Bruce Donald puts us in the picture ... more

Critics' Corner    March 24, 2009  
Stephen Estcourt reviews Chloe Hooper

Death in custody … Tall Man, which tracks the Palm island death of Mulrunji Doomadgee, and A Child’s Book of True Crime come under bookworm Stephen Estcourt’s critical inspection … A crime genre that goes beyond the crime ... more

Victoria Mole    March 23, 2009  
Fire fighting

Vicki Mole thinks partnerships in Melbourne went quiet on retrenchments during the worst of the bushfire season. Anyway, she’s got an idea on how better to spend the money that is going to lawyers in post-fire finger-pointing ... more

Only in America    March 22, 2009  
Judges seeking solace

Running amok on the bench. The frightening case of Elizabeth Halverson … More of Dickie Scruggs’ wreckage … Not a DeLaughing matter … Pillsbury Flom reports ... more

JustyFlix    March 20, 2009  
Scenes from a sentencing

The Einfeld sentencing was accompanied by the media circus. Reptiles at large ... more

Judges    March 20, 2009  
Minimum two years porridge for The Mensch

A long morning as the sentencing judge combed through every detail of The Mensch’s crimes. “Justice” Einfeld brought his toothbrush and went down for three on the top, two on the bottom ... more

Theodora    March 19, 2009  
Goings on ...

More than you’ll ever need to know about law firms … Clerking online – LeGal mobbed … Einfeld still advertising his wares … Meddling magistrate derails Drowning Centre case … Wine man bruised on circuit … Politics and the federal courts rejig ... more

Tulkinghorn    March 16, 2009  
Very thoughtful sentencing

Penalties for judges. On the eve of the Mensch’s sentencing Tulkinghorn finds one judge who wasn’t charged with perjury. At what point does equality before the law start? ... more

Roger Fitch Esq    March 13, 2009  
Our Man in Washington

Obama puts a stop to a parallel legal system for “enemies” selected at random by the commander-in-chief. Or has he? ... Nasty DoJ memos bubble to the surface … CIA destroys torture tapes … AG says “policy differences can’t be criminalised” ... But Dahlia Lithwick is not so sure ... more

Court in the Act    March 12, 2009  
The future of fair trials: you're standing in it

Procrustes chops the legs off the NSW solicitor general, who thinks we’ve got enough rights and they are all adequately protected … But the right to a fair trial was recently waterboarded by the High Court … What now? ... more

Court in the Act    March 12, 2009  
Groping for a better human rights formula

Current proposals for a Human Rights Act are constitutionally unworkable, says former High Court judge Michael McHugh. Stop the campaign now and opt for a model with enforceable rights and remedies. He regrets his criticisms will provide ammo for the anti-rights brigade ... more

Leverhulme    March 9, 2009  
London Calling

Banks slip into state ownership as senior execs plunder the till … Tawdry sex discrimination hearing with dazzling cross-examination has the City agog … Law firms offer trainees money to stay away … Legal practice courses bump-up the fees ... more

Wendler on Wine    March 8, 2009  
James Halliday

“Better I drink it than some other bastard” ... Gabriel Wendler has a chin wag with James Halliday one of the great figures of Australia wine … All the major issues – from stelvin capsules … the points game … great taste experiences … wine fraud … and what will happen when Halliday “falls off the branch” ... more

Elizabeth Street    March 6, 2009  
Reverse delegation

The GFC is doing horrible things to lawyers’ workplace emotions … Work used to flow from top to bottom … Now the flow pattern is distorted … It’s all turned toxic as careers crumble ... more

On the Couch    March 6, 2009  
Guy Barnett

Senator Guy Barnett (Lib. Tas.) will be driving an investigation by the upper house legal affairs committee into the federal justice system … Procedures for the appointment of judges … Whether they should retire at 70 … Legal aid … Costs … The whole box and dice ... more

Barry Lane    March 6, 2009  
This is serious

Eight years on the law has decided that a worker’s injuries are “serious” enough for him to claim common law damages. Brett Dwyer is now a hero of the compo wars. Barry Lane reviews the painful process ... more

Barry Lane    March 4, 2009  
County Court judges hammered by The Hun

The Herald Sun loaded some figures about successful conviction and sentencing appeals into the Kenwood mix-master and gave them a good shake. Enter Barry Lane – defender of “mistake prone” County Court judges ... more

Critics' Corner    March 4, 2009  
Torture Team

Stephen Keim reviews London barrister Philippe Sands’ book Torture Team: Deception, Cruelty and the Compromise of Law ... How lawyers can easily swap sides and work to subvert the rule of law ... more

Court in the Act    March 2, 2009  
High Court's limp look at secret evidence

The High changes tone and says secret “criminal intelligence”, out of reach of the affected party, does not render a hearing unfair … as long as judges keep their composure … Procrustes disagrees ... more

Judges    February 27, 2009  
Enough, already

Update ... Einfeld to be sentenced in three weeks … Conditional bail granted … Crown’s written submissions … Offence in the “worst case” category ... more

Polly Peck    February 27, 2009  
Capital Offences

Senate Estimate revelations … High Court in the red … Soapy Brandis finding fresh scares … Mick Kelpie for the defence … Latest phone tap harvest ... more

Tulkinghorn    February 25, 2009  
Judges - making it up as they go along

How genuine is the process of judicial reasoning? National Judicial College in Canberra grapples with whether judging is more art than science. Maybe any person who can reason is capable of judging ... more

Roger Fitch Esq    February 24, 2009  
Our Man in Washington

Prez Obama adopts Bush legal strategies … Boeing subsidiary sued for flying rendition planes … Bagram prison likely to replace Guantánamo as dumping ground for the indefinitely detained … Uighurs trapped in partisan appeals court ... more

Theodora    February 24, 2009  
Goings on ...

Geoffrey Robertson’s fruity missive on Kirby … Famed clerk and Sydney chambers split … Lots of laughs at NSW Legal Conference … Clutz in bed with Rupert … Weirdo Senate inquiry into “justice system” ... Upcoming TV doco on The Mensch ... more

Leverhulme    February 20, 2009  
London Calling

The green and pleasant land is littered with tiny tot parents flogging their ghastly tales to the red tops … Christian nurse in trouble for lack of commitment to “diversity” ... House of Lords exports Al Qaeda’s European ambassador – but not before the Strasbourg judges hand him some compo … Leverhulme despairs ... more

Evan Whitton    February 17, 2009  
Anything goes

Vultures everywhere … Dishonest trial lawyer one day; judge the next – fetch the holy water … What’s so wrong with bribing judges? ... Cartel news … There was a young girl from Racine ... more

Elizabeth Street    February 17, 2009  
It's still hell

The settlement cheque was meant to be arranged before Lizzy went on a fortnight’s break … where is it? ... and where’s the interest? ... more

Critics' Corner    February 16, 2009  
Supreme Courtship

Stephen Estcourt QC reviews Christopher Buckley’s latest satire Supreme Courtship ... A romp through US presidential politics … the Supreme Court nominating process … Senatorial obstruction and ambition … “reality” TV judicial sexual activity … and other appalling thoughts ... more

Around The Firms    February 16, 2009  
Phillips Fox still in the frame as New Cap case grinds on and on

The investors in a disastrous reinsurance notes issue continue to blame Phillips Fox for their heavy losses. Duncan Saville’s companies go to the High Court for a final fling. Unhappily, Phillips Fox’s indemnity cover was with HIH ... more

Judges    February 13, 2009  
The Spry epistles

“I was associate to Sir Owen Dixon” ... Florid letters bearing the moniker of Ian Spry QC have been circulating on the internet … High Court judges are in his sights as he reargues the family trusts case he lost in December ... more

Court in the Act    February 12, 2009  
Jury finds Liati guilty

Jonathan Gadir was there to hear the forewoman jump the gun … “Guilty” ... What next for Angela Liati, doomed alibi for The Mensch? ... more

Court in the Act    February 11, 2009  
Liati for the defence

Clunky gear changes mark Angela Liati’s defence of the Marcus Einfeld false alibi charge … Complex romantic entanglements to blame … Jonathan Gadir was there ... more

JustyFlix    February 10, 2009  
Mrs Judge's Coronation

Justinian TV was there to capture scene from the official tea party to mark Justice Virginia Bell’s High Court elevation ... more

Hellfire Club    February 10, 2009  
Conman's barrister takes a fall

Friendship with international con artist Peter Foster has cost Gold Coast brief Sean Cousins his wig ‘n’ gown … His professional misconduct was unconnected to any barristerial functions … Alex Mitchell explores ... more

Leverhulme    February 9, 2009  
London Calling

Another word on John Mortimer … Snow everywhere, including law firm loos … Root cause of the disaster is identified … Don’t blame the masses … Mixed law firm news … Epitaph from Thomas Hardy ... more

Roger Fitch Esq    February 6, 2009  
Our Man in Washington

A flood of executive orders from Obama’s White House … Eric Holder puts the cleaners through the Department of Justice … Prominent law bloggers among the DoJ’s top ranks … Baddies at Guantánamo include a cook ... New Facebook page for Bush dead-enders ... more

Judges    February 5, 2009  
Justice Crennan is unwell

Health Report … The High Court is one down as Susan Crennan bundys off with an undisclosed illness ... more

Victoria Mole    February 5, 2009  
There was an articled clerk named Peter Pan

Articles draw to a close and Vicki lurches to being a year one solicitor … Which practice group will have her? ... Is the selection process more akin to the Spice Girls or Big Brother? ... more

Tulkinghorn    February 4, 2009  
Supersize the fees, please

The difference between “reasonable” costs and “not unreasonable” costs. Questions that should be asked about legal fees for banks’ lawyers ... more

Court in the Act    February 3, 2009  
La Liati on trial

Wheels of justice creak back into gear in the trial of erstwhile Mensch “alibi” Angela Liati … Pace of proceedings more in the mode of a stalled, rather than a speeding, Lexus … Michaela Whitbourn has been courtside ... more

Theodora    February 2, 2009  
Goings on ...

Law Council executive rejig … Estcourt’s defo triumph … Gorgeous judicial flourish from English appeal judge … Simmo’s war on paper … AG heads for the bar ... more

Judges    February 2, 2009  
A life in Commonwealth cars is not a good look

Wish me good luck as you wave me goodbye. Kirbs says hoo-roo to the High Court. After more than 30 years in the judging caper this remarkable man says farewell ... more

Evan Whitton    January 30, 2009  
Whitton at large

Evan Whitton reports that the former managing partner of Sullivan & Cromwell, J. Foster Dulles, is responsible for derailing world peace and security. This is what can happen when a lawyer is put in charge of foreign policy ... more

City Desk    January 28, 2009  
Justinian abroad

Justinian voyages to his overseas bureaux and discovers the Brits are in an absolute state about libel tourism … Big law shops are asking partners to stump up more loot while the troops are being decimated … Over the channel, Sarko and Dati change the face of French “justice” ... And pump hundreds of millions of Euros into the press ... more

Critics' Corner    January 23, 2009  
Hitler TV

The US military has had such damnable difficulty conducting “war crime” trials. They could have learned from the world’s first experience of charging and prosecuting war criminals – the Nuremberg trials 63-years ago. Our TV critic I. Box reviews a brilliant BBC series on the trials of the Hitler Gang, now playing on SBS ... more

Roger Fitch Esq    January 21, 2009  
Our Man in Washington

Departing Bush Gang leaves a trail of wreckage … Obama’s legal team pronounced “excellent” ... War crimes cases against torturers still a possibility … Once secret “legal” advice being flushed into the open … Roger Fitch, exhausted after a night of Inaugural Balls, reports ... more

On the Couch    January 21, 2009  
Joe Catanzariti

Hail to the Chief – the Law Society’s new prez Joe Catanzariti. The battler son of migrants, Joe is a dedicated exponent of the virtues of work … Yet inside this driven lawyer something else once struggled for expression ... more

Court in the Act    January 20, 2009  
The right to whistle for Rupert

Allan Kessing maintains he didn’t tell, but a pre-ascension Justice V. Bell found a strong circumstantial case supported an “overwhelming inference” the former Customs official leaked juicy secrets to the reptiles … Rudd’s promised protections still whistling in the wind … Michaela Whitbourn gets us up-to-speed ... more

Hellfire Club    January 19, 2009  
Nikolaidis - king of the stays

Bogus costs agreement buys Leon Nikolaidis a ticket to the big house … yet his trading ticket remains fully functional. He intended to cheat a client in one costs dispute, whereas in another it was the fault of an employee. Amazements galore ... more

Tulkinghorn    January 17, 2009  
Bono for lawyers

Tulkinghorn drums up a host of authorities to support his scepticism about the virtues of pro bono lawyering. Access to justice is not promoted by pro bono work ... more