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Justinian Archive Articles from 2008
Read Articles from Year > 2010 > 2009 > 2008 > 2007 > 2006 > 2005 > 2004 > 2003
Victoria Mole    December 24, 2008  
The crunch that ate Christmas

Vicki Mole explains how the Firm gets to grips with the crunch. The soy milk has gone from the tea room, and the yoga classes are cancelled. Now the partners seek to clutch any work that comes their way. Exciting strategies to avoid meagre billing ... more

Barry Lane    December 23, 2008  
Further adventures of legendary Melbourne litigators

Issac Brott scores an own goal and is benched for a further five years … while solicitor Mark Morgan gets a huge Christmas present from VicAppeals as it knocks over his conviction for contempt, and in the process tips a bucket of cold water over the state’s claim to be a “model litigant”

... more
Elizabeth Street    December 22, 2008  
Christmas with bite

Lizzy has to endure Christmas with her grasping rellies. In fact, the festive season is made ever more insufferable by festering law firm gloom ... more

Judges    December 19, 2008  
Bingham on Spigs

Justinian sent a camera crew up to the NSW Banco Court to capture Baron Bingham of Cornhill launching a bound volume of J.J. Spigelman’s speeches. The event marked Spigs’ 10 years as CJ of NSW. The Chief Justice does good speech, and so does Tom Bingham. As you’ll see the camera person seems to have lost his brave struggle with an awful addiction. Sadly, we’ve had to let him go ... more

Evan Whitton    December 18, 2008  
Whitton's World

‘Tis the he season for pardons … Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald overly staggered by Blagojevich … Dominick Dunne curiously incurious … All The Daily Ruperts better get on message about Rupert Max Stuart … Human Rights Watch ... more

Leverhulme    December 17, 2008  
London Calling

Leverhulme’s 2008 law ‘n’ order round-up … British justice at its finest … Landmark decisions … and tragedies … A year to remember … and forget ... more

Judges    December 16, 2008  
Mrs Judge goes to Canberra

Virginia Bell, who is to take Michael Kirby’s place on the High Court, has fused marvellous stage presence and legal brilliance into one seamless performance. Consequently, this is an amazingly excellent selection ... more

City Desk    December 15, 2008  
The porridge business

The NSW government wants to privatise two large prisons. Making money out of jail birds is not new, but modern management methods of global operators have elevated the “corrections” business to an eerie new dimension. Private companies have the “solutions”. Jonathan Gadir reports ... more

Roger Fitch Esq    December 14, 2008  
Our Man in Washington

Final gasp of the Bush regime … Legal uncertainties at Guantánamo after 9/11 conspirators plead guilty in death penalty case … Last minute regulations and orders wreak environmental vandalism – but delight the NRA … Washington goes on “pardon watch” ... more

Barry Lane    December 13, 2008  
Stella snares another victim

Vic QC fell foul of internet myths … raised an allegation of fraudulent conduct without an evidentiary basis … Was discourteous to Betty King … And exceeded the bounds of robust advocacy … All in a day’s work … more

Judges    December 10, 2008  
Kirby's early departure from the High Court

Michael Kirby, enlightened jurist, sparkling speaker, and man of great humour, will soon be out of (judicial) work. What’s next for this restless soul? ... more

Around The Firms    December 9, 2008  
Sick of it

The pips are squeaking and the pickings are slimmer. Various of the biggest national firms have owned up to redundancies. Kate Gibbs speaks to Holding Redlich and Swaab Attorneys to see how they’re travelling ... more

Elizabeth Street    December 9, 2008  
Love alone isn't enough

Lizzy has only been married to the law for a few years – but already she’s starting to feel jaded. She knows this relationship won’t go the distance ... more

Court in the Act    December 5, 2008  
Blundering spooks cleared by the right people

If ASIO’s in strife the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security will gallop in to sort things out. According to Ian Carnell that duffer Justice Michael Adams got it all wrong in the ul-Haque case. Jonathan Gadir reports ... more

Barry Lane    December 3, 2008  
Solicitors' liens and legendary litigators

Sometimes solicitors can lien so far and so hard they topple over. This has happened to deticketed Melbourne solly Issac Brott. Barry Lane reports on the latest twist in the Brott saga ... more

Victoria Mole    December 3, 2008  
A proprietary interest

Ms Mole is in her final articles rotation … She found her time in Property was a bit like working on the cosmetics floor at Myer ... more

Junior Junior - baby barrister blogger    December 2, 2008  
Dear Santa

At the bar one simply has to believe. Junior Junior was going to ask Santa for a special prezzie this year – but decided it might get too complicated. Instead, she’s opted for something the elves will find much more manageable ... more

Roger Fitch Esq    November 30, 2008  
Our Man in Washington

A tendency for military judges to toss out coerced confessions doesn’t bode well for the government’s case against the 9/11 defendants, some of whom have been put on the rack … The Boumediene habeas case grinds on leaving in its wake some curious authority on the meaning of “enemy combatant” ... more

Bar Talk    November 28, 2008  
School prefects

Why on earth not let Johnny Riordan have his silk jersey? No explanation, no natural justice for the old trooper. Now that he’s failed, again, he mounts a searing case for the elimination of the bar’s honours system ... more

Leverhulme    November 26, 2008  
London Calling

The bar rises up to support a defenceless Justice Eady after a beastly attack by a reptile – the editor of The Daily Mail ... The beautiful life of the retired senior Law Lord Tom Bingham – ruthless on a mountain, compassionate to asylum seekers … Gloomy Middlesex Guildhall – home to the new Supreme Court ... more

Court in the Act    November 26, 2008  
Liati's letter to Justice James

Before Marcus Einfeld pleaded guilty to two charges Angela Liati wrote to the trial judge, Bruce James, requesting that her trial on a charge of intending to pervert the course of justice be held before that of Einfeld’s. She also says the media has a lot to answer for and that the former federal judge should be treated with more “respect” ... more

On the Couch    November 26, 2008  
Angela Liati

Meet Angela Liati, “solitary crusader”. The cat loving, Boston Legal watcher has some strong views about what needs to be changed about Australia and the legal system ... more

Evan Whitton    November 26, 2008  
Whitton's World

From war torn Darwin … to the Tour d’Argent ... to the launch of the latest Gough bio … to The Big Sleep, Evan Whitton casts his searing gaze. He also offers some solid advice to Barack about the Afghan war and an apology to Mr K.R. Murdoch AC, KCSG ... more

Theodora    November 25, 2008  
Goings on ...

Did Gordon Wood act on Rivkin’s orders? ... Action at bar AGMs in NSW and Tas ... An ashen faced loner sighted in Phillip Street … A move into lampshades for former prisons minister … Sub-prime pings Legal Practitioners Liability Committee … The Oz legal section shrinking fast ... more

On the Couch    November 24, 2008  
Feed Test

Feed Test … more

Sir Terence O'Rort    November 20, 2008  
Bureau de Spank's special moments

A run of outs for the Queensland Bureau de Spank, but without the soothing balm of costs orders for victorious lawyers. Sir Terence O’Rort thinks it’s about time the regulator stopped making such a hash of things ... more

Elizabeth Street    November 18, 2008  
It's my fault

Lizzy does the research and writes opinions only to have them butchered by insecure superiors ... more

Barry Lane    November 17, 2008  
Leading legal luminaries challenge traditional manta on juries

Barry Lane detects in the wind a climate of change towards juries. Traditionalists are joining a gently swelling chorus against retaining the jury system in its current configuration ... more

Judges    November 17, 2008  
Liati and The Mensch - latest

It seems The Mensch has had a secret life as a book reviewer of literary gems. While Einfeld has pleaded guilty, his “alibi” Angela Liati battles on, alone and unrepresented ... more

Victoria Mole    November 11, 2008  
Courting glory

Promising advocate Vicki Mole has her first experience of the splendour of advocacy … the triumph of the oral tradition … the power of persuasion. Oh, the thrill of it all ... more

Leverhulme    November 10, 2008  
London Calling

Haughty English commentary about Obama’s victory … A few ancient liberals on the US Supreme Court may think it’s time to shuffle off … LCJ Judge on what the oral advocacy tradition will be like 25 years on … Lord Denning (pic) writes for us on the Sleeping Judge Dodd case ... more

Roger Fitch Esq    November 9, 2008  
Our Man in Washington

The Bush administration smelled so bad it cured the country of voting Republican. Still, there is the better part of two months left for the incumbent to wreak more damage – and his lawyers are working overtime to achieve just that ... more

Court in the Act    November 5, 2008  
The wonderful world of PR

Greg Baxter is the former flack merchant for the disgraced asbestos merchant James Hardie. Nowadays he spins for Uncle Rupie at News Limited. Bret Walker had this “non-defendant” in the box during the ASIC case against former Hardie directors and execs. Image making gets unstitched by masterful cross-examination ... more

Evan Whitton    November 4, 2008  
Oh, Rupie, you are a tease!

The ABC is giving itself over to “lectures” from the fuchsia-haired media mogul. Evan Whitton remembers a few of the indignities foisted upon the world by the rancid old meddler ... more

Bar Talk    November 3, 2008  
The rank 'n' file are revolting

Grumbling in the ranks sees the emergence of a “reform” agenda for the NSW bar’s AGM later this month. The trouble is, the proposed motions, even if passed, will change nothing ... more

Leverhulme    October 31, 2008  
London Calling

A Health & Safety moment … Demobbed bankers flee to the law … Controversy of the week – nasty BBC prank on a Satanic Slut … Lord Chief Justice Judge wants to get tough with knifers … Lord Chancellor caught in “criminogenic” trap … That certain “whiffy” English male ... more

Theodora    October 30, 2008  
Goings on ...

French CJ looking forward to Stuart Littlemore’s appearance … Predatory Pricer runs home with the loot … Supreme Court’s innovative plans for the internet – close it down … No flies on Jeff Shaw … Remembering Justice David Tonge ... more

Around The Firms    October 28, 2008  
Money no object when egos go to court

Humble magistrate tears strips off luminous Sydney lawyer … Court warns celebrity solicitor John Atanaskovic that he’s on “thin ice” with intemperate correspondence to his opponents and to Clutz … Time to take a step back

... more
Roger Fitch Esq    October 27, 2008  
Our Man in Washington

Bits continue to fall off the Guantánamo “legal” process … Bush lawyers now say illegally detained Chinese Muslims cannot be released into the US because they are “terrorists” ... Concept of “enemy combatant” to get a long-overdue judicial airing ... more

Sir Terence O'Rort    October 26, 2008  
Gibberish dopes the judges

It takes submissions from a dope fiend to have Queensland judges wrapping themselves in extra layers of dignity and producing weighty reasoning about delirious abstractions. Sir Terence O’Rort reports ... more

Bar Talk    October 24, 2008  
Reverse takeover at VicBar

At the heart of the sudden change of guard at the Victorian bar lies a struggle over real estate. Barristers Chambers Ltd is endeavouring to shore up its position while members flee to independent rooms ... more

City Desk    October 24, 2008  
Scenes from a dinner

How times have changed. These days the annual dinner turned on by the Law Society of NSW comes replete with dancing girls, busty wenches and violinists with pink instruments. Another Justinian TV production ... more

Junior Junior - baby barrister blogger    October 23, 2008  
The barking dog

Junior Junior, our baby barrister blogger, struggles to find a way out of depression – psychomotor retardation, to be exact. Fiddling around with add-ons for the computer sort of helped … BarCare’s advice didn’t ... more

Bar Talk    October 22, 2008  
Tattered silk

Justinian tabulates the new silks in NSW and marvels at the supremacy of the tick ... more

Tulkinghorn    October 17, 2008  
The lawyer as whistleblowing confidant

Law firms offer clients the best available cone of silence. It’s expensive, but the service also blocks out sight and smell. It’s even fireproof ... more

Leverhulme    October 17, 2008  
Indianapolis Calling

Leverhulme, our London correspondent, finds himself in the US of A, feeling the pulse of the electorate. In the process he discovers the Supreme Court’s view on executing obese criminals ... more

Victoria Mole    October 16, 2008  
The departed

According to Ms Mole, it pays dividends for senior partners to be nice about the Firm’s departing low life. Yet the insensitivity of these Boxster driving corner men never ceases to amaze ... more

Court in the Act    October 15, 2008  
Dunford cops out

It took an awful lot of taxpayers’ money for John Dunford not to attempt to “determine where the truth lies” in the Andrew Mallard case. According to Colleen Egan he left many threads dangling ... more

Court in the Act    October 15, 2008  
Pig's head

Retired NSW Supreme Court judge John Dunford was hauled across to Perth to conduct a CCC review of the way the coppers and the prosecution misconducted themselves the Andrew Mallard case. Even as the stench was in everyone’s nostrils, the WA Court of Criminal Appeal delivered a shocker of a judgment ... more

On the Couch    October 15, 2008  
Colleen Egan

Who better to have On the Couch than the reporter who made all the difference for Andrew Mallard. Colleen Egan is an advocacy journalist in the finest sense. For us she bares nearly all ... more

Evan Whitton    October 13, 2008  
The Witchfinder-General

We need a third verdict for people like Allan Kessing: guilty, but who cares … Having a cop run the Australian Crime Commission hasn’t helped … Bobby Zoellick and Dollar Pete Costello dancing together at the World Bank … Obama needs a margin of at least seven percent to win (because he’s black) ... more

City Desk    October 10, 2008  
Be nice to the brutes

Ms Derivative, our market analyst, was dismayed at the precious way The Australian and Crikey carried on over MacBank. Amid all the sound and fury what was the story all about? ... more

City Desk    October 9, 2008  
Australian Charter of Rights (no wrongs)

Justinian’s TV production unit got a camera into the big confab at Melbourne Law School on protecting rights in Australia. Some of the key players parried our probing questions. It seems the swivel-eyed critics of a Bill or Charter are complaining about a model that is not even on the agenda for Australia. It’s not the first time they’ve got things arse about ... more

Roger Fitch Esq    October 8, 2008  
Our Man in Washington

Not only is the economy unravelling at a rapid rate, but so too the well laid extraordinary legal regime of the Bush administration. All that remains are a few well worn Republican dirty tricks to rort the ballot ... more

Court in the Act    September 30, 2008  
A taste of torture

The US government dodges and fudges in the face of the British High Court’s unprecedented efforts to strip bare the regime of rendition and torture inflicted on a UK resident, now holed-up at Guantánamo Bay. Stephen Keim reports ... more

Elizabeth Street    September 29, 2008  
The assizes

Lizzy Street is on circuit with a bundle of personal injury cases to defend. It doesn’t get much more exciting than night after night in a country motel except, of course, the big drink-a-thon with the circuit judge and the town lawyers ... more

Roger Fitch Esq    September 26, 2008  
Our Man in Washington

Death throes of the Bush regime … Key case to test concept of “enemy combatants” ... Last minute election tricks in the Republican armoury … Cheney ordered not to destroy his papers … The 20 most corrupt members of Congress ... more

Barry Lane    September 26, 2008  
Legendary litigator cut down

The rollicking, fun-filled legal career of Issac Brott has run off the tracks – at least for the time being. While he was busy keeping watch on drug use at the bar, he took his eye of his own manifold affairs ... more

Leverhulme    September 25, 2008  
London Calling

Leverhulme catches up with the Brosnahans at a dinner in Ireland and falls to talking about the rough trot women have had in the law. Sophie Hamilton, senior partner at Mayfair firm Forsters, lights the way ... more

Hellfire Club    September 24, 2008  
Insightlessness at the bar

The Alex Howen case is a striking illustration of a mentally disordered barrister who ploughs on without adequate treatment, leaving a trail of professional misery. How many others can identify with Howen’s Disorder? ... more

Theodora    September 24, 2008  
Goings on ...

More Patrick Power referees lining up at the defo court … Celebrity client leaves Johnson Winter & Slattery … Second choice lands Apple Isle judgeship … Not even Lady Di knew about the Queensland magistrates’ immunity … Allens incubated Macquarie Street’s dirty dancer ... more

Victoria Mole    September 24, 2008  
The devil I know (and sort of love)

Vicki Mole gives The Pinstripe Prison a good old spray. It’s not rigorous enough for her. The best and brightest are not wasted in corporate law – they help people realise their dreams. Anyway, where’s the social utility in much of what passes for journalism? ... more

Around The Firms    September 19, 2008  

Freehills dumped as Mark O’Brien and the boys take over The Sydney Morning Herald’s legal machine. The brief – to slash litigation costs and do a bit of cultural re-engineering ... more

Judges    September 17, 2008  
More bombshells at the Liati trial - round one

Traffic matters. Mensch’s former alibi says her speeding car trip to Mosman with Theahresa Brennan really did happen – she just got the day wrong ... more

Evan Whitton    September 17, 2008  
The abort extort report

Evan Whitton on: abortion law … morality questions for Bobby French, and … how Republicans steal elections ... more

Victoria Mole    September 16, 2008  
Junior lawyers at large

Managing the law on behalf of partners’ frightful families and feral friends. Vicki Mole explains how the Firm flick passes “mates cases” to the legal toddlers ... more

Judges    September 15, 2008  
It's an ambulatory kinda world

The Commonwealth DPP doesn’t think that judges have to concentrate all the time. In fact, a judge can be sound asleep, but if that makes no difference to the outcome of a trial, then snooze on. It’s all a question of effect, not appearances. High Court transcript makes for fun reading ... more

Barry Lane    September 12, 2008  

Barry Lane seems to be having a bit of a giggle as the Victorian Court of Appeal grapples with “deciding for itself” in serious injury cases. It’s a tricky business, specially when “misunderstandings” from previous decisions have to be straightened out ... more

Tulkinghorn    September 10, 2008  
Bugger the presumption of innocence, what about the fees?

When lawyers “follow the fees” where does that lead our legal system? ... Tulkinghorn asks, should privately funded defence lawyers be required to tell victims of crime where the defence legal fees are coming from, and how much they are? ... more

Leverhulme    September 10, 2008  
London Calling

And did the countenance divine shine forth upon our clouded hills? ... Leverhulme, along with Jeremy Clarkson, asks what in the hell has happened to the green and pleasant Albion? ... more

Wendler on Wine    September 9, 2008  
Hugh is huge

G.D. Wendler reviews Hugh Johnson’s autobiography. The guru of the grape is prone to overstatement and purple flourishes – but then Johnson is the grandee of wine commentary ... more

Elizabeth Street    September 9, 2008  

Lizzy Street thinks that being a young solicitor bears disturbing similarities to the work requirements of the oldest profession. In many ways being a hooker is more honourable than the other variety of prostitution ... more

Court in the Act    September 8, 2008  
High Court draws the line on sex slavery

Victorian brothel keeper goes down in final sex slave round. Court of Appeal’s constrained view on “intention” to enslave not acceptable. But does the High Court’s decision have the potential to extend to slavery across the board – even to “servile marriage”? Jonathan Gadir reports ... more

Theodora    September 5, 2008  
Goings on ...

Pay shake-up looms for federal judges … Jeff Shaw fights for the freedom to take snaps outside prisons … Law firm persuades protestor to move off its footpath … “The Vibe” finds it’s way into Tasmanian jurisprudence … Clarrie Stevens shaves 40 percent off the bar ‘n’ grill’s professional misconduct costs ... more

City Desk    September 4, 2008  
Power lawyers

The NSW government’s plans to privatise the NSW electricity industry remain in a right old mess – according to Alex Mitchell, our man on the south side of Macquarie Street. How come the sale of the electricity retailers doesn’t require the approval of parliament? ... more

Polly Peck    September 3, 2008  
Capital Offences

Canberra hackette Polly Peck was on hand for the swearing-in of Justice Robert French as the High Court’s new CJ. She was shocked by the lack of a uniform ceremonial policy on wigs ... more

Judges    September 2, 2008  
First day of spring

Justice Robert French has been sworn-in as the new Chief Justice of Australia. Justinian was there with his camera crew to record the ancient and venerable High Court morning tea ceremony, where courtiers from around the nation assembled to pay obeisance to the new tribal chief ... more

Roger Fitch Esq    August 28, 2008  
Our Man in Washington

Bit by bit the courts are upsetting the torture apple cart. The English High Court is the latest, ordering that evidence of the torture of a British resident be handed to his lawyers. Perfidious English and their damn common law ... more

Elizabeth Street    August 28, 2008  
Don't waste your life

Lizzy gives a talk to young law students. She gently hints that life in the law is not all it’s cracked up to be. What she really wanted to say was, “Don’t waste your life” ... more

Court in the Act    August 28, 2008  
Hodgson nails Keelty

AFP commissioner Mick Keelty is hiding behind the skirts of Mother England’s police force. Much of the stuff he tells the Clarke inquiry is top secret has already seen the light of day. According to Haneef’s lawyer Keelty needs to come clean on some vital questions of police malfeasance ... more

Evan Whitton    August 27, 2008  
Stewart, Barwick & Ors

Law & Society. Evan Whitton ploughs through the Hon Don Stewart’s memoir and has some nice things to say about the former plod, barrister, judge and royal commissioner ... more

City Desk    August 25, 2008  
Jolly Roger Boland and the Della two-step

“Backwards with Fairness.” NSW’s top IR judge misses his minister. “I want Della back,” declares distressed judge. State roundsperson Alex Mitchell files this report ... more

Wendler on Wine    August 25, 2008  
Hill of Grace footnote

Famed journalist and author John Stubbs discovered that Cyril Henschke had an obsession about the Petrov affair. He offers this footnote to Gabriel Wendler’s recent column on the untimely demise of the man who made Hill of Grace ... more

Leverhulme    August 22, 2008  
London Calling

Despite dotty local councils Britain today is a place in the sun – even though it has been raining constantly since June. The Poms are delirious about beating the Aussies at the Olympics. John Coates doesn’t help ... more

Bar Talk    August 21, 2008  
Hands up for silk

Here we go again. The 2008 list of applicants from New South Wales seeking to be silked. Plenty of the same old crew and a steady decline in the number of female contenders ... more

Victoria Mole    August 21, 2008  
The brave retreat

The Firm’s property group retreats to the Daintree, to drink, bond and do things with a whiteboard. Ideas flow about how to improve the Firm’s retention rate. Vicki Mole attends to the bar fridge in her room ... more

Tulkinghorn    August 15, 2008  
Why the punter should never trust a trust account

Could you lend me your wallet for a while? The trust account is both a sacred cow and a milch cow. Anyone who thinks trust accounts should be trusted probably believes, along with Homer Simpson, that wallet inspectors also exist ... more

Barry Lane    August 14, 2008  
Lawyers and asset protection

Corporate plod attacks legal advice as ASIC takes its first action against a solicitor for “phoenix trading”. Is nothing sacred anymore? ... more

Court in the Act    August 13, 2008  
House of Lords kyboshes secret trials

Anonymous witnesses and secret evidence not a problem for the Federal Court. The House of Lords takes a different view and says it is fundamental to the common law that the accused be able to confront their accusers. Stephen Keim looks at The Queen v Davis ... more

Polly Peck    August 12, 2008  
No, No Nanette

Little Glen stabs mum 57 times, but it’s not murder. Consternation follows the acne prescription killing … Jon White takes the mantle as the ACT’s top prosecutor ... more

Junior Junior - baby barrister blogger    August 12, 2008  
Life without a tax bracket

The all-consuming nature of life at the bar sees Junior Junior dropping entirely out of the tax system. She is one barrister whose non-tax status seems to be legit ... more

Victoria Mole    August 8, 2008  
Soma lovin', happened so fast

What is blogette Vicki Mole on about? She needs coffee to structure her day, yet she hasn’t mastered the art of drinking with clients at lunch while maintaining afternoon productivity ... more

Roger Fitch Esq    August 8, 2008  
Our Man in Washington

Civil War banditti and jayhawkers are the basis of today’s “material supporters of terrorism”. Be careful – Bush law says it’s a “war crime” to shoot at Americans ... more

Court in the Act    August 7, 2008  
Loading of the dice

The Salim Ahmed Hamdan verdict is in from Guantánamo Bay. Stephen Keim weighs the trial process and the interim rulings of the senior military judge on the case, Captain Keith Allred ... more

Evan Whitton    August 6, 2008  
The // universe

Lord Robbo on justice for Radovan … Organised crims love libel law, because originally they invented it … It’s time Bob French spoke up about the law against muttering … One more question for Robert Richter … Rugby quiz ... more

Wendler on Wine    August 5, 2008  
The day Doris accidentally shot Cyril

Cyril Henschke, maker of the wonderful Hill of Grace wine, was shot while he slept in his bed. In one of South Australia’s most celebrated trials his wife Doris was acquitted of the murder. According to wine man and barrister Gabriel Wendler the verdict ushered in a fabulous year of generous grape yields and superb quality reds ... more

Theodora    August 5, 2008  
Goings on ...

Callinan’s Japanese love scene mystery solved … Prof. George Williams covers all lamentable appointment oversights … Smoking airplane crashed into billable moments … Adrian Powles RIP … Defo in Van Diemen’s Land … The centre of the advocates immunity has just shifted … Nietzsche’s man at AG’s department ... more

Junior Junior - baby barrister blogger    August 4, 2008  
Life at the bottom

Our baby barrister is beset with problems – tire-kicking solicitors who don’t want to pay and still no chambers. The cruelty is shocking ... more

Leverhulme    August 4, 2008  
London Calling

Rule of the drunken lads and ladettes … Police dog allergies … Max Mosley’s High Court ruling sends the media into a tizz – democracy imperilled, not to mention circulation ... more

Elizabeth Street    August 2, 2008  
The lousy love contract

Poor Lizzy has just been sacked by her boyfriend and in the process has discovered that she was in a terrible contract. Now she has to throw herself into personal injury litigation to dull the pain ... more

Judges    July 31, 2008  
Seven good reasons why Spigs is not the highest CJ

The jockeying, the speculation, the rumours, the fun – have all come to an end. Fortunately, though, the nutty commentary continues. Robert French has the job. How did Spigs manage to run second? ... more

Around The Firms    July 28, 2008  
Deacons goes silver, red, yellow and green

Wayne Swan launched Deacons’ gleaming crystal office space in Sydney. Kate Gibbs was also there, mingling with the clients and scoffing scallops and champers. Blackout in the bathrooms leads the way in reducing the size of the firm’s carbon footprint ... more

Barry Lane    July 28, 2008  
"Legal work" - a slippery concept

The Law Institute attacks a non-lawyer it falsely claimed was doing legal work. However, as Barry Lane in Melbourne points out, the LIV insists it’s not legal work when a solicitor handles a client’s investment money, and steals the lot ... more

Roger Fitch Esq    July 26, 2008  
Our Man in Washington

A non-war crimes “war crimes” case gets underway before legally dubious military commission … Plenty of Kafkaesque moments for 9/11 accused … US extracts “intelligence” with Chinese style “enhanced techniques” from Korean war era ... more

Hellfire Club    July 24, 2008  
Underneath the Archers

The NSW bar wins a round in the six year struggle to get Stephen Archer struck off the roll. Court of Appeal overturns ADT orders for production of documents. Archer claims the bar knew about his tax and bankruptcy affairs, and did sweet FA ... more

Judges    July 24, 2008  
CJ speculation is rife

Talk of splits in the cabinet over the new High Court Chief Justice, compromise candidates and scary alternatives. Still no decision ... more

Court in the Act    July 24, 2008  
Reflections on rights protections - a tale of three cases

What are the Charter of Rights naysayers on about? Existing legislative and entrenched rights haven’t managed to derail society. Yet these protections have proved more miss than hit. Stephen Keim surveys three recent decisions from the full Federal Court ... more

Court in the Act    July 23, 2008  
The spell of the spooks

In two different cases the full Federal Court has dealt with ASIO and its obsession with secrecy in markedly different ways. One bench virtually rolled over to be tickled on the tummy by the chief spook. The other one stood its ground and said the court was not going to be a patsy for the state apparatus ... more

Leverhulme    July 21, 2008  
London Calling

British Psychological Society calls for “witness experts” to sort out wobbly memories … Top UK firms get to grips with the recession with £1 billion plus revenues … Humiliating boss to fork up over breasts and pay jibes … Gordon Brown as the suggestible Heathcliff ... more

Victoria Mole    July 21, 2008  
Mental health day

Articled clerk Vicki Mole has to take extraordinary measures to escape the glaring intensity of the Firm. It’s nice being a lawyer, but not for five days a week ... more

Court in the Act    July 16, 2008  
A painful death for the death penalty?

The death penalty has been found by the US Supreme Court, with a little help from the swinging justice, to be an excessive sentence for child rape. A consideration of the constitutionality of the death penalty in murder cases may not be far away. Stephen Keim SC examines the way the law is evolving ... more

Junior Junior - baby barrister blogger    July 16, 2008  
What car boot are you in?

Junior Junior, our freshly minted baby barrister, starts her blog with a cry of despair over finding chambers, work and money. Was a life at the bar such a fabulous idea after all? ... more

City Desk    July 15, 2008  
Don't say cheese

Sunk in a sea of caveats, a bankrupt purchaser and loads of litigation, two Perth musicians have lost their property and their livelihood. Jonathan Gadir investigates ... more

Evan Whitton    July 15, 2008  
Papal ratbaggery, and worse

Evan Whitton covers the Pope’s visit and cruelly brings up some Vatican crimes … From October civil judges in Britain will have to dress up at home … Rugby quizz … And how come Labor hack Eddie McTiernan’s limpet view on “beyond reasonable doubt” still stands? ... more

Elizabeth Street    July 14, 2008  
The chinless wonders of the law

Those with a prominent legal pedigree used to be carried by their firms. Now, as Lizzy Street discovered at her firm, having a well connected legal name might get you in the door, but it doesn’t guarantee survival ... more

Tulkinghorn    July 13, 2008  
The cab rank rule is rank all right

Providing cover for the “dirty” cases … Tulkinghorn teases apart the fiction of one of the bar’s prized ethical flourishes – the “cab rank” rule. Isn’t it about time it was scrapped? ... more

Theodora    July 11, 2008  
Goings on ...

No decision on CJ – logjam in Ruddy’s office … Ron Sackville’s new job … Kirbs and same sex super … Much ado in Van Diemen’s Land – wig crisis and jobs-for-favours investigation ... more

Judges    July 9, 2008  
Heffernan v Kirby - Round 37

Senator Wild Bill Heffernan is at it again – making whacko allegations in the senate about Justice Michael Kirby, although this time he carefully didn’t name the judge ... more

Victoria Mole    July 8, 2008  
Partying like it's 08/09

Vicki Mole’s law firm knows how to welcome in the new financial year – with a themed gangster night. How appropriate ... more

Leverhulme    July 8, 2008  
London Calling

Bar incandescent with fury over depiction of barristers in Beeb’s Criminal Justice ... An army of flatfooted “community police” take to the streets … Victory for the gangs as the House of Lords sinks growing trend for courts to allow “anonymous” witnesses ... more

Darwin    July 7, 2008  
Love is in the air

Capricornia is in the crisp grip of spring, while the southern do-gooders huddle around their Emissions Trading Scheme-certified heaters. Buffalo Bruce from Darwin covers the antics of the usual northern suspects, including: Easter, Bushy, Superfish, Falstaff, Owl, Pirate and Kunstler ... more

Judges    July 4, 2008  
Botched ADT appointment

There was a last minute scramble to rectify a gaping deficiency in Justice Wayne Haylen’s appointment as a deputy president of the NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal. So that the judge could hear disciplinary cases against lawyers, he had to be rescued with an emergency judicial elevation. Revised version ... more

Wendler on Wine    July 4, 2008  
Meat pies and Grange

Wine buff G.D. Wendler remembers modest Max Schubert and asks why we prefer to worship Grange Hermitage rather than just drink the stuff? ... more

Roger Fitch Esq    July 4, 2008  
Our Man in Washington

Roger Fitch in Washington celebrates Independence Day with the latest talk on torture as Addington and Yoo front the House Judiciary Committee … No surprises in Roberts’ and Scalia’s dissents in the most recent habeas decision … The Bush-Cheney team have only 200 days left in which to wreak havoc ... more

Court in the Act    July 2, 2008  
Knock down personal injury specials

The NSW Law Society wants lawyer advertising rules to be liberated, while keeping tight control of what constitutes “legal work”. As a recent Supreme Court judgment shows both restraints are locked in an awful embrace ... more

Elizabeth Street    June 26, 2008  
Solicitors' Stockholm Syndrome

Once you look past the rheumy eyes, the outcrop of ear hair, and the thinning grey sweep-over, some of those desiccated barristers begin to look quite cute to young female solicitors who are cooped-up with them for days on end ... more

Sir Terence O'Rort    June 26, 2008  
Berna's poolside splash

Justice Berna Collier goes down in a planning appeal against “overbearing” Hamilton Hill development. Sir Terence O’Rort contrasts this brutal decision with Her Honour’s sensitive treatment of a couple of “assistance animals” ... more

Court in the Act    June 23, 2008  
A beam of light down the black hole

US Supreme Court has said the federal courts can have the bodies of the Guantánamo prisoners, and a lot more besides. The Boumediene decision further unravels the Bush administration’s carelessly stitched terrorism laws ... more

Evan Whitton    June 23, 2008  
The absurdity system

Sinking the slipper … The circularity of “reasonable doubt” ... And three procedural reforms guaranteed to improve public approbation for the law ... more

Victoria Mole    June 20, 2008  
Open plan - Closed mind

Vicki Mole finds open plan law firm architecture unattractive. It hinders attention to detail, analysis and clarity … but it’s perfect for yapping about Big Brother ... more

Leverhulme    June 20, 2008  
London Calling

Leverhulme deflates earnest Guardian government job ads … debunks a consultant on “effective networking” ... and deconstructs a course for lawyers on how to ask clients for more work ... more

Around The Firms    June 20, 2008  
Accounting errors

The Keddies overcharging investigation in The Sydney Morning Herald shoots a large hole in the the legal profession’s campaign for more compo for personal injury clients. The revelations are ammunition for those who say that personal injury litigation is often more about the lawyers than the injured ... more

Bar Talk    June 18, 2008  
What was on Patrick Power's computer?

The misery and woe are not over yet for former NSW crown prosecutor Patrick Power. Repellent material emerges in striking-off reasons. The NSW Court of Appeal inferred that Power tampered with the evidence and perverted the course of justice ... more

Tulkinghorn    June 16, 2008  
Victoria's civil justice review - same old stuff

Trust Tulkinghorn not to be enthusiastic about Dr Cashman’s review of civil justice in Victoria. The report draws extensively on the UK Woolf “reforms” ... and what good have they produced? ... more

Roger Fitch Esq    June 15, 2008  
Our Man in Washington

Supreme Court says habeas applies to Guantánamo prisoners and that the law that suspended it is unconstitutional … All eyes have been on the Pentagon remake of the long-running show 9/11 ... Same cast – different roles ... more

City Desk    June 14, 2008  
Can General Patten rescue the House of Ngo?

How come David Patten, acting Supremo and former leader of the NSW Liberals, has been given the job of inquiring into the conviction of political assassin Phuong Ngo? Alex Mitchell ponders some of the judge’s recent decisions ... more

Critics' Corner    June 11, 2008  

The Bill Henson girlie photo drama set off a wave of legal advice and opinions. Now that the mist is clearing it’s time to check whether we’ve been enlightened by the “debate”. Our team at Critics’ Corner reviews the tangled mess that happens when art collides with law ... more

Barry Lane    June 10, 2008  
Physicians not healing themselves

Some rather dangerous doctors have been let loose on the community. Recently we’ve had Reeves and Patel and in Britain there’s the notious Shipman case. The damage might have been averted earlier if there’d been an open national register of complaints and findings against medicos. Over to you Lillian ... more

Leverhulme    June 6, 2008  
London Calling

Leverhulme is beside himself about the crazy onslaught of political correctness. He’s disturbed by developments Down Under and in the Old Dart. And Viscount Norwich bemoans the loss of important freedoms, like drink driving ... more

Elizabeth Street    June 6, 2008  
Mrs Crankypants

Poor defenceless Lizzy Street has the secretary from hell and there’s nothing she can do about it. Years ago Mrs Crankypants worked out the formula for a cushy life in a law firm … and she’s sticking to it ... more

Theodora    June 5, 2008  
Goings on ...

Gageler bites Lord Eldon on the bum … Bar rules problem made to vanish … Defamation fallout – Mercedes Corby and Judy Davis … Caught by the catchwords … Where’s Tubby’s horse flu report? ... more

City Desk    June 5, 2008  
Land blights

The governing body of the NSW Aboriginal Land Council will hold a special sitting in Legislative Assembly on Tuesday (June 10) to mark the 25th anniversary of the promulgation of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act, but not everyone will be celebrating. Alex Mitchell explains why ... more

Evan Whitton    June 3, 2008  
The defence lawyer's challenge

Whitton-at-Large. Out and about at the MCA and a slo-mo cartoon on “significant reactions” to the O.J. Simpson case … Does it matter that judges sleep during trials? For the most part, probably not. They are supposed to be “headpieces filled with straw” ... Sydney Pollack’s Three Days of the Condor is among the foremost of his many monuments ... more

Roger Fitch Esq    June 2, 2008  
Our Man in Washington

Guantánamo unravelling … Bush admin sacks judge mid-trial for being too fair and independent … Canadian Supreme Court finds Gitmo process illegal … Administration planning election year war crimes spectacular … CIA station chief in Milan still on the run ... more

Victoria Mole    June 2, 2008  
Bloody billing day

Melbourne law firm blogger Vicki Mole finds billing a mystery. Her adjustments are based on “ethical guesstimates”: Slow when walking in heels … Fast on the multi-tabbed browsing. Yet some things just don’t add up ... more

Court in the Act    May 30, 2008  
High Court admonished

President of the New South Wales Court of Appeal Keith Mason delivers a well deserved clip on the ear to the “haughty” and “blinkered” High Court ... more

Around The Firms    May 29, 2008  
Post-it pedantics

Should document retention policies extend to the Post-it note and other forms of smoke signals? The forensic experts are being called in to advise on how tiny disposable documents can be factored into data management systems. Kate Gibbs has drum ... more

Elizabeth Street    May 29, 2008  
Personality disorders on the bench

Lizzy Street, our Sydney law firm blogger, appears before a beastly judge. Where’s the sisterhood when you need it? ... more

City Desk    May 28, 2008  
Body in the bath unplugged

The murder conviction of Henry Keogh 13 years ago has become a celebrated cause in South Australia. Despite findings of flawed forensic evidence, Keogh has been unable to get his case reopened. Arrayed against him are political intransigence and unmoved appeal judges. Jonathan Gadir follows the twists and turns of the Keogh case ... more

Leverhulme    May 24, 2008  
London Calling

Howls of indignation as old guard seethes over Cherie Blair QC’s Speaking for Myself. The Brits put on an impressive display of envy and snobbishness to greet the autobiography ... more

Around The Firms    May 23, 2008  
Professional ethics or protecting the patch?

Just as things are warming up for insolvency practitioners they conjure a code of practice designed to stay the hand of the Fast Eddie’s of liquidation. Justice Bob Austin complains about “some uncomfortably long liquidations”. Kate Gibbs reports ... more

Theodora    May 22, 2008  
Goings on ...

Too much disclosure is never enough on the High … Magistrate washes out potty mouth … Yarraside’s acting judges drama … “Judicial disengagement” explored … Punch out ... more

Roger Fitch Esq    May 17, 2008  
Our Man in Washington

Guantánamo trials in crisis – legal adviser sacked for wanting torture evidence to be admitted and prosecutors quit in disgust over government meddling. Law of terror correspondent Roger Fitch reports ... more

Sir Terence O'Rort    May 16, 2008  
It's nutty up north

A stressed Gladstone solicitor is done for professional misconduct, but thrown a merciful lifeline of rehabilitation by Daphnis and the kindly souls at the Bureau de Spank. Sir Terence O’Rort reports ... more

Victoria Mole    May 16, 2008  
Les Petits Trésors de La Firme

It’s not all misery and despair at Vicki Mole’s firm. There are a few things that make it worthwhile … like the biscuits ... more

Tulkinghorn    May 16, 2008  
Even lawyers have to eat ... Not necessarily, replied the Cardinal

Canadian jurist urges judges to take control of cases away from lawyers … Maximising business in the criminal courts begs the question, “where do we draw the line on freeing people we know to be guilty”? ... more

Wendler on Wine    May 14, 2008  
In vino veritas

Florida billionaire Bill Koch is convinced that rare and fine wine dealer Hardy Rodenstock is a con man. He’s chasing Rodenstock through the US federal courts and in the process some big reputations could end up in the spittoon. Sydney barrister G.D. Wendler starts his regular wine column for Justinian ... more

Theodora    May 13, 2008  
Goings on ...

Lavatory crisis at Solicitor General’s drinks in Hobart … What is a “Marsden”? ... Newspaper wastes acres of space on Justice Paul Guest … Patrick Power back in court … Grovel to barrister but not to journalist … (Justice) Emilios Kyrou calls the shots on sex with clients ... more

Elizabeth Street    May 13, 2008  
Money, money, money

Unnecessary human misery is caused by the way law firms handle the pay question. When information about salaries starts to leak out, the despair is compounded. Sydney blogger Lizzy Street is on the front line of all the suffering. At least she has worked out that money is the root cause of happiness ... more

Evan Whitton    May 13, 2008  
Book review: Why Sir I. Berlin cuckolded Prof H. Hart

How come Bonaparte and Innocent 111 are rated lower than Blackstone, Madison and Marshall in the ranking of those who most influenced the law? ... Three New York coppers win the trifecta and get off shooting charges … We’re now more than six years into the Afghan loser ... more

Around The Firms    May 13, 2008  
Movement at the station

Corrs Chambers Westgarth gains two new partners this week as it bolsters its corporate and litigation work. Kate Gibbs talks to Byron Koster and Simon Crawford ... more

Only in America    May 7, 2008  
Disabled law

Brakes applied to booming cottage industry for crippled clients … Claim that AWB’s bribery and money laundering depressed US wheat prices is dismissed … Plaintiff kings Melvyn Weiss and Dickie Scruggs head for the Big House … Pillsbury Flom reports ... more

City Desk    May 6, 2008  
Legal Chameleons

Justinian TV takes you to the glittering Sydney opening night of Mark Tedeschi QC’s recent photographic exhibition, Legal Chameleons. Your editor says a few words about the NSW Senior Crown Prosecutor’s work as a shutterbug ... more

Sir Terence O'Rort    May 6, 2008  
Are you still with me Bruce?

Solicitor’s email shows how the new “culture of doing law” has caught on in Brisvegas. Dangerous global life force in hot-headed missives ... more

Around The Firms    May 5, 2008  
Oz lawyers reject BlackBerry ban

Australian lawyers share their thoughts about the BlackBerry. One US firm has banned them from meetings because they were more distracting than helpful. Kate Gibbs found a Sydney law firm partner who thinks they’re ruining people’s (sex) lives ... more

Bar Talk    May 4, 2008  
Test Bullet
... more
Victoria Mole    May 2, 2008  
Get out of jail free

Our Melbourne articled clerk is bone weary with disenchantment. She’s vulnerable and in danger of discovering the “attractions” of law firm incarceration ... more

Theodora    May 1, 2008  
Goings on ...

Another round of fun looms in VicSilk fiesta … Court nannies tinkering with transcripts … Bold move to improve clients’ duty of care to solicitors … Row over whether “mates” get justice selection jobs … More CJ rumblings … Former Allens’ chairman takes floral award ... more

Barry Lane    April 29, 2008  
Where's the holy water when you need it?

VicAppeals points to misguided attempt by in-house solicitor to drench expert’s report in privilege. Reminder: privilege should be decided by matters of substance, not form. Barry Lane reports ... more

Elizabeth Street    April 28, 2008  
The great client kiss-up

Lizzy, blogging inside a huge law shop, endures the firm’s cocktails with clients. Sometimes bonding can be such a bad idea ... more

Bar Talk    April 28, 2008  
Letter from a cheesed off barrister

NSW barristers are as mad as hell and arent going to take it anymore. Missives are pouring into the Bar n Grill over the $700,000 red hole in the accounts and the proposed rules on cross-examinations. Do we submit to bailing out the bar association through increased taxes whilst ignoring the knife in our backs? asks criminal barrister John Doris. Here’s his spray ... more

Bar Talk    April 25, 2008  
Those rotten bar rules

Experienced Sydney criminal defence barrister Gabriel Wendler scorns the proposed new bar rules that seek to make overbearing cross-examinations a matter of misconduct. In a submission to the Bar Association he puts forward an idea for a different rule ... more

Leverhulme    April 25, 2008  
London Calling

Moses the Lawgiver. Leverhulme trawls through the highs and lows of Lord Justice Alan Moses’ career. His must-read judgment this month in the Corner House (BAE) case is a powerful reminder of the importance of a gutsy judiciary ... more

Roger Fitch Esq    April 25, 2008  
Our Man in Washington

A.J. Liebling was right – the press is asleep on the big stories affecting our freedoms … Bush lawyers looking for soft landings in the corporate sector – although Freddo still can’t find a job … Copyright violations by Pentagon in use of rap music to torture detainees ... more

Bar Talk    April 23, 2008  
Street of broken dreams

NSW Bar n’ Grill faces $750,000 loss … Dramatic rise in membership fees … Treasurer Justin Gleeson flabbergasted and resigns amid a flurry of accusations … Trauma on Phillip St. ... more

Barry Lane    April 23, 2008  
Lull in hostilities in Victoria's "serious injury" wars

The High Court in Dwyer v Calco Timbers has put an end to a delightful jig. From here on, barring more meddling by parliament, VicAppeals has to review “serious injury” applications on their merits ... more

Evan Whitton    April 22, 2008  
Joe McCarthy lives!

Where’s lawyer Joe Welch when you need him to put the vital question to the horrid Hillary Clinton? ... Prof Barton examines Judge Posner’s thesis on lawyers’ “self-interested cartel” ... A Bill of Rights sounds good, but … Burnside’s plan to stamp out public lying should include trial lawyers ... more

City Desk    April 22, 2008  
Noises from the rump

Nothing too bold from the Governance group at the 2020 Summit. Maybe an abundance of lawyers didn’t help. Gerard Henderson and cohorts turned up and there was more squabbling than big ideas. Still, it’s a nice change to have a government that welcomes ideas. Julian Burnside reports ... more

Barry Lane    April 18, 2008  
A tale of two inquests

As far as the grieving parents are concerned juries have come up with the wrong version of the “truth” in the Dodi & Di and Kovco inquests … At least Mohamed Al Fayed is a hoot ... more

Sir Terence O'Rort    April 18, 2008  
Chesty's shout

“Let the man have a drink,” cries Justice Chesty Chesterman as he removes the beverage restrictions on a former sex offender being harassed by wowser plods. It takes courage to overturn two of your own previous no drink orders. When Daphis goes to Government House in September, Sir Terence O’Rort’s money is on Chesty for CJ ... more

City Desk    April 17, 2008  
Frank and fearless

The NSW government’s recent mauling of the DPP Nicholas Cowdery was a warning shot to any public servant who sang out of tune. Now the dust has settled and an accommodation has been reached on the appointment of an outside director to the DPP’s office. Alex Mitchell reports ... more

City Desk    April 16, 2008  

Judicial selection nobbled in Tasmanian political payback … The Apple Isle awash in scandal as Attorney General flung from office for lies to parliament … Complicity of the Burst Saveloy … Toxic affairs in two Labor states – Tassie and NSW ... more

Victoria Mole    April 16, 2008  
The female of the species

Quite quickly Vicki Mole, our Melbourne law firm blogger, has worked out that the female lawyers at her firm are either flagellators or she-men. You’ve got to have narcissism or aggression to bond with this lot ... more

Tulkinghorn    April 12, 2008  
Smelly fees ... Pongy ethics

Money from the proceeds of crime sets the criminal defence gravy train rolling ... more

Roger Fitch Esq    April 11, 2008  
Our Man in Washington

Fresh torture memo by Bush lawyer unearthed … Advice on legally immunising detainee interrogators proves to be invalid … Torture trip driven from the top down … Exciting new harsh techniques devised at “brainstorming sessions” ... more

Elizabeth Street    April 11, 2008  
Inside the fertile mind of a bored young lawyer

Liz Street, blogging from the bowels of a Sydney law shop, turns out to have some disturbing voyeuristic tendencies … she gets her rocks off on a good return of subpoena ... more

Judges    April 11, 2008  
Kirby, God, Gayness and Judging

Those whacko letters to Michael Kirby from the vicar of Bellevue Hill … And the “conversation” in the Banco court with journalist David Marr ... more

City Desk    April 10, 2008  
Protecting our own

The law admission authorities have agreed to strict new principles to apply to overseas lawyers wanting tickets to trade in Australia. There’s trouble over NSW’s “Jonathan Sumption” dispensation clause ... more

Hellfire Club    April 9, 2008  
Bar shifts goal posts in Punch-up

What to make of the John Punch case? Barrister found guilty of professional misconduct by Administrative Decisions Tribunal because he brought alibi evidence he knew to be untruthful. “Belief” and “knowledge” are the key concepts that in the ADT’s reasons lose their independence ... more

Leverhulme    April 7, 2008  
London Calling

Outrage as European law chokes “inappropriate banter” in British pubs … Matron-in-Chief and deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman excites Willie Hague in her stab vest … The Lawyer lauds increase in women partners but only puts one woman on its awards panel ... more

Only in America    April 7, 2008  
Pillsbury Flom reports

Sub-prime crisis brings on epic foul mouthed deposition outburst from mortgage flogger … Republican judges deaf to suspect’s unambiguous plea of the Fifth … Lawyer rating website upsets the lowly ranked but is protected by the First ... more

Bar Talk    April 2, 2008  
A manual for bar bullies

The new rules to curb bullying barristers are a masterpiece of chicanery. A flourish, signifying nothing much. Barristers will still be able to pull any stunt they want during cross examination, only now they have a list of official excuses. At least Hatz and Katz are in agreement ... more

Victoria Mole    April 2, 2008  
Humans as resources

The abolition of the slave trade was a development that bypassed modern corporate law firms. The “haitch-are” people still see humans as “resources”. Articled clerk Vicki Mole bonds with an HR staffer in the hope that knowledge is power ... more

Bar Talk    March 29, 2008  
More privilege squabbles in ongoing Stephen Archer case

There’s lots of life yet in the interminable hearings grappling with the NSW Bar’s application to remove a former multiple bankrupt from the roll ... more

Elizabeth Street    March 28, 2008  
Who's the fairest of them all?

Considering that desirable female lawyers get paid five percent more than the so sos, Lizzy Street, fresh faced Sydney solicitor, agonises about how attractive is attractive enough ... more

Bar Talk    March 28, 2008  
Burbidge QC v Mrs Wolf - next round

Sydney silk wants indemnity costs from his former client over her failed application for the summary dismissal of his ultimately unsuccessful constructive trust case to prise out of her a lousy $35,000 in fees ... more

Evan Whitton    March 25, 2008  
Whitton at large

More CJ speculation … VicAppeals bucks the trend and finds against lawyers’ cartel … Judges should pay for retrials arising from misdirections … Jury in the dark in Towle case … BBC series Law and Order released after 30-year suppression … Curtin was right about the sinking of the Sydney ... more

Critics' Corner    March 25, 2008  
Lights, camera, ego

Three legal luminaries have flitted across the small screen this month. Charles Waterstreet, Geoffrey Robertson and Ian Callinan. Our TV critic I. Box reviews their performances ... more

Leverhulme    March 25, 2008  
London Calling

Libel, prejudice and smear – British reptiles live up to the finest traditions … Dave Cameron looking for more Tory ladies, while a blue bum-bum chap offers a hand to Labour ... more

Roger Fitch Esq    March 23, 2008  
Our Man in Washington

As President Bush vetoes an anti-torture Bill the CIA pays liability insurance for its employees who face the prospect of lawsuits over their “harsh interrogation techniques” ... Further discredit for military commissions as the government is found to have doctored Guantánamo trial documents ... more

Groper    March 21, 2008  
Postings from Perth

Malcolm McCusker’s disagreement over “findings” by the Comic Capers Commission will probably see Gorilla Grill merrily skipping from Rooster Cock’s charges. Everything is dandy at the Wild West zoo ... more

Victoria Mole    March 19, 2008  
The absurdity begins

Melbourne articled clerk Vicki Mole blogs every fortnight for Justinian, keeping us abreast of her most minute thoughts as she plonks her Jimmy Choos on the up-escalator of a beautiful career ... more

Only in America    March 19, 2008  
Inside the glass house

Sub-prime melee gives ailing securities bar a much needed leg-up … Long-winded Exxon Valdez litigation sends many plaintiffs and lawyers to their graves ... A responsive chord stuck as Mike Huckabee equates gay love to bestiality … Class action legend Dickie Scruggs guilty of conspiring to bribe a judge. Pillsbury Flom reports ... more

Poz Vacant    March 17, 2008  
Let your creative juices flow

Justinian is ceaselessly expanding its team of field-agents and contributors. Currently we’re searching for a couple of lawyers who can blog behind the iron curtain of their law firms ... more

City Desk    March 13, 2008  
Tripod man needs a better Crippsing

The palsied NSW Opposition might land a few blows yet on Joe Tripodi and his shop soiled mates who get plum government jobs. ICAC whimped it, but the pong lingers. Alex Mitchell reports ... more

Leverhulme    March 12, 2008  
London Calling

There is no cure for this disease – the ever spiralling law school fees. Even worse, the plans to cease the helpful open exam book crease… It must be spring, Leverhulme bursts into verse ... more

Tulkinghorn    March 12, 2008  
What do lawyers actually do?

“Lawyers and lawyering” is defined to mean whatever you want it to mean. In fact, most of the profession isn’t practising law at all. It doesn’t matter, as long as lawyers have a monopoly on whatever it is they do ... more

Polly Peck    March 11, 2008  
Capital Offences

Government’s legal advice eludes Soapy Brandis … Commissioner Kelpie insists that $7.5 million later Haneef is still under investigation … But, strangely, the top copper goes into bat for Stephen Keim … DFAT runs up legal costs of $346,000 trying to skewer Downer enemy Trent Smith ... more

Darwin    March 8, 2008  
Capricornia capers

Top End political contortions … Cadaver Cavanagh’s generous spirit hidden from the masses … Court of Appeal unmoved by Ramjet’s complaints about Judge Dredd … Bureau de Spank totters to the rescue … Euthanasia reprise ... more

City Desk    March 6, 2008  
You'll get sick if you catch this wog

The Greeks had a word for it – “kakistocracy”, or government by the worst elements in society. Alex Mitchell reviews the career of one of NSW’s kakistocrats, Joseph Guerino Tripodi ... more

Roger Fitch Esq    March 4, 2008  
Our Man in Washington

If Gitmo closes what becomes of the inmates? Refoulement is the answer, i.e. even worse US prisons in Afghanistan … Lawyers who advised the administration on torture now under (soft) investigation … Bush lawyers at DoJ advising Iraqis on “justice and the rule of law” ... more

On the Couch    February 29, 2008  
Burke's frontyard

Tony Burke is the president of the Law Institute of Victoria. Sleek on the outside and underneath, he’s keen to share some information about his calves ... more

Theodora    February 28, 2008  
Goings on ...

Einfeld trial goes to Supreme Court … Changing of the guard in Van Diemen’s Land … Accusations of ethical lapse by ethics centre … Sharing and caring at the NSW bar n’ grill … Outpost of Dow Jones empire latest not to review Murdoch sex and money tome ... more

Judges    February 27, 2008  
Jobs ahoy

Alex Mitchell brings news from the Rialto that an eminent member of the Faithful is to be sacrificed on the altar of the NSW Industrial Relations Commission ... more

Evan Whitton    February 26, 2008  
A fine spray

Evan Whitton unbundles his thoughts about ennui on the High Court; British “values”; our great and powerful friends; the notion of jury “prejudice”; the ink stained world of journalism; and the now extinct P.P. McGuinness ... more

Barry Lane    February 25, 2008  
Judges, the common law and "evil activists"

Barry Lane in Melbourne says the alarm about judicial activism being raised by the likes of Janet Albrechtsen is false. Much of the time elected politicians are begging unelected judges to “legislate” ... more

Leverhulme    February 25, 2008  
London Calling

The duelling diaries of a star silk and a name-dropping socialite businessman … The horrendous Dixie murder case and the unhelpful Aussie coppers … Senior moments ... more

Roger Fitch Esq    February 21, 2008  
Our Man in Washington

“Guantanamo Six” military commission trial is the opening shot in Republican election year strategy … Yet there’s a problem – most of the alleged “war crimes” occurred before there was a war … Administration’s torture definition finds its roots in health benefit policy ... more

The Howards    February 21, 2008  
Janette Howard's Diary

What on earth has happened to John and Janette Howard? Their absence from the daily polity opens a wretched hole in our lives, which fortunately we are now able to fill. Justinian has secured the exclusive rights to publish instalments of Janette Howard’s carte blanche secret diary ... more

Sir Terence O'Rort    February 20, 2008  
Ethics Smethics

Sir Terence O’Rort is an old fashioned sort of Queenslander and of the view that if lawyers err there is no room for redemption. He’s got the Kilroy and Keim cases in his sclerotic sights ... more

Judges    February 20, 2008  
Farewell Sir Lancelot

He’s done 10 years and he’s off. Justice Lance Wright bows out as head of the NSW Industrial Relations Commission. Alex Mitchell pens a farewell ... more

Polly Peck    February 16, 2008  
Capital Offences

Delegates could scarcely finish their sentences at the big Judicial College sentencing corroboree in Canberra … Plenty of eternal gratitude at recent ACT Supreme Court swearings-in … And a moist eyed send-off for Justice Terry Connolly ... more

Judges    February 14, 2008  
Judicial activism

The rump of Australian neo-cons warns us of the “evils of judicial activism” – and if anyone can sniff out this evil it’s newspaper pundit Janet Albrechtsen. Justice Robert French, from the Federal Court, defends the patch in this Justinian webcast of proceedings at the Gilbert + Tobin Centre’s recent constitutional knees-up ... more

Leverhulme    February 13, 2008  
London Calling

Prison secretly taped lawyer-inmate conversations – Lord Robbo livid … Jonathan Sumption’s Dad dies … Fat Indian law firm heads to London … Cold case review brings out a change of colour ... more

On the Couch    February 12, 2008  
Justice Jane Mathews

The first woman judge of the NSW Supreme Court is on the couch ... more

Court in the Act    February 11, 2008  
Rub-a-dub-dub, experts in a tub

“Hot-tubbing” of expert witnesses in NSW has been such a success in reducing costs and speeding-up civil cases that ways and means are to be explored of introducing judge-run concurrent evidence into criminal trials. From Ginger Snatch (judges’ associate) ... more

Roger Fitch Esq    February 8, 2008  
Our Man in Washington

The Attorney General says the US can torture if it likes … The proposed American Freedom Agenda Act says the US can kidnap if it likes … Over at Guantanamo smart new portable court rooms have been installed … Pentagon bunglers mistakenly hand over “secret” evidence to the visiting press ... more

Barry Lane    February 7, 2008  
If only they'd stuck to their knitting

At law school they don’t teach the rule against borrowing short and investing long. Not to worry, the bear market has taught members of that special breed – the lawyer turned bizoid – a useful lesson ... more

Tulkinghorn    February 4, 2008  
How can we rescue the rich if we don't have sentencing discretion?

A Deal or No Deal system of sentencing criminals would be fairer than the present arrangement, where offenders simply pay to get the best deal ... more

Theodora    January 31, 2008  
Goings on ...

Senior Crown Prosecutor captures a collection of legal chameleons … Spiggsy lauds the Sydney litigation vortex – other states can drop dead … Television tribulations fired the soul of new Law Society president … Soapy Brandis thinks only Liberals value the rule of law … Fresh legal affairs man at the Financial Review ... Court productivity figures ... more

Leverhulme    January 29, 2008  
London Calling

Allegation of murderous conspiracy raised by al-Fayed’s counsel at the Diana Inquest … A good moment to recall Sir Patrick Hastings’ cross-examination technique … Damages for the hurt feelings of lesbian lance bombardier overwhelm those for a legless one ... more

Evan Whitton    January 29, 2008  
Whitton is back

Few are spared as our esteemed columnist returns with barbs, swipes and japes: Debbie Kilroy … Barker’s submission in the Einfeld case … Neville Chamberlain and John Howard … President Soeharto … Spigs for CJ on High … And the sorry history of price-fixing penalties ... more

On the Couch    January 26, 2008  
Crossword Test

Nunc libero est, sagittis et rutrum vitae, dignissim quis lectus. Praesent lobortis dignissim risus, et porta felis euismod ut. In rutrum tempor ornare. Suspendisse potenti. Suspendisse fringilla tortor posuere urna rutrum vulputate. ... more

City Desk    January 25, 2008  
ALP lolly-shop

FOI details emerge on George Newhouse’s dodgy nomination for Wentworth. Anyway, what was he doing on the Consumer Trader and Tenancy Tribunal in the first place? ... more

On the Couch    January 23, 2008  
Anna Katzmann

Ms Katzmann’s driving ambition is to be on the bench of the rugby league judiciary. Instead, she’s ended up with second prize – President of the New South Wales Bar Association ... more

On the Couch    January 22, 2008  
Hugh Macken

Hugh Ignatius Macken celebrates his arrival as the president of the Law Society of New South Wales by going couchant avec Justinian. We discover he’s a huntin’ n’ fishin’ sort of guy ... more

Roger Fitch Esq    January 22, 2008  
Our Man in Washington

Great law is being made. While the Padilla v Yoo torture case is attracting much commentary, the Republican stacked DC Court of Appeals has come to the aid of the administration with a finding that “mistreatment” of enemy prisoners is legally acceptable. The court went one better and said that an enemy alien is not “a person” ... more

Theodora    January 21, 2008  
Goings on ...

Attorney General summons the Priest … Tourette’s tirade in SA Supreme Court … Keane for CJ … Tubby wants the poor to give money to the rich … Dressing down for Mallesons’ all-nighters … Sackville shaves Archibald’s C7 bill ... more

Darwin    January 15, 2008  
Emergency Response

Brokeback activities catching-on among Top End lawyers … Much shuffling of deckchairs … All the right people offended by Tubby Callinan’s tour de force speech at the Bar n’ Grill dinner ... more

Leverhulme    January 14, 2008  
London Calling

Leverhulme in Ireland asks, who’s cleaning Poland? ... Law Society president opposes self-regulation of the profession … Mrs Tiger Woods awarded a five-star Irish grovel ... more

Roger Fitch Esq    January 8, 2008  
Our Man in Washington

Bush’s legal regime continues to unravel as torture and black site prisons bring on more litigation … Meanwhile, the list of disaffected and departed Gitmo military lawyers continues to grow ... more

Bar Talk    January 7, 2008  
Advocates Immune Deficiency Syndrome

The advocates’ immunity has sprung some leaks. The holes must be plugged otherwise brave, but careless, litigators will be rooned ... more