New Zealand Law Society - Session topics

Session topics

Keynote - Courage amidst chaos: The mission to save the Afghan Women Judges

Justice Glazebrook (Ministry of Justice)

On August 15, 2021, the Taliban reached Kabul, casting a chilling shadow over the lives of the 250 Afghan women judges. These judges, who had ardently devoted themselves to upholding the rule of law, found themselves in mortal danger not just from the Taliban but from the criminals and terrorists they had sentenced and who were now out for revenge. The judges were also subjected to the systematic erasure of women and girls from all forms of public life. This session will recount the moving saga of the unwavering efforts by members of the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ) who embarked on a heartfelt mission to rescue these courageous women.

Thank you to our keynote sponsor: 

Session 1: Let’s Make it Perfectly Queer! – An Introduction to LGBTQIA+ Topics

Dr David Sarshalom (Invercargill Medical Centre)

The purpose of this basic workshop, Let’s Make it Perfectly Queer!, is to serve as an introduction to the LGBTQIA+ spectrum and to uncover some basic considerations that will encourage us to have a deeper understanding and deliver a culturally safe approach to improving outcomes for LGBTQIA+ clients.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Takatāpui, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, plus (LGBTQIA+) people come from all cultures and walks of life. Gaining an appreciation of LGBTQIA+ people, their history and lived experiences can lead us to change our professional and personal environment and the way we approach clients to provide a safe, LGBTQIA+ inclusive space that promotes and delivers exceptional person-centred care.

Session 2: Workplace Investigations: Pitfalls, procedure, and personal grievances

James Cowan (Anderson Lloyd)

In this session James Cowan (Senior Associate, Anderson Lloyd) will discuss new and emerging developments in workplace investigations. Workplace investigations are more regularly being subjected to scrutiny, criticised for any procedural misstep, and alleged as subjecting employees to unjustifiable disadvantage. They are becoming increasingly complex (and expensive), and employers are seemingly being held to a higher standard than in the past. This session will inform practitioners about avoiding the legal pitfalls in advising on workplace investigations, including: the standard of proof, good faith and natural justice requirements, supporting documentation, whistleblowing, privacy, privilege, and what makes an investigation "sufficient".

Session 3: The intersection of hi-tech stalking in domestic violence and family law cases

Steven Bradley (Our Family Wizard)

As our dependency and use of technology increases, we rely on electronic devices to complete many daily activities. Unfortunately, these same technologies are being seen more and more in family law cases where offenders have identified ways to exploit them in order to facilitate harm towards their victims and co-parents alike. In this interactive workshop, Steven Bradley will explore the risks and benefits of technology, not only for the clients we serve, but also for you in your personal and professional lives. Attendees will learn safety planning and evidence collection strategies for phone technology, location apps, social media, and more. Non-technical language will be used throughout the presentation and how to safely navigate the world of technology.

Session 4: Disability, Mental Health, Neurodiversity and Communication. How to spot communication challenges and what you can do about it

Bridget McArthur (Moretalk)

In this session you will receive a brief background on a range of disabilities, mental health conditions and neurodiversity. How these conditions impact communication. You will receive a practical guide on how to identify communication challenges including a cheat sheet to screen for key communication features. In addition to this background information, you will receive communication strategies to implement in your own practice. This will include use of plain language, easy read documentation and conversation strategies. All of which may support the court process, workplace communication and talking with your clients.

Session 5: A tweet a day keeps the doctor away – the latest developments in professional disciplinary cases against health professionals taking to social media.

Kate Rouch (Dentons)

In this session, Kate Rouch discusses the current issues in this area of professional discipline with reference to three recent decisions of the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal.

In each of PCC v Tovaranonte, PCC v Tepou and the recent high-profile decision of PCC v Canaday the medical practitioner made statements on social media which were ultimately found to have been in breach of their professional obligations. In two of these cases, the statements related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kate explores three common issues in these decisions: how making statements is within the relevant scope of ‘practice,’ why the statements ultimately attracted a finding of professional misconduct, and what these findings mean for health practitioners taking to social media. This session will be of interest to those who want to keep updated with the latest case law on professional discipline.

Session 6: Mediation: An unsung hero for all lawyers and their clients

Kate Keddell (Mediator & Workplace Investigator) & Malcolm Wallace (Barrister)

Part 1:When and How to prepare lawyers and cases for mediation

Some say that timing is the art of successful mediation-certainly careful thought must be given to when to promote mediation to friend or foe. Lawyers must also think carefully about how they prepare themselves and their client’s case for a mediation. What will influence a successful outcome at mediation for your client?

Part 2: How to prepare clients for mediation and how to look into underlying interests

For clients (and their lawyers) to get the most out of mediation, they need to be able to manage their emotions so they can engage constructively and shift from entrenched positions. This will allow them to collaborate and focus on moving forwards, towards resolution. It is also important that clients talk to their lawyers about the underlying reasons for the dispute so that they can assess what non-legal options may be relevant as well.

This session is for all lawyers looking to help their clients resolve disputes or problems. Mediation can be used in all areas of law, in addition to family and employment.

Session 7: Crossing the uncanny valley - AI, legaltech and the future of the legal profession

Derek Roth-Biester (Anderson Lloyd)

The talk will focus on:

  • recent developments in generative artificial intelligence and large language models
  • how these are likely to impact our clients' businesses
  • how we will deliver legal services in the future

Session 8: What to do when your family law case crosses international borders

Inger Blackford (Barrister)

What should you do if find your family law case has an international or cross border aspect to it and there are queries as to which international jurisdiction applies. We will cover:

  • Service of litigants abroad
  • Identifying a potential Hague Convention case/ relocation of children abroad
  • Forum non conveniens
  • Filing or replying to a protest as to jurisdiction
  • How to deal with property located outside of New Zealand

Session 9: Property law update

Peter Sygrove (Todd & Walker Law) & Trevor Shiels KC (Barrister)

Trevor and Peter will discuss two or three topics for property lawyers based on interesting recent cases. Trevor will summarise and comment on the cases from a litigator’s perspective. Peter will focus on the application of the cases in terms of drafting contracts and managing transactions.

Session 10: Advising trustees and current issues post Trusts Act 2019

Lauren Brent (Webb Farry)

As the Trusts Act 2019 continues to embed itself into contemporary practice, this seminar will focus on relevant considerations when advising trustees and also acting as a professional trustee. The seminar will also review current trust issues and practically consider how these can be managed by practitioners following the introduction of the Trusts Act 2019.

Session 11: AML and Financial Crime – evolution so far, and likely future directions

Gary Hughes (Barrister)

The fields of money laundering, financial crime, terrorism financing, and foreign economic sanctions (e.g. upon Russia) only grow more complex.
And so does the regulatory machinery that is put into statute form to try to combat or control those evils. What are we to make of New Zealand’s various financial crime regimes, and the levels of compliance expected of law firms and business clients?

Gary will draw on his deep expertise of enforcement & compliance problems to survey these fields, including:

  • The Ministry of Justice AML/CFT Act statutory reform project
  • Issues with beneficial ownership structures, and ‘gatekeeper’ professionals
  • Current AML risk areas and enforcement trends
  • Development of financial sanctions over (and beyond) Russia/Belarus
  • Ways to manage regulatory risk – for your firm, and its clients

Session 12: Employer immigration: the must know issues

Shi (Shoosh) Sheng Cai (Copeland Ashcroft)

A large number of New Zealand employers’ benefit from employing migrant workers. These employers will need to navigate constantly changing policy and the fishhooks within it.

This session will cover some of the policy changes and fishhooks that employers should be aware of when employing migrant workers. The issues that will be covered will include:

  • Recent important changes in policy and legislation
  • Compliance issues and breaches that can arise
  • Changes in INZ operation including changes with fluctuating processing times
  • And more…
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