New Zealand Law Society - LawTalk issue 890

LawTalk issue 890

LawTalk issue 890

Enhancing access to justice

Improving access to justice and legal services is a major aim of the Wellington Community Justice Project (WCJP). One way it is doing this is to assist people appearing in the District Court to access community services they need to turn their lives around. The WCJP volunteers attend the District Court list…

It definitely helped develop her as a lawyer

Being involved with the Wellington Community Justice Project (WCJP) “definitely” helped Emily Bruce’s development as a lawyer, she says. Now working for Melanie Baker in Lower Hutt, her practice is a mix of criminal defence and family law work. “It’s mostly legal aid in our practice. “Law school set me up for…

Why WCJP was begun

Helena Cook founded the Wellington Community Justice Project (WCJP) as a result of looking at options when she left law school. “I never attended law school with the notion that I would do commercial law, but that was the model we were primarily sold. The marketing was around which law firm…

From the Law Society

Access to justiceUnless there is better access to justice “we will live in a society where the strong will by any means, including violence, always win out against the weak”. These well-reported words of the then Chief High Court Judge, Justice Helen Winkelmann – which she said in her 2014 New…

Our Profession, Our People

Queen’s Birthday HonoursThe following members and former members of the legal profession were awarded honours in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. The President of the Court of Appeal, Dame Ellen France, of Wellington, has been made a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the judiciary. Former…

New Family Law Section chair

Nelson lawyer Michelle Duggan has been elected chair of the New Zealand Law Society’s Family Law Section. Ms Duggan started work as a lawyer at Gibson Sheat in Lower Hutt in 1991 and since 1997 has been a sole practitioner specialising in family matters. From 1997 to 2005 Ms Duggan worked…

From isolated island to New Zealand’s biggest city

From little things big things grow and when a person grows up on isolated Motiti Island in the Bay of Plenty – where there was no power or sealed roads and just a handful of people living – only to end up an associate at an Auckland law firm, that…

New director of Legal Issues Centre

The new director of New Zealand’s only civil Legal Issues Centre believes the key to improving the civil justice system for thousands of New Zealanders will involve looking outside the legal system. Dr Bridgette Toy-Cronin – who has a background in both legal academia and the legal profession – wants to…

Space lawyer a NZ woman to watch

Christchurch space law specialist Dr Maria Pozza is “the New Zealand Woman in Law to Watch”, according to AI magazine. AI (for Acquisition International) is a United Kingdom-based magazine with a focus on corporate finance. It is published by AI Global. A consultant lawyer with Helmore Ayers, Dr Pozza “is often referred…

Social investment could cut prison population

Is a 14-year-old boy who is committing burglaries more likely to have a long history of violent crime compared to a teenager of the same age who is regularly a truant and drug user? The Justice Minister, Amy Adams, says being able to definitively answer questions like that through investing in…

Access to justice gets a $96m boost

The 2016/17 Budget has offered some much needed replenishment and relief to legal aid services with $96 million being pumped in over the next four years for legal aid and community law centres. Some key parts of the package include: $17.2 million to increase eligibility for civil and family legal aid; $4.3…

Clayton v Clayton

On 23 March the Supreme Court delivered its long awaited judgments on Melanie and Mark Clayton’s appeals against the Court of Appeal judgment handed down 12 months earlier.1 But before the judgments were delivered, the Claytons managed to settle all matters in issue between them. Somewhat unusually, but unsurprisingly given the…

Coaching teams so the whole is greater than the sum of the parts

My friend Donella Meadows, who started an intentional community in Vermont many years ago, once said: “Living in community is neither as good nor as bad as you might think”. The same can be said about working in teams. Unless you really do practise law alone, you are likely to be…

What is your wealth management process and how involved can you afford to be?

In my previous article I asked lawyers about their wealth strategies, so the next logical question had to be about execution. The proof, after all, is in the pudding, not the recipe. I wanted to determine the ideal process or level of personal involvement for lawyers in managing their wealth. Formulating…

Law Reform

NZLS supports Land Transfer BillThe New Zealand Law Society welcomes the modernisation of the Land Transfer Act but is concerned about how some of its new provisions will work. The Land Transfer Bill is set to amend the Land Transfer Act 1952, which the Law Society says will bring this key…

The top 9 habits of a rainmaker

Most legal firms tend to have one or two people whom others look to with amazement and respect as those who can “build relationships and win work”. Typically called rainmakers, these individuals seem to have an innate gift to be able to develop and win work for themselves and the law…

Towards a written constitution for New Zealand

The Law Foundation is backing work led by former Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey Palmer to draft a model New Zealand Constitution as a basis for public debate. The project is based on Sir Geoffrey’s view that New Zealand’s present constitution is “dangerously incomplete, obscure, fragmentary and far too flexible.” He says…

Three new books on the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015

The new regimen for health and safety at work has introduced a number of important changes. These include the establishment of a “Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking” (PCBU) as well as identification of the duties now placed on officers or workers, to name but a few. Important changes and…

Domain Name Arbitration

A Practical Guide to Asserting and Defending Claims of Cybersquatting Under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy By Gerald M Levine Esq Reviewed by Chris LaHatte Dr Levine is a New York attorney with a depth of experience in intellectual property matters. He has written widely on many difficult topics including the…

Topping Up Stepping Up

Topping Up Stepping Up is a revision course for practitioners who have satisfactorily completed Stepping Up but have not commenced practice on their own account within the required two years. If you have done Stepping Up, but have let the two-year window pass and now wish to commence practice on your…

Lawyers Complaints Service: Suspended for negligence

Auckland lawyer Bharat Parshotam has been suspended from practising for nine months from 1 June 2016 by the New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal. In [2016] NZLCDT 15 Mr Parshotam admitted charges of negligence or incompetence of such a degree as to reflect on his fitness to practise or as…

Lawyers Complaints Service: Censure and fine for ‘serious failures’

Peter Jefferies has been censured and fined $10,000 by a lawyers standards committee for “serious failures” in meeting his professional and trust account obligations. In determining that there had been unsatisfactory conduct by Mr Jefferies, the committee found that: he had accepted instructions when there was more than a negligible risk that…

Lawyers Complaints Service: High Court overturns LCRO decision

The High Court has overturned a decision of the Legal Complaints Review Officer (LCRO) in which the LCRO stated that a lawyer should not make direct contact with the client of a conveyancing practitioner. In LCRO 249/2014, the LCRO reviewed a case where a licensed conveyancing practitioner, C, complained about a…
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