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Frank Walker
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Stacks Blog - OLD


20/08/2014 | HOW TERROR LAWS CAN AFFECT YOU Most of the focus on the government’s proposed new and tougher anti-terror laws has been on greater powers of surveillance on what people do on the internet, phone calls made and social media...

13/08/2014 | SURROGACY – WHAT IS THE LAW? Surrogacy has been in the news lately, raising many questions about exactly what is the law as it effects the biological parents, the birth mother and the child. In Australia each State has its own laws covering surrogacy, and they do vary slightly...

31/07/2014 | TRADEMARKING BAD TASTE News that somebody sought to register a trademark on the term MH17 within a day of the plane being shot down over Ukraine makes you shake your head in despair...

28/07/2014 | WHAT’S IN A NAME? PLENTY, SAYS THE LAW Some day you might meet a New Zealander with the bizarre name Number 16 Bush Shelter, Midnight Chardonnay or twins called Benson and Hedges. You might meet a Swede called Lego or Google...

21/07/2014 | DOES A WAIVER WAVE AWAY ALL RIGHTS TO MAKE A CLAIM? We’re told to sign them every time we do any sort of organised activity that could be considered risky such as clubs or schools teaching surfing, horse riding, abseiling, bungee jumping, whitewater rafting, skiing, rock climbing or hang gliding. “Sign this waiver before we start,” they say – thrusting a paper with legalistic phrases in front of us...

11/07/2014 | HELP! THEY’RE BUILDING A HIGHWAY THROUGH MY HOME Your home is your castle, right? It said so in that popular movie The Castle. Well, that movie didn’t take into account the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act of 1991...

9/07/2014 | IS PACKING PRISONS THE BEST WAY TO DEAL WITH CRIME? Our prisons are filled to bursting point as tougher sentencing by courts is sending record numbers of lawbreakers to jail, new figures from the Bureau of Statistics reveal. The ABS says 33,000 people are locked behind bars across Australia, and jails are overflowing in every state and territory except Tasmania...

27/06/2014 | HONESTY BEST POLICY IN RESUMES An ambitious man who recently got a top job in a Sydney department store chain was sacked on his very first day when he was alleged to have lied on his resume. He wasn’t the first. Surveys have found one person in three admits to lying, stretching the truth or telling little fibs on their resume.

25/06/2014 | BEWARE OF FALSE BILLING SCAMS Business owners are being warned to beware of fake bills that are scamming more and more people...

13/06/2014 | FORGET GOOGLE? NOT DOWN UNDER Ever wish Google would somehow forget to bring up the link to that embarrassing matter about you on the Internet? Maybe it’s a cringeworthy photo. Perhaps it’s that little matter you had before court years ago. Maybe it’s those unpleasant things a rival said about you...

11/06/2014 | ANGRY JUDGE MAKES A FIST OF THE LAW When a judge invites a defence lawyer to step outside the courtroom to settle a legal argument with their fists, it shows anger problems aren’t limited to those in the dock...

30/05/2014 | USE THE LAW TO STOP CYBER BULLIES Cyber bullying is already a huge problem and sadly it is growing, especially among young schoolchildren. Kids as young as eight are telling teachers and parents that they get bullying messages via social media.

21/05/2014 | COURT WEIGHS NEEDS WHEN CONSIDERING WILL DISPUTES Wills are now being challenged at record rates partly due to the growing complexity of what constitutes a family in today’s world with Brady Bunch type blended families and more live-in arrangements...

9/05/2014 | SO, JUST WHAT IS AFFRAY? Imagine a billionaire and a multi-millionaire, going blow for blow in a public street brawl in the middle of the day, the fight captured by photographers and splashed across front pages of newspapers...

5/05/2014 | IT’S NO CRIME TO BE UNLAWFUL There’s been quite a bit of debate recently about the finer points of law relating to racial vilification...

1/05/2014 | CUTS TO WORKERS’ COMP UNNECESSARY, STUDY FINDS New changes to workers compensation brought in by the NSW government...

30/04/2014 | SACKED BEFORE YOU EVEN START – WHAT CAN YOU DO? You are offered an attractive job with a rival company. You accept the offer and resign your current position. You even move cities for the new job. Then, just before you sign the employment contract, the bombshell hits...

23/04/2014 | TACKLE AGE DISCRIMINATION BEFORE RAISING PENSION TO 70 With all the talk of raising the age at which you can receive the pension to 70 there is a real need to change attitudes to keeping the more mature among us in jobs...

16/04/2014 | A HANDSHAKE CAN LEGALLY SEAL A DEAL You’d think that if you shook hands to seal a deal it wouldn't be worth the paper it was written on. Not so. The law in Australia does allow a contract to be legally binding if it is written or verbal. A handshake on a deal can be legally binding, and you can be held accountable if you breach the agreement.

7/04/2014 | KNOW THE ROAD RULES FOR BICYCLES The rules for cyclists are a bit different than vehicle drivers, and while motorists sometimes get frustrated by cyclists whizzing through traffic, there are rules aimed at protecting vulnerable cyclists...

31/03/2014 | REVERSE MORTGAGES – BE CAREFUL AND GET EXPERT ADVICE It could be tempting in one’s older years as income withers to sign up for a reverse mortgage – a loan taken out by a homeowner on the security of their home...

26/03/2014 | TOP 10 MISTAKES IN MAKING A WILL It’s possible to write your own Will, but there are pitfalls for the unwary which can result in your estate not going where you intended it to go...

20/03/2014 | ANNULMENT OR DIVORCE – IS THERE A CHOICE? The new wife was shocked to discover there was a ghost in her marriage. The ghost was always there, effectively a third person in the marriage. There she was, up on the mantelpiece in a jar. Her husband was so obsessed with his late first wife he refused to bury her ashes...

10/03/2014 | TWITTER VICTIMS USING LAW TO STRIKE BACK After a landmark court ruling, people who feel they are victims of defamatory statements sent via twitter or any other social media can sue and be awarded substantial damages...

3/03/2014 | YES, SOMETIMES THE LAW IS AN ASS Charles Dickens was the first to say “the law is an ass” in Oliver Twist. That’s “ass” as in stubborn stupid donkey, not the American word for what you sit on. Since Dickens’ day, many folk have had good reason to agree...

26/02/2014 | SELLING A HOUSE? REGISTER THAT POOL FIRST Another deadline is looming for registering household pools. From 29 April 2014 anybody selling a house that has a pool must have the pool registered with the government register or the sale could be rescinded...

19/02/2014 | BUSINESSES NEED TO PREPARE FOR NEW PRIVACY LAWS Changes to the privacy laws come in next month covering how a business handles personal information and businesses need to check to ensure they comply...

12/02/2014 | COURT RULES HOUSEWIFE EQUAL PARTNER IN AMASSING FORTUNE When it came time for a long marriage to end in divorce the husband argued the wife wasn’t entitled to receive half the family fortune in the settlement as he’d done all the work...

31/01/2014 | FREE APP GAMES CAN COST IN THE REAL WORLD More and more people are discovering that so-called ‘free’ games downloaded to mobile devices can cost a small fortune. Parents are puzzled when charged hundreds and even thousands of dollars from a ‘free’ game only to discover their child had ‘bought’ awards in a game in real world money not virtual currency...

23/01/2014 | HOW A DEAD MAN CAN END UP WITH TWO SPOUSES The president of France has one. President John F Kennedy had Marilyn Monroe. King Henry VIII had loads. Prince Charles had one. Even the bearded Father of Australian Federation Henry Parkes had one...

17/01/2014 | TOUGHER PENALTIES NOT THE ANSWER TO ‘COWARD PUNCH’ One of NSW’s most senior lawyers warns government plans to bring in tougher penalties to combat lethal ‘coward punches’ will not solve the problem...

10/01/2014 | CHANGES COMING FOR SEXTING LAWS Current laws covering sexting – the transmission of naked or sexually revealing images of themselves via mobile phone or the internet – have already led to teenagers being charged with child pornography offences and placed on the sex offender register...

3/01/2014 | BUYING A FRIDGE OR TV? IT’S GUARANTEED BY LAW Consumers have strong guarantee rights under law, and the Federal Court has just hit a large white goods retailer for making false or misleading representations to customers regarding their consumer guarantee rights...

27/12/2013 | NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS TO PROTECT YOUR WEALTH It’s not the most exciting thing to do in your holidays, but some New Year resolutions regarding your finances and estate management could save your wealth and wellbeing in the year ahead...

20/12/2013 | LEWD OFFICE EMAILS NOT AUTOMATIC SACKING OFFENCE Three workers at Australia Post were caught sending lewd email messages to each other. They were fired on the spot...

12/12/2013 | NUCLEAR VETERANS SHOT DOWN IN HUMAN RIGHTS APPEAL Australian veterans of the British nuclear tests in Australia have been dealt a final blow in their long fight for justice...

6/12/2013 | BEING BULLIED? RECORD IT IN A DIARY. Horrific recent reports from the Coroner’s Court looking into the suicide of a young man after he was bullied at work show that despite all the laws and guidelines, more must be done...

4/12/2013 | OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY MOST DANGEROUS TIME OF YEAR This should be the time of year when you embrace your work colleagues in a mood of seasonal goodwill, imbibe in good-natured convivial jollity, tell the boss how much you truly appreciate their efforts, thank junior staff for their wonderful and tireless assistance...

25/11/2013 | BEWARE THE MEMORY ON USED DIGITAL DEVICES Here’s a lesson for the digitally unwary - an increasing number of people are finding their identity and personal information is being stolen after they sell their used digital storage devices...

15/11/2013 | LYING TO GET AN APVO NOW A CRIME Making false allegations in order to obtain an Apprehended Personal Violence Order (APVO) against a neighbour, co-worker or stranger will become a criminal offence under changes to the law being brought in by the NSW government...

12/11/2013 | BE READY FOR NEW WORKPLACE BULLYING LAWS New workplace bullying laws come into operation on January 1 and it’s worth getting your business ready for it now. Changes to the Fair Work Act 2009 enable allegations of bullying in the workplace to be handled by the Fair Work Commission...

6/11/2013 | WORKCOVER CUTS HURT WORKERS Many people who have been receiving ongoing medical payments through WorkCover have recently been shocked to receive notices saying it will end on 31 December....

28/10/2013 | COMPENSATION CLAIMS NEED EXPERT LEGAL ADVICE You’re never ready when you are involved in an incident. It can be a devastating blow that changes your life forever. Financial compensation can help you get your life back on track...

18/10/2013 | COMPANY DIRECTORS NEED TO PROTECT THEMSELVES For more than 200 years there has been a legal barrier between the business life of company directors and their personal life. This was so directors could develop their business without risking all their personal assets...

14/10/2013 | THE PERILS OF SOCIAL MEDIA AT WORK We’ve heard of the job applicant who misses out because their face is all over Facebook in embarrassing positions. Similarly there’s the worker who Twitters what a great time they’re having at the cricket when they’re on a sickie...

4/10/2013 | 10 GROUNDS TO CHALLENGE A WILL Dad cut me out of his will. I was carer for a person for years yet all they left me was their armchair. My spouse left it all to a secret lover. My step-father got mum’s fortune. Grandma left the mansion to her cat...

27/09/2013 | DO WE HAVE A LEGAL RIGHT TO LIE? A Californian judge recently ruled drug cheat cyclist Lance Armstrong had the constitutional right to lie about himself in his books and threw out a lawsuit brought by readers accusing him of fraud...

20/09/2013 | OH NO! I’VE WON LOTTO Usually winning Lotto is great. You can take a long holiday, pay off the mortgage or help out the kids...

13/09/2013 | WHEN PHOTOS BREAK THE LAW You are taking pictures at a beach when someone abuses you for invading people’s privacy. You take a picture of the Opera House and use it in advertising for a product. You take a picture of a performer at a street fair and they demand you delete the picture as it breaches copyright...

6/09/2013 | JURORS PLAYING DETECTIVE RISK JAIL In the classic 1957 movie 12 Angry Men juror Henry Fonda uses a bit of detective work to convince his fellow jurors that a youth on a murder charge should be found not guilty...

2/09/2013 | SCAMMERS READY TO STEAL YOUR HOLIDAY You are planning a holiday overseas. You search the internet and see a great hotel deal. It’s far cheaper than the rest. The pictures look great. You can see yourself luxuriating in that huge bed and diving into the beautiful blue pool...

26/08/2013 | IT’S GOOD WE’RE FORCED TO VOTE Voting in Australia is compulsory – we can be fined up to $50 for not voting without a valid reason. Some argue it is undemocratic to be forced to vote. In fact, around 10 per cent of Australians of voting age aren’t on electoral roles...

19/08/2013 | POWER OF ATTORNEY – MYTH AND REALITY There are a lot of mysteries, myths and misinformation around the Power of Attorney, but there needn't be if you understand and know the truths behind it....

9/08/2013 | FAMILY TRUSTS CAN BE TICKING TIME BOMB Thousands of people have a Discretionary Family Trust – a popular and legal way to protect assets with advantageous tax provisions....

2/08/2013 | IT PAYS TO KNOW CONSUMER RIGHTS There’s an important lesson for both consumers and retailers in a recent decision by the ACCC to take legal action against a series of store franchises for allegedly misrepresenting consumer rights...

26/07/2013 | WHAT HAPPENS TO MY SUPER WHEN I DIE? Most people have significant amounts of money invested in superannuation funds. We plan to cash it in or get it as a pension when we retire. But what happens if we die while still working?

19/07/2013 | BEWARE GOOD NEWS EMAILS Switching the computer on in the morning can bring wonderful news. Oh goody! An email saying I’ve won $1 million in the British Columbia lottery without me even buying a ticket. Hang on, someone else wants to send me a $5 million inheritance from an aunt in Romania I never knew I had.....

12/07/2013 | ANTI-SLAVERY LAW TARGETS FORCED LABOUR, FORCED MARRIAGE Slavery in 2013? Surely slavery disappeared last century? Well, they may not have chains around their ankles and necks and may not be flogged by their masters, but there are still slaves today ...

8/07/2013 | HELP! MY WIDOW IS REMARRYING You thought you’d done the right and loving thing. You left the estate to your spouse or partner in your will. You’re looking after each other. You both assume that when the other person dies, they will leave the estate to your children...

3/07/2013 | INQUIRY INTO PREGNANT WOMEN AT WORK What if you go on maternity leave only to be told your job is gone or you are demoted when you return to work? What if you are pregnant and your employer keeps giving you work that requires heavy lifting or standing for long periods...

26/06/2013 | GOVERNMENT DELAYS GREEN SLIP CHANGES TO CONSULT VICTIMS The NSW government has been forced to consult the community before it tries to get its controversial changes to the green slip scheme through parliament. The Opposition and cross bench MPs have said they would not pass the legislation...

19/06/2013 | VOICE SINGER FIGHTS FOR INJURED PEOPLE Kieran Fraser sang his heart out in the TV show ‘The Voice’ last year. What the millions of viewers of the popular singing contest didn’t know was that he secretly hoped success in the TV show might earn him enough to support his wife who had been badly injured...

12/06/2013 | HOW RACIST CAN I BE BEFORE I BREAK THE LAW? Racist comments have been in the news recently and it could be useful to know just what the law says about how racist we can be before we end up in court. First off, make no mistake that racism and making racist comments, no matter how trivial or...

5/06/2013 | CCTV NOW OVERRIDES PRIVACY LAWS Just how far can Closed Circuit Television cameras intrude upon your privacy? They are everywhere – CCTV cameras watching traffic, building security, on ATMs, street and shopping centres, in elevators, airports and train stations, on buses, and even inside...

29/05/2013 | SUPERMAN TRADEMARK BATTLE REVEALS NO SECRET IDENTITY ALLOWED A courtroom battle over a fitness firm’s effort to Trade Mark the words “Superman Workout” has ended with the Man of Steel walloping them good and proper. DC Comics, which has rights to the Superman name, successfully appealed in the...

22/05/2013 | GREEN SLIP CHANGES LIKELY TO END IN HIGHER FEES Government changes to the Compulsory Third Party insurance scheme is likely to end up with motorists paying even more for green slips when registering a vehicle. The government says its changes will cut the cost of the average...

15/05/2013 | 10 SEXTING LEGAL DANGERS Sexting – the sending of sexual images via mobile phone or the internet – is a growing fad among young teenagers according to recent studies, yet teens seem unaware of the legal dangers they face as well as the possible...

8/05/2013 | LEGAL DANGERS IN NEW POOL SAFETY RULES New laws in NSW covering backyard swimming pools are intended to increase safety, but property law specialists warn they open the gate to potential dangers for legal liability. Under the new rules all pool owners have to register their backyard swimming pools...

1/05/2013 | COURT CASE THREATENS HOLIDAY HOME RENTING A court case brought in the NSW Land and Environment Court last week could threaten thousands of people who rent out their investment properties or holiday homes to short term renters. What began as a neighbour dispute over noise in the...

24/04/2013 | THE 5 FALLACIES BEHIND CHANGES PLANNED TO GREEN SLIP SCHEME The O’Farrell government is planning major changes to the Compulsory Third Party scheme – the green slip insurance you pay every time you register a vehicle. The government says the changes will cut the average CTP payment...

17/04/2013 | LAST CHANCE OF JUSTICE FOR NUCLEAR VETERANS An appeal to the Australian Human Rights Commission by Australian military veterans arising from Britain’s nuclear bomb tests in the Outback is gaining momentum. Lodged by Stacks human rights lawyer Joshua Dale representing...

10/04/2013 | CAN YOU BE FIRED FOR NOT SMILING ENOUGH? Employers have the right to expect a certain standard of behavior from their employees. Workers certainly shouldn’t be rude or abusive to clients or customers. Employees need to look presentable and...

3/04/2013 | DANGER SIGNS IN NSW GOVERNMENT’S CTP GREEN SLIP CHANGES You are driving along obeying speed limits when suddenly a vehicle drifts to the wrong side of the road slams into you head on. You are thrown hard against the seat belt, the airbag bursts into your face, your knee slams into the...

27/03/2013 | WEDDING PIX MISS THE KISS – CAN LAW SORT THE MESS? The bride was furious. Wedding pictures taken by the professional photographer she’d hired for the big day hadn’t captured the big moment as she’d imagined. The post-vow kiss was a disaster. All you could see was the back of her veiled head and the groom looking like a...

20/03/2013 | GOING GUARANTOR? BE AFRAID, BE VERY AFRAID You’ve got your own home. Your children are grown up. You’re looking forward to a well-deserved retirement. Your son or daughter wants to buy their own home/car/start their own business. The bank won’t lend them the money, so...

13/03/2013 | TOP 12 PITFALLS IN BUYING PROPERTY ‘OFF THE PLAN’ More and more people are buying apartments or retirement village homes ‘off the plan’, meaning they sign a contract to buy an apartment that is yet to be built. There are many advantages to doing this such as securing a brand new property at current prices that should grow in...

6/03/2013 | LEGAL QUIRKS SHOW NEED FOR BEING PRECISE IN A WILL You are the chief beneficiary of a will. Trouble is, you killed the person who wrote the will. Can you still get the money? You’d think not. Certainly the law says you shouldn’t. The forfeiture rule states an offender cannot benefit from their crime...

27/02/2013 | GREEN SLIP CHANGES WILL HIT ALL MOTORISTS Victims of motor vehicle accidents will be the losers under plans announced by the NSW government to cut benefits under the Compulsory Third Party insurance scheme. The government is reviewing the entire CTP scheme saying the ‘green slip’ insurance motorists have to pay when registering their vehicle is getting too expensive. Savings being offered are...

20/02/2013 | FAMILY TRUSTS - THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY Family Trusts have been in the news quite a lot lately. They've been delved into at ICAC hearings, publicly squabbled over in court by super rich families and the Tax Office tries to get its mits on the money they hold...

13/02/2013 | CRACKDOWN ON EXPLOITATION OF UNPAID WORK – KNOW YOUR RIGHTS Employers who exploit unpaid workers are facing a crackdown by the Fair Work Ombudsman and face fines up to $51,000. Individuals may be fined up to $10,200. The Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson said last week in a report on unpaid work there...

6/02/2013 | LAW INSISTS DE FACTO IS MORE THAN JUST FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS The law doesn’t always have a clear definition of what constitutes a de facto relationship. It’s important as recognised de facto relationships – including same-sex couples – are treated the same as married couples in the courts...

30/01/2013 | MURDER IN THE HOUSE - WHAT YOU MUST REVEAL WHEN SELLING A HOME We’ve seen it often enough in horror films – the nice but unwitting family who buy a house that turns out to be haunted by ghosts, ghouls or gremlins. But what happens in real life if something terrible has happened in the house you buy...

23/01/2013 | FOCUS ON DISCRIMINATION AS GOVERNMENTS TIGHTEN LAWS It is reasonable in civil society to try and prevent anyone publicly inciting racial hatred or contempt for a person or group of people on the basis of race, religion or ethnicity. But when it comes to putting this into law there will be...

16/01/2013 | WHAT TO DO WHEN TRADIES STUFF UP You’ve got a new roof but in the first storm it suddenly springs a leak. Mechanics swear they’ve fixed your car but it still won’t go. An electrician has fixed your fridge time and again but still your ice cream melts. The driveway you...

9/01/2013 | MYTHS AND REALITIES OF SHOPPERS’ RIGHTS When you discover those gadgets you found under the Christmas tree don’t actually work, it’s handy to know your rights under Australian consumer law. There are a lot of myths and horror stories about trying to return malfunctioning goods...

2/01/2013 | PRIVACY – THE GOVERNMENT TAKES AS IT GIVES Changes to Australia’s privacy laws were recently announced to much fanfare by the federal government. Attorney General Nicola Roxon hailed them as the most significant changes to the Privacy Act in 24 years, strengthening Australians’...

26/12/2012 | NEW DADS CAN GET PAID LEAVE FROM JANUARY 1 If you’re pregnant don’t be surprised if the dad pleads with you to hold on until New Years Day. From January 1, 2013, working dads and partners of the mother can get two weeks government-funded pay to give them time with new born babies...

19/12/2012 | MY ATM OVERPAYS – CAN I KEEP IT? You think all your Christmases have come at once. You go to your ATM to withdraw $20 and it gives you $200. Which isn’t bad as you only have $25 in your account. So, can you keep it? After all, you did nothing wrong. It was the bank’s ATM..

12/12/2012 | BAIL CHANGES DISAPPOINT LAW LEADERS On an average day half the young people in NSW juvenile detention haven’t been sentenced to jail. They are on remand awaiting trial. Over the last 15 years the number of remand prisoners has more than trebled to 2,500.The proportion of...

5/12/2012 | REMEMBER, THERE IS E-LIFE AFTER DEATH You think you’ve organised everything for your estate. You’ve written a will saying who gets what. You’ve carefully laid out instructions on what to do with all your business and property holdings. But so many people forget we have...

28/11/2012 | WORKING GIRLS BATTLE MOTEL OWNERS IN LEGAL STOUSH The mining boom has led to a boom of another kind – sex workers flying in to do business with lonely miners. The prostitutes have to stay somewhere to carry out their work, so they book into motels. Prostitution is not a crime, and...

21/11/2012 | IT’S OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY TIME... We are entering a dangerous season of embarrassment, drunken karaoke performances, regretted romances, forgettable fumblings and saying things about colleagues or bosses you later wish you hadn’t. Yes, the office Christmas party is...

14/11/2012 | GOOGLE DEFAMATION CASE COULD OPEN FLOODGATES If you’ve ever searched your own name on the Internet and been shocked to find it popping up in less than salubrious company, you can understand why Milorad Trkulja sued Google. Not only had the former Melbourne music promoter been shot...

7/11/2012 | CASH ECONOMY TEMPTS TAXMAN TOO We’ve all encountered it and quite a few of us have succumbed to temptation and taken part in it. After all, it’s been around forever, doesn’t hurt anyone, and those who take part afterwards feel they’ve had a small victory. You know...

31/10/2012 | YOUR HOME NO LONGER YOUR CASTLE UNDER LOOMING LAWS There’s been a long-standing notion that your home is your castle. It held not just in tradition and British law, but was firmly established in the popular Australian legal movie The Castle. It’s embedded in our culture that if you do...

24/10/2012 | FREE SPEECH NOT GUARANTEED IN AUSTRALIA We hear it all the time on American TV shows – “the constitutional right to free speech”. It enables people to say the most outrageous things - such as the Kansas religious group who turn up at military funerals holding up signs saying...

17/10/2012 | DON’T FORGET SUPERANNUATION COULD HELP WITH DISABILITY BENEFITS If you are injured don’t forget to check whether you have death or disability cover as part of your superannuation scheme. Many superannuation policies now include a death or disability benefit. It is one of the few circumstances where...

10/10/2012 | FACEBOOK, TWITTER NOT IMMUNE FROM CONTEMPT AND DEFAMATION LAWS Trial by Twitter and Facebook is against the law. The law regarding the justice process is very clear – as soon as a person is charged with an offence, especially murder, it is illegal to publish anything about the accused that might...

3/10/2012 | INTERNET SWEEP SIGNALS CRACKDOWN ON WEBSITE BUSINESSES Online businesses are being targeted by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission as part of an international crackdown to make sure they comply with consumer protection laws. The ACCC mounted an Internet sweep on Australian...

26/09/2012 | ‘ELECTRONIC TRESPASS’ LEGAL DEFENCE FOR STOLEN IPAD THROWN OUT A Canberra man came home to find his iPad stolen and set out to find it. He switched on the ‘Find My iPad’ tracker app and using his mobile phone he tracked the iPad’s GPS signal to a house in another part of the capital. What happened...

19/09/2012 | WE’RE ALL FRACKED, SO MAKE THE BEST DEAL POSSIBLE The NSW government has ruled landholders can’t lock the gates to coal seam gas miners, clearing the way for drilling and fracking right across the State. In the final version of the controversial Strategic Land Use Policy announced by...

12/09/2012 | OWNERS OF PENTHOUSE PETS FIGHT BACK Owners of pets, or people who want to own pets in their apartments, are fighting back in growing numbers against restrictive strata laws which forbid them having a much loved furry friend in their home. In NSW and Queensland, residents...

5/09/2012 | RIGHT TO SILENCE SHOULD REMAIN A RIGHT In October the NSW government will introduce legislation diluting the long standing legal right to remain silent when being questioned by police investigating a crime. “For too long it has been too easy for criminals to hide behind...

29/08/2012 | BRADY BUNCH INHERITANCE NEEDS LEGAL PROTECTION The popular long-running 1970s TV comedy The Brady Bunch was the first to depict a blended family of a happily married couple, each with three kids of their own from a previous marriage. Such families were relatively rare in those days...

22/08/2012 | BUSINESSES GET FACEBOOK WARNING Social media is now mainstream and businesses as well as individuals need to be wary of its legal ramifications. The Advertising Standards Board has ruled that a company’s Facebook page set up to promote its brand or product is an...

15/08/2012 | MAKING A CITIZEN’S ARREST – MYTH AND REALITY The recent sight of Northern Territory politician John Elferink trying to make a citizen’s arrest during a television interview raises some interesting legal questions. It just happens Mr Elferink is an ex-policeman with a law degree...

8/08/2012 | HOW FACEBOOK CAN LAND YOU IN GAOL What you post on Facebook can now land you in gaol. A 20 year old Sydney man was recently gaoled for six months after he posted nude pictures of his ex-girlfriend on the social networking site. He posted six revealing and embarrassing...

1/08/2012 | COMPANY DIRECTORS FACE TOUGHER PENALTIES Company directors can be held personally liable for their firm’s unpaid Pay As You Go (PAYG) Taxes as well as unpaid employees’ compulsory superannuation under changes that quietly became law in the last few weeks. You don’t have to be...

25/07/2012 | HOW TO HIT BACK AGAINST WORKPLACE BULLIES Bullying in the workplace – most of us have seen it, too many of us have been victims. It isn’t limited to places of hard yakka such as down mines, in the military, at mechanic workshops or on factory floors. Bullying happens everywhere...

18/07/2012 | THE LAW AND ALCOHOL You’re a bloke out drinking with mates. It’s your shout, but the publican refuses to serve you. He says you’ve had too much to drink and orders you to leave the premises. You are outraged. You don’t feel drunk and haven’t caused any...

11/07/2012 | MANSLAUGHTER CHARGE FOR POOL DEATH A FIRST The news that police have charged the owner of a backyard pool with manslaughter after a toddler wandered into his garden and drowned should ring alarm bells for all home owners. It is understood to be the first case of its kind...

4/07/2012 | WORKERS COMPENSATION CHANGES HURT THE MOST VULNERABLE Within days of the NSW government passing controversial legislation severely cutting back the rights and entitlements of workers injured at work, a fork lift tipped over at Sydney markets killing the driver. It was one more statistic...

27/06/2012 | DISCRIMINATION AGAINST SMOKERS – IS IT FAIR? Smokers are finding they are being discriminated against on many levels. They are banned by law from lighting up in the workplace, in pubs, at bus stops, on beaches, in taxis, in many publicly shared spaces and possibly even in their...

20/06/2012 | CAN YOU OWN YOUR VIEW? For years you’ve cherished the view from your window, porch or balcony. For some its green rolling hills, for others the rolling ocean, others love city views. You sit and gaze for hours thinking ‘Ah, the serenity’. Your home is your...

13/06/2012 | SEX NOW CONSIDERED PART OF WORK TRIP COMPO COVERAGE Many eyebrows were raised when a court recently ruled that a woman injured during a sexual tryst in her hotel room while on a work trip was entitled to workers’ compensation. You’d be tempted ask whether sex was now legally a regular...

5/06/2012 | PRENUPS – A CONTRACT OF TRUE LOVE? No matter how you approach them, pre-nuptial agreements can’t ever be described as romantic. But an increasing number of couples are signing them, and it’s important not to regard them as a sign of distrust or a warning sign that a...

30/05/2012 | STRATA LIVING – KNOW YOUR RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS More than three million people live in strata titled homes in Australia and the number is growing fast. Not many people realise it, but living under strata title is like a fourth and extremely close tier of government. If you own a...

23/05/2012 | NEW FAMILY LAW INCREASES PROTECTION FOR CHILDREN FROM VIOLENCE! When family relationships break down it’s always one of the toughest areas of law to deal with and nigh impossible to get 100 per cent right. Whatever the decision, someone and sometimes everyone, will be unhappy. But the core aim of...

16/05/2012 | GOOD SAMARITAN The news that actor Dustin Hoffman saved the life of a jogging Australian lawyer who collapsed with a heart attack in London’s Hyde Park prompts the question of what is the law regarding Good Samaritans. The two time Oscar winner and...

9/05/2012 | WILLS – THEY’RE NOT AS SIMPLE AS YOU MIGHT THINK A recent court decision in Queensland to override a man’s will that discriminated against Muslims prompts an interesting question – can a will exclude a person just because of their religion, ethnicity, sexuality or health? The Queensland..

2/05/2012 | INTERNS – UNPAID WORK SHOULDN’T BE A RIP-OFF Young people working for free seem to be part of the furniture in just about every office nowadays. It’s especially the case for people trying to break into careers in the media, law, tourism, health services, government, marketing...

25/04/2012 | COURT DECISION THROWS FOCUS ON DANGEROUS DOG LAW A surprise recent court decision has thrown a fresh focus on laws governing dangerous dogs and the need to know details of the law. The tragic case began at Warren in 2006 when four year old Tyra Kuehn was mauled by at least two dogs...

18/04/2012 | LEGAL ADVICE NEEDED IN BANKRUPTCY BOOM Bankruptcy is booming as the harsh effects of the global financial crisis and mounting credit card debt hit hard. For many, the reasons for going bankrupt are real and genuine such as losing a job, family circumstances or being injured...

11/04/2012 | CAN YOUR BOSS FORCE YOU TO WORK WEEKENDS? The rush to get rid of the weekend is gathering pace. Three banks and a major finance house – all big employers - have applied to Fair Work Australia to rule that weekends be considered normal working hours. The application proposes...

4/04/2012 | GOVERNMENT TARGETS WORKERS COMPENSATION BENEFITS In coming weeks the NSW government will be reviewing the whole system of workers’ compensation and payouts to injured workers. The aim is to prevent a deepening deficit in the WorkCover scheme. It’s already at $4 billion, and...

28/03/2012 | WHO OWNS YOUR WORK TWEETS? You work hard and build up a good collection of work contacts and clients. In the old days you kept their phone numbers and comments about them in your own little contact book. Nowadays you might build up a public profile...

21/03/2012 | BUSINESS ‘WILLS’ ESSENTIAL FOR SMOOTH TRANSITION You don’t have to be a member of Australia’s richest family to become embroiled in a bitter dispute over what happens to a business when the person who built it dies, retires or can no longer work due to ill health. There can be dire...

14/03/2012 | FRACKING CHANGES – GETTING LEGAL ADVICE MORE NECESSARY THAN EVER The NSW government has just announced new plans to change laws and regulations governing fracking that will make it more important than ever for landholders to get good legal advice if their land is targeted by coal seam gas miners...

7/03/2012 | PASSIVE SMOKERS FIGHT BACK Smokers are a diminishing breed. Smoking accounts for 5,000 deaths a year in NSW. Smokers now make up just 16 per cent of the Australian population. Smokers are under siege as new laws are about to come in, further restricting the places...

29/02/2012 | BEWARE THE TRAPS IN ESTATE PLANNING Recently there have been some significant Family Court decisions that could have a big impact on the way you plan your estate for your old age. At the centre of the issue was what happens when elderly couples have their own home but one...

22/02/2012 | COPYRIGHT – HOW TO STOP PEOPLE PINCHING YOUR WORK There’s a lot of talk lately about copyright. You’ve probably heard the howls of protest from Rugby League & AFL bosses over a recent court ruling that allowed televised matches to be recorded and screened a few minutes later on internet...

15/02/2012 | BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU TWEET, BLOG, TEXT, POST OR SEND A couple of years ago nobody would know what you were talking about if you warned them to be careful what they tweet, blog, text or post on Facebook. Go back a few more years and sending via email was a novelty. Many of us still don’t...

8/02/2012 | YOU’RE NEVER TOO OLD None of us are getting any younger and, with the government pushing to keep us working beyond the traditional retirement age, sooner or later the matter of age discrimination could be of concern to us. The Australian Human Rights...

1/02/2012 | WHAT DEFINES A ‘FLOOD’? SOON, EVEN INSURERS WILL HAVE TO AGREE The recent heavy rain, swollen creeks and rivers in northern NSW may have left you with soggy carpets, destroyed furniture, busted electrical equipment and even washed away goods and chattels. So you reach for your insurance policy...

25/01/2012 | PESKY PERENNIALS AND TREE TRAUMAS Altercations with neighbours. They happen for a number of reasons, from noise complaints to fence repair costs and everything in between. A fairly common dispute is over the neighbour’s tree – or more specifically – its overhanging...

18/01/2012 | INJURED ON AN INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT? While personal injury law is never black and white, knowing who to sue is often fairly clear-cut. For example, if it’s an injury from a motor vehicle accident, you sue the negligent driver’s insurer. If it’s a slip and fall in a store...

11/01/2012 | POST-CHRISTMAS FINANCIAL STRESS Hard to believe it’s that time of year again, yet here we are - 2012. It would be nice to begin the year in a secure financial position. For many Australians though, post-Christmas is a scary time. It’s the time of realisation...

4/01/2012 | JUNK FOOD ADS AND THE LAW Kids and junk food. They love it. The Christmas holiday period is notorious for unhealthy eating – ice cream to combat the heat, the post-BBQ pavlova, pudding, chocolate Santas in abundance. Add to that a tendency to increase the time...

28/12/2011 | PUB ASSAULTS - CAN VICTIMS BE COMPENSATED? It’s not uncommon to hear of “glassings” and similar violent acts in pubs and clubs. The past few weeks have seen their fair share of violent assaults as we navigate the Christmas holiday period. We have been saturated with media reports...

21/12/2011 | SLIPS AND FALLS DURING THE BOXING DAY SALES The sales are almost upon us. Many await them with glee. But frantic shoppers, busy stores and overstretched employees can mean greater potential for accidents. Let’s face it, during busy times things sometimes get overlooked...

14/12/2011 | DON’T BE SCAMMED BY A GRINCH Gone are the days when Christmas simply meant peace, joy and goodwill toward all men. Sadly, today’s yuletide message may read more like this - don’t be too trusting! There’s a tendency to let down your guard amidst the festive chaos and...

7/12/2011 | FRACKING FACTS FOR LANDHOLDERS Fracking - it’s caused something of a stir recently. The uncertainty about the long-term environmental effects of coal seam gas extraction has many people calling for better industry regulation. Most concerned of all are the farmers...

30/11/2011 | BEWARE THE OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY The work Christmas party. Many of us have a story. We’ve all witnessed karaoke performances by inebriated work colleagues who suddenly discover their star potential. While often embarrassing the next day, these incidents are usually...

23/11/2011 | TARGETING DRUNKEN VIOLENCE - NEW LAWS AFOOT We’re frequently swamped with news reports about alcohol-fuelled violence; from footage of swaying teens verbally abusing police, to assault victims fighting for their lives in hospitals. Unsurprisingly, alcohol laws are often the...

16/11/2011 | MAKING SENSE OF THE QANTAS SAGA It’s impossible to have missed the recent uproar surrounding Qantas. Whether you were a stranded passenger or just a fascinated onlooker, the Qantas/unions dispute is everywhere in the media. But you could be forgiven for not...

9/11/2011 | FACEBOOK COULD JEOPARDISE YOUR CLAIM! Facebook. Millions of people across the globe are members. These days it’s a standard form of communication – an immediate way to share information with others about what’s going on in your life, with photo evidence. All hail modern...

2/11/2011 | DON’T GET HIT WITH STAMP DUTY TWICE! You might have considered using the term, ‘and/or nominee’ when buying property. Putting ‘Joe Bloggs and/or nominee’ on the contract of sale generally means you can transfer the property from your name to another entity...

26/10/2011 | APPLYING FOR CREDIT – HOW PRIVACY LAWS AFFECT YOU No one wants their personal information accessible to any Tom, Dick or Harry. Thankfully, we have privacy laws that offer some protection. When it comes to applying for consumer credit though, we’re all subject to checks...

19/10/2011 | BROTHELS - WHAT’S THE LAW? Lately there’s been a lot of media attention around brothels, with reports of women being illegally trafficked into the sex industry in Australia and forced to work as prostitutes to pay off alleged debts. We tend to associate sex...

12/10/2011 | BUYING AT AUCTION – MAKE SURE YOU CAN PAY THE DEPOSIT! Auctions. The expression, ‘let the buyer beware’ has never been more relevant. Sellers rely on the buzz factor; the potential for buyers to get over-excited and bid higher than they’d planned. Let’s face it - a property is far more...

5/10/2011 | MAKING A CITIZEN’S ARREST It’s something we don’t hear about too often – an everyday citizen arresting someone for a crime. Sure, there are occasional media reports, like the arrest of Nai Yin Xue in 2008, a murder suspect and the father of toddler ‘Pumpkin’...

28/09/2011 | JAIL FOR PARENTS WHO KIDNAP THEIR KIDS AND TAKE THEM OVERSEAS? It’s the stuff of nightmares – your partner stealing your kids and disappearing overseas. Statistically it happens 2 or 3 times a week in Australia. Under current law, parental international child abduction (PICA) isn’t necessarily...

21/09/2011 | INFORMAL FAMILY AGREEMENTS TO BUY PROPERTY – THE PITFALLS Let’s face it, finding the money to buy your own property can be tough. Property prices these days are steep and getting a loan can be difficult. Getting a little help from family to enter the property market often makes sense...

14/09/2011 | DANGEROUS DOGS – DOES THE LAW PROTECT US? Unprovoked dog attacks have been the subject of many media reports lately. Kids mauled, sometimes fatally, by a neighbour’s dog. Dogs attacked by others in the park. Under the NSW Companion Animals Act, anyone who owns a dog has to...

7/09/2011 | CHEMICAL LEAKS – WHEN SHOULD WE BE TOLD? Many of us saw the media coverage about the recent chemical leaks in the Newcastle area. Orica, a company that produces ammonium nitrate for the mining industry, leaked a toxic chemical on the 8th August. Then, on the 19th, it spilled...

31/08/2011 | STAMP DUTY SAVINGS WHEN YOU TRANSFER PROPERTY TO YOUR SUPERFUND A useful tax planning strategy can be to transfer real estate that you own in your own name, to a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) of which you are a member. Until recently, doing this would have meant paying the NSW Government...

24/08/2011 | READ THEM THE RIOT ACT! Riots. We’ve heard about little else following the recent somewhat shocking events in the UK. So how is the UK criminal justice system dealing with the offenders? How would we deal with them? We’ve had some experience, though not...

17/08/2011 | WILL AWARENESS Wills. We think about making one from time to time. Or we make one and then forget all about it, regardless of our personal circumstances changing. Or we make one using a store-bought Will-kit, without advice, and hope it all pans out...

10/08/2011 | THE CLASSIFICATION ACT - COMPUTER GAMES AND BEYOND Lately there’s been media attention around computer/video games; particularly the prospect of a new R18+ classification code and its effect. In fact, the whole classification system is currently under review. That means the laws around...

3/08/2011 | ACCIDENTS WHILE WORKING FROM HOME These days we tend to expect a bit of flexibility from employers when it comes to work arrangements. It’s the 21st century after all. In many industries, an internet connection and a mobile phone make it possible to get the job done from...

27/07/2011 | DON’T FORGET ABOUT YOUR MOST VALUABLE ASSET Superannuation. These days it’s considered one of your most important assets, if not the most important. There’s a tendency to assume that when you die your super will go to the people you’ve nominated in your Will. Surely...

20/07/2011 | DON’T MISS THE TIME LIMIT TO CLAIM Understanding the different time limits that apply for personal injury claims can be a tricky business - even for lawyers. After all, the broad heading of ‘personal injury’ covers a whole range of different matters, including...

13/07/2011 | BUT I DIDN’T SIGN ANYTHING! You might think that because you haven’t signed a formal contract you can’t be held accountable for breaching it. Don’t you have to sign something to be legally bound to an agreement? No. But it’s a mistake many people make...

6/07/2011 | CATCHING CYBER CROOKS ACROSS INTERNATIONAL BORDERS Cybercrime is something we hear about all too frequently. In April, Sony had its Playstation Network hacked and the personal data (including credit card numbers) of millions of its account holders stolen. While Sony’s a Japanese company...

29/06/2011 | ARE WE MOVING TOWARDS SAME-SEX MARRIAGE LAWS? Same-sex marriage has recently received a lot of media attention. Under the federal Marriage Act, the definition reads “the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.” Clearly there are...

22/06/2011 | SLAUGHTERHOUSE LAWS It would be hard to have missed the recent uproar surrounding animal cruelty in Indonesian abattoirs. A Four Corners episode sparked a national debate about the welfare of Australian livestock exported overseas. Now the government has...

15/06/2011 | ARE WHISTLEBLOWERS PROTECTED? ‘Whistleblower’ is the word generally used to describe someone who exposes wrongdoing within an organisation, such as an illegal activity or corruption. But it takes courage to point the finger, especially if it’s at your boss...

8/06/2011 | IS YOUR PROPERTY REALLY YOURS? Imagine purchasing a new home, moving in 6 weeks after settlement, then finding out 12 months down the track that you don’t really own it. Is that even possible? Actually, it is...

1/06/2011 | HAVE VICTIMS OF CRIME GOT A BETTER DEAL NOW? No one asks to be the victim of an act of violence. It can be both traumatic and financially crippling, with medical bills and time off work for recovery. If you suffer injury as a result of an act of violence, like an assault by a drunk...

25/05/2011 | WHAT’S THE DEFINITION OF ‘FAMILY VIOLENCE’? When relationships break down & there are children involved, family law aims to make decisions based on what’s best for the kids. But it’s a tricky business. Many of us saw the reports last week about traffic delays on the harbour bridge...

18/05/2011 | A FAMILY TRUST COULD SAVE YOU They’ve been around for quite some time. Those ‘in the know’ set up a family trust years ago to benefit their family financially. But if you’re not a financial planner or lawyer you could be forgiven for just making a will and avoiding...

11/05/2011 | ‘TAGGING’ GRAFFITI VANDALS Next Sunday is Graffiti Action Day. It’s a bit like Clean-Up Australia Day but targeting graffiti instead of rubbish (no doubt some would consider it the same thing). Feelings about graffiti are often mixed. Some see it as a form of...

4/05/2011 | THE HOUSE IS MINE - WE WEREN’T DE FACTO! OR WERE WE? And there you were thinking your relationship was safely ‘non-de facto’ and your property out of reach of your partner should the relationship run its course. Don’t you have to live together as a couple to be considered de facto?...

27/04/2011 | THE SMACK - IS IT LEGAL? To smack or not to smack; that is the question. It’s a much debated theme – should you physically discipline your kids? These days are you even allowed to? The smacking debate has frequently come under the spotlight...

20/04/2011 | IT'S AFTER 6 - GO AWAY! We’ve all experienced it; salespeople turning up on the doorstep when we’re eating dinner or putting the kids to bed. Restaurant deals, phone company specials, late night calls from telemarketers...

13/04/2011 | BREAKING THE LAW IN A GROUP The basic idea of complicity law is that you can be convicted of a crime even if you didn’t actually commit it. But it’s a murky area. How do you legally assign responsibility to people who have been involved with others in a crime but...

6/04/2011 | CONVEYANCING ENTERS THE 21ST CENTURY These days, electronic transactions are pretty much the norm. From ordering groceries to paying bills or moving money between bank accounts; most of us conduct business online. It can make life easier; particularly when you’re...

30/03/2011 | WHY BEING FORCED TO VOTE IS A GOOD THING Many of us may be frustrated at the latest election result; others optimistic about NSW’ future. Most of us are delighted that we don’t have to waste part of another valuable Saturday in a queue at a polling venue...

23/03/2011 | NSW ELECTORAL LAW Ah it’s that time again. Vehement promises of change from the Premier and the Opposition leader; ads for candidates plastered on every available light pole and billboard. Every four years we vote to elect the next NSW government...

16/03/2011 | IT’S TIMES LIKE THESE WE CONSIDER OUR OWN MORTALITY Floods, cyclones and earthquakes tend to get us thinking. Things sometimes happen that are beyond our control; that change the course of our future. As distasteful as it may be to ponder your own mortality, here’s the thing...

9/03/2011 | MOTHER NATURE VERSUS BEACHSIDE LIVING You’d imagine that owning a beach house might serve to reduce stress levels. The sound of waves; the feel of sand beneath your toes; that nature-inspired switch-off from work pressures. But these days, the fear of rising sea levels...

2/03/2011 | GUN LAWS Discussion about gun laws in Australia always has the potential to generate some strong views. It’s a topic that tends to come up whenever there have been a few media reports around shootings. Recent stories include drive-by’s...

23/02/2011 | BUT I MADE A WILL! Most people would be horrified to think that their estate might not end up in the right hands when they die - particularly when they have gone to the trouble of writing a will...

16/02/2011 | MAKING SENSE OF FLOOD INSURANCE “Where did the water come from?” is the question insurance companies typically ask when you put in a claim for water damage to your home. Why? Because many home and contents policies don’t cover against flood...

9/02/2011 | BUT WHAT CAUSED THE WATER TO DAMAGE YOUR PROPERTY? What is a flood? You might think the answer obvious but take a close look at a few different insurance policies and you may find the definition is as clear as the mud still covering parts of Queensland...

2/02/2011 | RESOLVING DISPUTES ACROSS INTERNATIONAL BORDERS Many companies in Australia conduct business with companies and individuals overseas. Par for the course in a global economy. And as with any commercial business transaction, disputes can often arise that need to be resolved...

26/01/2011 | LOOTING LAWS We are all familiar with a number of major natural disasters across the globe in recent years. From the 2004 tsunami, to the New Orleans hurricane of 2005, the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria, Chile’s 2010 earthquake...

19/01/2011 | NEW RENTING RULES At the mercy of the ‘evil’ landlord; evicted if they fall behind in their rent, kept in the dark about important information affecting the property (such as that it’s for sale), not even able to put up picture hooks...

12/01/2011 | SHOULD CROOKS BE ABLE TO GET THEIR SENTENCES REDUCED? When someone commits a crime there are laws that govern the kind of sentence they should receive. But it’s never black and white. A Court may be far more lenient on one offender than on another, despite the crimes...

5/01/2011 | IT’S CRUNCH TIME – GET YOUR FINANCES BACK ON TRACK It’s hard to believe it’s that time of year again. Yet here we are; 2011. It would be nice to begin the year in a secure financial position but for many Australians post-Christmas is a scary time. It’s the time of realisation...

29/12/2010 | NEW PAID PARENTAL LEAVE KICKS IN JANUARY 1ST It’s been a long time coming and a hard won battle but Australia’s new paid parental leave laws will come into effect on January 1st 2011. Parents will now get 18 weeks paid parental leave, based on the minimum wage of $570 a week...

22/12/2010 | SLIPS AND FALLS IN THE SILLY SEASON It’s that time of year again. Frantic shoppers, busy stores, increased patronage at pubs and clubs, more stock being delivered and unpacked, overstretched employees, and greater potential for accidents. Let’s face it, during busy times...

15/12/2010 | BEWARE THE OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY The work Christmas party. Many of us have a story. We’ve all witnessed karaoke performances by inebriated work colleagues who suddenly discover their star potential. While sometimes embarrassing the next day, these incidents are often...

8/12/2010 | KIDS BORN THROUGH SURROGACY JUST GOT A BETTER DEAL Surrogacy has long been a contentious issue. While some would argue that a woman bearing a child for someone else is the ultimate sacrifice, others see it is as being unethical and detrimental to the child denied their birth parents...

1/12/2010 | CONTRACTS IN THE ELECTRONIC AGE It would be difficult to miss the fact that technology has changed the way we do business. But while purchasing goods and service online might have become commonplace, there have been some grey areas in the law surrounding electronic...

24/11/2010 | THE FAMILY VIOLENCE BILL Since the Howard Government introduced the concept of ‘Shared parenting’ there has been some opposition. One of the criticisms of the 2006 family law amendments was that women became afraid to raise allegations of violence by the father...

17/11/2010 | WHAT IS THE PENALTY FOR KILLING AN UNBORN CHILD? Many of us saw the numerous media reports earlier this year about baby ‘Zoe’, who died at 7 months gestation when her mother was hit by an allegedly drug-affected driver. The tragic incident brought about a review of the laws...

10/11/2010 | FAREWELL TO THE REVENGE HEDGE Neighbour disputes are nothing new. From offensive noise to overhanging branches, fence repairs, or the neighbour’s dog damaging your property, disagreements between neighbours happen. Sometimes they can only be resolved in Court...

3/11/2010 | ARE YOU PREPARED FOR YOUR COMPANY TO FAIL? All businesses run the risk of failure. You can’t always predict what lies ahead; whether the economic climate will change, impacting poorly on your business’ cash flow and overall profitability. Whether that brilliant idea will fail to...

27/10/2010 | HAVE THE FLOODGATES OPENED FOR SEXUAL HARASSMENT CLAIMS? It was difficult to miss the publicity surrounding Kristy Fraser-Kirk’s sexual harassment law suit against David Jones, former CEO, Mark McInnes, and nine directors. She walked away with a cool $850,000...

20/10/2010 | ASBESTOS DANGER STILL LURKS There is perhaps nothing more frightening to a parent than hearing that the landfill beneath your child’s school playground contains asbestos. Or that during recent construction work for the Government’s school building program...

13/10/2010 | IS YOUR MARRIAGE VALID? Recent media reports have drawn attention to the law surrounding marriage; specifically, whether a marriage is invalid if the vows have been said incorrectly. It’s a scary thought for many supposedly wedded couples...

6/10/2010 | LEGAL RIGHTS OF SAME-SEX COUPLES The legal recognition & rights of same-sex couples has long been a contentious issue in Australia. Since 2009 there has been much change, with same-sex couples now having many of the same rights as heterosexual couples; although not all...

29/09/2010 | MANDATORY SENTENCING Few could forget the tragic circumstances around the recent shooting of a young police detective in Sydney whilst on a drug raid. It was initially thought that the bullet that killed him came from the gun of a 55 year-old man at the scene..

22/09/2010 | GETTING FEDERAL LAWS PASSED JUST GOT HARDER The election has dominated the press for several months. We’ve watched closely as Labor and the Coalition tried to woo four Independent members in order to get enough votes to form government. On September 7th Labor won...

15/09/2010 | ARE YOU WILLING TO PROTECT YOUR FAMILY? This week the NSW government is focusing on getting people to write a will, through a campaign called ‘Good Will Week’. The law in relation to inheritance changed in March this year...

8/09/2010 | POKIE LAWS Poker machine law in NSW has long been a contentious issue. Poker machines make a lot of money for clubs and hotels, so they’re understandably resistant to legislative changes that would affect their profits...

1/09/2010 | GETTING KIDS EDUCATED Education has received a fair bit of attention in recent months. The government’s school building program has regularly featured in the media, as has their promise to deliver computers to secondary schools...

25/08/2010 | NSW BUSHFIRE POLICY – DOES IT MEASURE UP? Few could have forgotten the tragedy around the Victorian “Black Saturday” bushfires of February 2009. In response to the huge loss of life, the Victorian government established a bushfire Royal Commission...

18/08/2010 | VOTING AND THE LAW It would be difficult to miss the fact that we are approaching a federal election. The major parties continue to bombard us with their promises for positive change, and assure us that the nation will suffer if we vote for the other side...

11/08/2010 | WHO IS THE ‘NOMINAL DEFENDANT’? What happens if you fall foul of someone else's bad driving on the roads but can’t identify the person responsible...

4/08/2010 | ADOPTING A MORE ‘FLEXIBLE’ ATTITUDE Flexible work arrangements. It certainly sounds good. Many Australian parents were overjoyed to learn that the government was introducing new laws in January this year to help them balance their work and family commitments...

28/07/2010 | HOW TO DEAL WITH NEIGHBOURHOOD NOISE ISSUES Many of us have experienced a noisy neighbour at one time or another. We’ve all had our peace or sleep disturbed by a late night party, a non-stop car alarm, a barking dog, or the drone of an early morning power tool...

21/07/2010 | IT’S TRAUMATIC ENOUGH - MAKE IT EASIER Writing a will. It’s something many of us never quite get around to doing. We tend to assume those we love will automatically be provided for in the unfortunate event of our death; that the plan in our head will come to fruition...

14/07/2010 | KEEP THEM SAFE - NEW CHILD PROTECTION LEGISLATION There is little question that NSW’s child protection system has had some fairly major flaws. Over the last few years we have been inundated with media reports about child abuse and neglect, and cases that have ‘fallen through the cracks’...

7/07/2010 | STAYING HOME OPTION FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIMS Leaving home and seeking refuge elsewhere has tended to be the only real option for women wishing to escape a violent partner. While hardly ideal, that has typically been the pattern...

30/06/2010 | PSYCHIATRIC INJURY - THE AFTERMATH OF A DISASTER It would be difficult to dispute the fact that seeing another person being killed, injured or at risk of grave danger would have a pretty negative impact on your mental state...

23/06/2010 | WHEREVER I LAY MY HAT Most of us have some idea about the process for resolving disputes between landlords & tenants, but what happens when someone decides to take up residence on someone else’s property without their knowledge or permission? Without a lease...

16/06/2010 | ORGAN DONATION - NOT YOUR DECISION Lately we’re being bombarded with ads about organ donation. In particular, there’s an emphasis on the need to talk to your family about your wishes, now, while you’re still alive and kicking...

9/06/2010 | SHOULD INTERNATIONAL CHILD ABDUCTION BE A CRIME? It seems logical to assume that a parent who takes their child to another country, unbeknownst to the other parent, and without their consent, is committing a crime...

2/06/2010 | The dangers of 'chat' These days, saying goodbye to friends at school only means, goodbye until I get home and log on. SMS, email and social networking sites are just part of life for today’s youth...

26/05/2010 | The Cheeseburger Bills - food for thought It seems hard to believe that people suffering from obesity could demand compensation from fast food chains. Surely there must be some personal responsibility for choosing to regularly eat food that is known to be unhealthy...

19/05/2010 | DUI - some misconceptions We’ve all heard of DUI (driving under the influence). Many of us have friends or acquaintances that have been caught out by the booze bus...

12/05/2010 | What lies beneath - the pool safety debate When questioned about pool maintenance, many owners might tell you they spend a fair amount of time cleaning and checking chlorine levels. And there ends their responsibility...

5/05/2010 | The Doctrine of Frustration We all experience frustration, particularly when things happen that are totally beyond our control. No doubt many people were somewhat frustrated with events arising from the volcanic eruption in Iceland...

28/04/2010 | Asylum seekers and the law It’s difficult to watch the news these days and not see something about asylum seekers. We know that Christmas Island is seriously overloaded, and that the government faces a dilemma over what to do with the increasing number of refugees...

21/04/2010 | Medical procedures gone wrong Life is full of uncertainties. We can’t always predict what is in store for us, or protect ourselves from unforseen accidents. Such is life...

7/04/2010 | Protecting your good reputation Your reputation is precious. You spend your lifetime acquiring it. It represents who you are, and how you are perceived by others. So when someone says or does something to injure your reputation it can be devastating...

31/03/2010 | Faulty products – know your rights Many of us have bought a product that didn’t measure up to its description, or just didn’t work...

24/03/2010 | The Shared Parenting debate continues It’s hard to dispute the logic behind the shared parenting laws that were introduced by the Howard Government in 2006. Key to the laws was the idea that children benefit from having substantial time with both parents...

17/03/2010 | Noisy Neighbours Many of us have experienced a noisy neighbour at one time or another. We’ve all had our peace or sleep disturbed by a late night party, a non-stop car alarm, a barking dog, or the drone of an early morning power tool...

10/03/2010 | Drug driving - the lick test Many of us have experienced a random breath test. We’ve all seen the RTA advertising campaigns warning about the dangers of drink-driving. But not everyone may be aware of the latest roadside test; the lick test...

3/03/2010 | Compulsory Land Aquisition - what are your rights? It’s hard to believe that land that you own could be taken from you and there is little you can do about it...

24/02/2010 | The plight of the humble 'doggy bag' Gone are the days when you could over-order at a restaurant and simply ask for a doggy bag to take the excess food home. These days, a request to take uneaten food away from a restaurant is quite likely to be refused...

17/02/2010 | The decision to sue your attacker It would be nice to think that all victims of an act of violence could receive adequate compensation for the injuries they sustain...

10/02/2010 | Farm Succession - keeping it in the family Making sure the family farm stays in the family might seem pretty straight forward. But there are a number of complex issues that can arise...

3/02/2010 | New laws on Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Anyone who has repeatedly tried and failed to conceive a child naturally will know the experience can be distressing and emotionally draining...

27/01/2010 | Flexible work arrangements for a modern world Having children is part of family life. You only have to look around to see that we are experiencing something of a baby boom...

20/01/2010 | Adoption - navigating the mine field Talk to anybody who has attempted to adopt a child in Australia and you will hear the same story; it’s not easy...

13/01/2010 | Post-Christmas financial stress It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of Christmas spending. Who doesn’t want to play Santa? Surely a new year’s resolution to cut back on spending...

6/01/2010 | Hitting crooks where it hurts Crime Lords have long gotten away with their role in criminal activities. Perched at the top of the criminal chain, they pull the strings, secure in the knowledge that their wealth and resources will protect them from criminal investigation...

30/12/2009 | Pub assaults - Can victims be compensated? It’s not uncommon to hear of “glassings” and similar violent acts in pubs and clubs. These past couple of weeks have seen their fair share of violent assaults as we navigate the silly season...

23/12/2009 | Child sex offences - the future As a nation, we are sometimes unforgiving when it comes to offences involving children. It would be hard to miss the media coverage surrounding convicted paedophile Dennis Ferguson...

16/12/2009 | Beware the office Christmas party The work Christmas party. Many of us have a story. We’ve all witnessed karaoke performances by inebriated work colleagues who suddenly discover their star potential. While sometimes embarrassing the next day, these incidents are often harmless...

9/12/2009 | Where there's a will... Writing a will is something we may not want to think about it, or don’t consider to be a pressing need right now...

2/12/2009 | The forgotten Australians compensation debate Most people would agree that the national apology by Kevin Rudd to the ‘forgotten Australians’ on 16th November went some way to acknowledging the pain and suffering...

25/11/2009 | Take care with buying a new business For many among us, the desire to own and operate a business – to be your own boss – is a cherished vision and a driving force...

18/11/2009 | Privacy Laws - where to draw the line? The definition of ‘privacy’ and perceptions about when privacy has been invaded can vary enormously...

11/11/2009 | The Need for Speed Many of us are guilty of driving over the speed limit at one time or another. And many of us are fairly confident...

4/11/2009 | Shonky Tradesmen - What protection do we have? Many of us have heard about or experienced dodgy work done by tradesmen...

28/10/2009 | Counter-terrorism laws Does Operation Pendennis change how we feel? Anything to do with terrorism gets our attention. It’s hard not to be affected by the numerous reports of terrorist attacks and threats...

21/10/2009 | Do we take our rights for granted? Many of us tend to make assumptions about human rights. As Australians brought up in a wealthy western....

7/10/2009 | Penalty clauses in contracts - are they enforced Most of us know the meaning of a penalty in a sporting context. If a player breaks a rule, the other team gains an advantage. Who could miss the roar of disappointment from....

7/10/2009 | Have you locked your identity? We do our utmost to protect our homes, cars and valuables from criminals. Most of us assume our identities at least are safe. Think again.

24/09/2009 | Work Choices Versus Fair Work There is no question that Howard's Work Choices was unpopular.

15/09/2009 | Compensation for Pure Mental Harm The recent outcome of a compensation claim for psychiatric injury made by two police officers who attended the scene of the Waterfall train derailment, puts into question the fairness of the Civil Liability Act.

14/09/2009 | The Shared Parenting Debate When a couple separates, it's a challenging and emotional time for everyone involved, particularly the kids. Making decisions about who the children live with has never been easy.

3/09/2009 | Compensation For Asbestos-Related Disease The number of people at risk of asbestos-related diseases is far greater than at first feared.

25/08/2009 | Still A Buyer's Market But Not Forever If you are thinking about buying property it would seem that now might be a good time to act. Buying now means taking advantage of a number of attractive incentives that won't be around for much longer.

18/08/2009 | Homebirth and Medical Negligence Most mothers will agree, giving birth is one of the most memorable and life-changing events a woman can experience.

6/08/2009 | A Good Time To Protect Your Wealth You're probably sick of hearing the expressions, "today's economic climate" and "the global financial crisis".

27/07/2009 | Confusing Time Limits for Personal Injury Claims Even to the average lawyer, the time limits that now apply to filing a personal injury action can be somewhat confusing.

7/07/2009 | Buying a Franchise Small business remains the powerhouse of the Australian economy, providing the great majority of employment opportunities.

19/05/2009 | Steps Taken To Curb Family Violence While Australia can rightly be proud of its open and accountable democratic society,some aspects of our culture are not so laudable.

23/03/2009 | Contesting A Will While most people leave their assets to family members and/or life partners, some choose to bequeath estates to friends, charities and specialist causes.

11/02/2009 | Business Insolvency Unfortunately, in today's volatile economic environment in Australia, business insolvency for many people becomes a fact of life.



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