9 months ago

LSB April 2018_Web

EVENTS Beachside oasis

EVENTS Beachside oasis plays host to country conference JOHN KYRIMIS, KYRIMIS LAWYERS The seaside town of Robe is one of the loveliest places in our State to spend a weekend in late summer. On 16-18 February, 73 delegates from across the State, together with many of their partners, attended the Law Society’s Country Conference in Robe. As in previous years, there was a wide range of practitioners from many different backgrounds – young and old, city, suburban and country, large firms and small – in attendance together with a number of judicial officers. The Conference started with the Friday evening drinks and dinner at the Robe Bowling Club. With the South-Eastern weather gods smiling kindly on the conference, this was a great night for people to catch up with old friends, and make new friends, in a relaxed seaside setting, and with plenty of good food, wine and beer. The CPD part of the Conference commenced on the Saturday morning at the Tarooki Campsite, with Magistrate Maria Panagiotidis presenting on the topic “Advocacy in the Magistrates Court – A Few Thoughts from an Insider”. Her Honour gave frank advice and tips on how practitioners should present themselves and their client’s cases in Court, not the least of which was that it was always helpful in submissions for practitioners to “get to the point”. This was well demonstrated by the showing of a short clip from the movie “My Cousin Vinnie” which should be recommended viewing for all those who practice or wish to practice in the criminal jurisdiction. Julie Redman spoke to her paper “The Legal Implications of Registering a Relationship”, which relates to the Relationships Register Act 2016 (SA). Although it is unclear how many more relationships will be registered under that Act now that same sex marriage is a reality in Australia, there may well be a number of couples, either of the same or different genders, who may well choose to register their relationship under this Act as a less formal alternative to marriage. As Julie’s 38 THE BULLETIN April 2018 presentation showed, the implications of registering a relationship are significant across a number of fields including wills and estates as well as family law, and practitioners in those fields need to be aware of those implications for clients who are in, or may in the future enter into, such a relationship. After morning tea, Registrar Stephen Roder of the Supreme Court gave a short presentation on the updates to the Courts Administration Authority computer system that were occurring, including the introduction of “e-probate” and other online lodgement portals destined to come in to effect in both the civil and criminal jurisdictions. E-probate is planned to come into force later this year, and it will become compulsory. Likewise, online lodgement is expected to become the norm in the civil jurisdiction of the Magistrates Court by the end of this year. The next speaker was Chief Justice Chris Kourakis, who presented on “Disputing Testamentary Capacity in the 21 st Century”. His Honour made the point that, while the test in Banks v. Goodfellow might well be from the 19 th century, and the body of knowledge of mental health conditions has developed substantially since then, it does still represent the law. His Honour spoke to more recent decisions applying that test in the modern age. His Honour gave a number of practical pieces of advice, including reiterating the need for practitioners taking instructions to make a will to have detailed notes of their instructions, which were vital in the event of a challenge. Further practical advice gleaned was that, in cases of doubt as to a client’s testamentary capacity, the solicitor should consider obtaining a report from a doctor, preferably the client’s treating gerontologist (if the client has one) or a gerontologist briefed with the client’s medical history or if that is not practical, at least the client’s treating GP, although it was noted that some GP’s reports are more helpful than others! Peter Westley (left), Sharon Holmes and Andrea Michaels Phil Westover (left), Wendy Hein, and Magistrate Panagiotidis Joel Grieger (left), Jonathan Eiford, Sarah O’Brien, and Michael van Dissel Martin Frayne SC was the next presenter. His topic was “Caveat Emptor v Misrepresentation and Remedies”. The presentation mainly centred on the applicability of section 16 of the Australian Consumer Law and its predecessors being sections 52 of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) and section 56 of the Fair

EVENTS Trading Act 1987 (SA), which deal with misleading and deceptive conduct. In addition, the Australian Consumer Law and its predecessors contain further specific provisions about misrepresentations relating to land, goods or services. Understanding these provisions, and their effect, is essential to any lawyer being asked to advise a client on a property or commercial matter. Martin gave the particularly useful example of a purchaser of a house where the vendor had concealed salt damp in the walls before the contract was signed, and the damp did not become known to the purchaser until after settlement. After lunch, delegates had a free afternoon to explore and enjoy Robe and its surrounds. It being a warm sunny afternoon, delegates and partners spent their free time in different ways including at the beach, exploring the town and its shops, visiting the local micro-brewery and other attractions, or just relaxing. Dinner on Saturday night was at the Robe Golf Club. Delegates enjoyed a three course dinner, with the food being first class, and drinks flowing freely. Justice David Berman of the Family Court was the speaker for the evening, and he gave a light-hearted speech on a number of topics and also referring to the important professional responsibilities that practitioners have. The dinner and drinking went on late into the night and a good time was had by all. The CPD component of the Conference resumed on Sunday morning, with Enzo Belperio giving the first presentation, on the subject of “Insolvent Trading and Preferential Payments”. This is an area of law that can be quite complex, yet very relevant if your clients include small businesses and others who might have been suppliers to companies that have gone into liquidation. While the law can seem quite harsh in its application to trades-people or small businesses who simply want to get paid for goods supplied or work done, it is important to be across the issue and the steps one might try to take, hopefully before it is too late, to protect your client’s position. The next speaker was Pam McEwin, who spoke to her paper on “Spot the Ethical Solutions in Estate Administration”, with some assistance from Stephen Roder. Delegates were presented with a number of increasingly difficult situations that can apply in estate matters, particularly where there is a potential for conflicting interests between relatives and other beneficiaries of the deceased. Delegates were asked to provide their answers to each of the difficult scenarios with quite a tasty chocolate provided for correct answers. While Pam’s presentation was light-hearted in delivery, it did address a number of ethical dilemmas that unfortunately, all too often, an estate lawyer will face. This writer considers it one of the best ethics seminars he has attended in recent years. Following morning tea, John Doyle and Amanda Adamson from Law Claims gave an update as to the claims received in the last year. One essential part of their presentation was this: if you think you might have a claim made against you, contact Law Claims as quickly as possible! They may well be able to help fix the situation before it turns into a formal claim against you. It being a warm sunny afternoon, delegates and partners spent their free time in different ways including at the beach, exploring the town and its shops, visiting the local micro-brewery and other attractions, or just relaxing. Justice David Berman gave the final presentation, which was on “Family Law – The Latest & Greatest – A Review of Case Law (Unknown Unknowns)”. His Honour went through a number of judgements delivered in the last couple of years in the family law jurisdiction, relating to Binding Financial Agreements and their enforceability, property settlement and other issues. Knowing and understanding these developments should be essential for all those practising in family law. The formal part of the Conference then concluded with an address from the President of the Law Society, Tim Mellor, giving an update as to a number of issues that the Law Society was dealing with on behalf of its membership, before closure by Phil Westover, the Chair of the Country Practitioners Committee. Delegates enjoyed another lovely lunch at the Tarooki campsite before departing. A thoroughly good time was had by all. The Conference was an excellent opportunity to learn about a number of diverse legal topics, in a relaxed and social setting. The seven CPD points, including the one in ethics, were also a very good way to satisfy most of one’s annual requirements in the one weekend! Thanks should also be given to the Conference’s sponsors, Legal Super, LEAP and Stewart Title, as well as the staff of the Society who helped the Country Practitioners Committee organise the event and made sure everything ran smoothly. The next Country Practitioners Committee event will be the Country Update at McLaren Vale on 26 October, 2018. If you would like a way to meet and mix with a wide range of professional colleagues, while getting most of your required CPD points in the one go, in a relaxed setting, then attending the Country Update or the Country Conference should really be high in your consideration. April 2018 THE BULLETIN 39