Is it time for an evergreen practising certificate?
Is it time for an evergreen practising certificate?

 Steven Sapountsis Feb 2016

As we approach the 30 April deadline for renewal of practising certificates, I have been wondering whether there may be a better way to manage this process...

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What’s the point of CPD?
What’s the point of CPD?

 Steven Sapountsis Feb 2016

Belonging to a learned profession carries with it certain obligations and responsibilities...

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Cultural inclusivity in the legal profession: “This is not Morocco – it’s Australia 2016”
Cultural inclusivity in the legal profession: “This is not Morocco – it’s Australia 2016”

 Steven Sapountsis Feb 2016

At the Conference of Council last Monday, one of the sessions was entitled “Diversity in the workplace – emerging challenges and opportunities”...

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The best free legal research sites
The best free legal research sites

 Steven Sapountsis Feb 2016

As recently as 2009, an Australian court has repeated the legal proposition that “ignorance of the law” is not an excuse for, or a defence to, a breach of the law...

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The Hong Kong experience and the rule of law
The Hong Kong experience and the rule of law

 Steven Sapountsis Jan 2016

The first few weeks of my term as LIV president has included many meetings, a visit to Geelong and a trip to Hong Kong to attend the ceremonial...

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What lawyers should know about costs and the Uniform Law
What lawyers should know about costs and the Uniform Law

 Steven Sapountsis Jan 2016

The Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Act 2014 (Vic)(the Act) which set up the structure and bodies for a new national regulatory scheme...

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A little pomp and much circumstance
A little pomp and much circumstance

 Steven Sapountsis Mar 2016

One of the privileges of being the president of the Law Institute of Victoria is the honour of making a speech at a judicial welcome or farewell....

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Doing the right thing
Doing the right thing

 Steven Sapountsis Mar 2016

The law is an honourable profession, yet sometimes lawyers do the wrong thing – though they may not realise it at the time...

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In print – Really useful practice and court resources
In print – Really useful practice and court resources

 Steven Sapountsis Mar 2016

Recently, we published a list of free internet resources that provided useful information about the law and the practice of the law...

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Strengthening the protection afforded to families against family violence
Strengthening the protection afforded to families against family violence

 Steven Sapountsis Mar 2016

The Law Institute of Victoria has long been an advocate of addressing the harm and dislocation caused by family violence...

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Unrepresented litigants and additional costs
Unrepresented litigants and additional costs

 Steven Sapountsis Mar 2016

A recently decided case in the Supreme Court of Victoria involving an unrepresented litigant reminded me of the issue of cost transference that a member raised with me last year...

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Access to Justices
Access to Justices

 Steven Sapountsis Apr 2016

Recently, the Supreme Court of Victoria published two notices to the profession regarding substantial changes to the operation of the Practice Court...

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Courts 

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Conduct and Costs
Conduct and Costs

 Steven Sapountsis Apr 2016

Recent decisions of the Supreme Court of Victoria sound a clarion call to lawyers to carefully and critically assess the work and evidence required to run or defend a matter at the start of the matter...

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The Law Institute of Victoria – What we do
The Law Institute of Victoria – What we do

 Steven Sapountsis Apr 2016

The LIV recently catalogued the work it does advocating for its members, the profession and the public in improving access to justice and promoting the rule of law. The LIV does a wide range of work, and here are just some of our achievements over the last year...

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Service is sometimes, but not always, its own reward
Service is sometimes, but not always, its own reward

 Steven Sapountsis May 2016

 In the first admission  ceremony on Tuesday morning, before a Full Court of the Supreme Court of Victoria,  we saw again another fine example of...

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Legal aid, again, but another point to make
Legal aid, again, but another point to make

 Steven Sapountsis May 2016

Last Tuesday morning the legal profession come out in force in support of the call for an increase in legal aid funding by governments...

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Withholding taxing times
Withholding taxing times

 Steven Sapountsis Apr 2016

As reported previously (in LawNews and elsewhere), the Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2015 Measures No.6) Act 2016 (Cth) (the Act), introduces a new 10 per cent non-final withholding tax on the disposal...

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Tax 

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Sharp practice or competent adviser?
Sharp practice or competent adviser?

 Steven Sapountsis May 2016

The Australian Solicitors’ Conduct Rules (the Rules) set out ethical and professional principles governing the conduct of Victorian solicitors – be it in relation to their contact with clients, the courts, other practitioners or the public...

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Ethics 

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Law Aid: tailor made for legal aid
Law Aid: tailor made for legal aid

 Steven Sapountsis Jun 2016

In its 2008 Civil Justice Review: Report, the Victorian Law Reform Commission identified the importance of legal representation in allowing citizens access to justice: An essential element of a fair legal system is the ability...

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Information online, any time (and free)
Information online, any time (and free)

 Steven Sapountsis Jun 2016

It has taken some time, but LIV practising members now have access to a large range of online legal resources from LexisNexis, HeinOnline and Informit – free and at any time of the day or night...

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Fast-track dispute resolution
Fast-track dispute resolution

 Steven Sapountsis Jun 2016

In the recent federal government Access to Justice review, conducted by the Productivity Commission, there was considerable focus on, and promotion of, alternative dispute resolution processes as a way of avoiding the high...

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A change of the test for conflicts in family law matters, or merely a clarification?
A change of the test for conflicts in family law matters, or merely a clarification?

 Steven Sapountsis Jun 2016

One of the joys of being a member of the Council of the Law Institute of Victoria is the privilege of being able to serve on the Ethics Committee...

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Dear …..?
Dear …..?

 Steven Sapountsis Jun 2016

The words we use in our professional relationships are important to show and engender respect. Courtesy in our communications with other practitioners is part of showing that respect...

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What do the LIV and the AFL have in common?
What do the LIV and the AFL have in common?

 Steven Sapountsis Jul 2016

This weekend, with two other members of the Executive, I will be attending a football match in an official capacity. Regardless of your views on...

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Familiarity may breed resentment
Familiarity may breed resentment

 Steven Sapountsis Jul 2016

Quite some time ago, while waiting for court to commence, counsel for the parties engaged in the usual chit-chat with the judge’s associate. After a trial lasting several days, our client lost the case...

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Uniform costs
Uniform costs

 Steven Sapountsis Jul 2016

On the first anniversary of the introduction of the Legal Profession Uniform Law (Uniform Law), and prompted by questions recently posed by practitioners, it might be timely to highlight the difference between cost disclosure...

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Youth summit and lawyers’ experiences
Youth summit and lawyers’ experiences

 Steven Sapountsis Jul 2016

Last Thursday, legal policy lawyer Clara Bradley and I attended the Victoria Police Chief Commissioner’s Youth Summit...

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