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With all due respect?

Every Issue

Cite as: (2002) 76(10) LIJ, p.69

Papers engage in gavel gazing

Judicial appointments rarely get any significant mainstream press in this state. However, one of three recent appointments to the County Court Bench – barrister Elizabeth Gaynor – saw sub-editors racking their brains for the best pun combining marriage and the Bench.

You see, Judge Gaynor is married to fellow County Court Judge John Smallwood.

And as the tearouts indicate, that fact was not lost on the press.

WADR was also very interested to see that Judge Gaynor was a journalist before going to the Bar.

She told the Herald Sun that she graduated as a lawyer, did her articles and then a year of probate and conveyancing before turning to journalism.

“I’d always wanted to do journalism, so I wrote away and Australian Associated Press offered me a cadetship,” she told the paper.

“I worked there for three years and loved it, but I was too bossy to be a journo really.

“Rather than listening to politicians’ opinion I felt like telling them what I thought they should be doing.”

Such an attitude could make for some interesting clashes with that other arm of executive power.

WADR ran an item last month on the legal profession’s presence in the Reading Cinemas Victorian Corporate Head of the River competition that was due to run on 22 September to raise money for the Geelong charity United Way.

Well, we can report that the competition did take place and the 12 crews representing four of the state’s biggest firms fared quite poorly. The only crew to place was from Allens Arthur Robinson, which came runner-up in the fours race.

However, even that almost didn’t happen. It appears the crew was nearly disqualified during the heats for using the wrong oars.

Things were worse for the Minter Ellison eights’ crew, which almost lost an oar when they came into contact with “an almighty crab”. They lost so much time righting the boat that by the time they crossed the finish line the rest of the boats in their heat were docking.

There also seemed to be a split in the Freehills camp when one of its men’s fours got into a sledging match with its other fours team, made up of librarians.

All in all, a very disappointing racing performance by the legal crews. However, a fantastic effort by them for giving up their time to raise money for charity.

The event was expected to raise $65,000 this year.

The New York Law Journal requested some “war stories” from a group of experienced practitioners as lessons to young practitioners.

Barry Kamins, partner at Flamhaft, Levy, Kamins & Hirsch, and a lawyer for 33 years, recounted an experience he had mentoring a young practitioner straight out of law school.

The young man was anxious about his first court appearance and Mr Kamins took the time to prepare him for every conceivable question the judge might ask.

When they entered the court that day, they both thought the novice lawyer was ready for anything. Then the judge opened the proceedings with the most banal request.

“Please enter your appearance for the record,” the judge said to the young prosecutor.

The young man stood silently.

“Please enter your appearance,” the judge repeated, getting annoyed. Still the young man stared ahead blankly, clearly at a loss for what to do.

Then Mr Kamins realised he had not prepped him for this moment, since it was the most routine of procedures.

Finally, sensing the growing impatience of the judge, the young lawyer in desperation said, “Well . . . I’m wearing a blue suit.”

A mortified Mr Kamins whispered urgently in the young man’s ear, “No, you idiot! He wants you to tell him your name!”

Spiderman update no 4. According to the, a Thai cooking-gas shop owner has agreed to stop dressing his employees in Spiderman costumes after the superhero’s copyright holder uncovered the scheme.

Narongwit Suthiviriyakul implemented the gimmick in an attempt to increase sagging gas sales. The shop owner paid a costume shop $288 to make four Spiderman costumes for his store’s motorbike-riding delivery men.

However, the scheme was halted when the Thai agent of Marvel Comics discovered it.

Mr Suthiviriyakul said he was disappointed at the development, adding that business had almost doubled since he introduced the costumes.


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