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LIV Update

Every Issue

Cite as: October 2012 86 (10) LIJ, p.82.

LIV Council

The LIV Council meets each month to debate and decide issues of importance to members, the overall legal profession and the community. Topics discussed at the 23 August meeting included ethics guidelines pertaining to subpoenaed documents guidelines and the national legal profession reforms.

Special guests were LIV section chairs and/or deputy chairs. These attendees were Government Lawyers’ Section deputy chair Sarah Daniell, Collaborative Practice Section Executive member Ellie Delafield, Criminal Law Section co-chair Tim Gattuso, Elder Law Section chair Phil Grano, and Family Law section deputy chair Stephen Gregory. Others were Administrative Law & Human Rights Section chair Carina Ford, Litigation Lawyers Section chair Mark Yorston, Workplace Relations Section chair Renato Marasco, and Property & Environmental Law Section deputy chair Philip Nolan. Young Lawyers’ Section chair Amanda Storey also attended, along with Practice Support Section chair David Whiting, Succession Law Section chair Kathy Wilson and International Law Section co-chairs Elva Zhang and Robert Kovacs.

Ethics guidelines

The endorsed guidelines will assist practitioners who have been served with a subpoena for production of documents to act in a manner that supports and safeguards their ethical responsibilities. The style of the Subpoenaed Documents Guidelines is intended to provide practitioners with a brief snapshot of their obligations in accordance with the Professional Conduct & Practice Rules 2005 and the Legal Profession Act 2004.

National legal profession reforms

The Council heard reports on meetings held with federal Attorney-General Nicola Roxon and with representatives from the Attorney-General’s department and the Department of Justice in regard to the reforms.

Special guests

Ms Ford reported that the focus this year of the Administrative Law & Human Rights Section had been on privacy, donor-conceived persons and asylum seekers.

Ms Delafield explained that the objective of the Collaborative Practice Section is to market the emerging area of collaborative law and to send an effective message about collaborative nature to the profession.

Commercial Law Section Council liaison representative Geoff Bowyer said the Section had delivered six CPD sessions in the past 12 months in the areas of business law, taxation, IP/IT law and trade practices.

Mr Gattuso said that the Criminal Law Section had been very busy responding to legislative changes, lobbying for reforms and responding to media queries since the election of the current Victorian government.

Mr Grano explained that the Elder Law Section’s focus has been on the human condition and mortality which has developed into a position paper and forum on euthanasia.

Mr Gregory said that the Family Law Section made submissions on the Family Law Eligibility Guidelines and Protecting Victoria’s Vulnerable Children.

Ms Daniell reported that the Government Lawyers’ Section has been working on promoting a national strategy for collaborating with other government lawyer groups to exchange information and project work.

Ms Zhang and Mr Kovacs said the International Law Section had been working on a memorandum of understanding with Austrade and have met with Red Cross to establish a partnership to undertake jointly badged events and CPD.

Mr Yorston said the Litigation Lawyers Section was very active in the area of civil justice and has been instrumental in changing the way the courts are dealing with matters and had prepared or contributed to a number of key responses to government and the Department of Justice.

Mr Nolan reported that the Property and Environmental Law Section consisted of six active committees: Property Law, Environmental Law, Leasing law, Liquor, leisure and hospitality law, Planning and local government law and the Dispute Resolution Committee.

Mr Whiting said that the Practice Support Section had focused on projects to boost member resources and develop members’ practice management skills. Currently, the Section is discussing value based billing and the chambers model.

Ms Wilson explained that the Succession Law Section provides support for successional practitioners in the areas of probate, wills and administration of estates.

Mr Marasco advised Council that recently the Workplace Relations Section has tabled four submissions and is currently working on a follow-up response to the Inquiry into Workplace Bullying.

Ms Storey reported on the activities of the Young Lawyers’ Section including the various events and educational programs which are held exclusively for young lawyers.

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