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Lawyers don true colours


Cite as: (2006) 80(9) LIJ, p. 16

The Bombers have had a horror 2006 season, but that hasn’t stopped the football legal faithful flocking to join the Lawdons fan club.

Lawdons chair Tony Howard QC conceded it had been a long season, but said that did not deter lawyers from joining the first supporters group of its kind, which was founded in 1999.

“Our primary purpose is to support the club and help solicitors and barristers develop business connections,” he said.

Despite Essendon plummeting towards the bottom of the Australian Football League (AFL) ladder this season, a record number of 350 lawyers and judges were 2006 members of the Lawdons.

The network attends an annual dinner at the club, which in May this year raised money for disadvantaged indigenous children as part of the Bill Hutchison Foundation project On the Ball.

“I am very insistent that we [lawyers] are far more fortunate than most people in the community and therefore we should put something back,” Mr Howard said.

Herbert Geer & Rundle part-ner Julie Armstrong said being a Lawdon was about riding the highs and, this year, the lows of football with colleagues and fellow supporters.

Ms Armstrong’s colleague, special counsel James Demetriou, who played for Essendon from 1971-76, said his passion for football spilled into his career in the 1980s when he acted as a player manager.

Fanatical Lawdons member Supreme Court Justice Bill Gillard has barely missed a Bombers game in Melbourne since 1980.

“In the days of old I used to write to Kevin Sheedy giving him advice on the team,” he said.

Meanwhile former Victorian County Court Judge David Jones, who played for Fitzroy in 1961-62, demonstrates his love for the game in other ways.

The judge of 17 years now chairs the new AFL Tribunal system.

He said his time on the Bench strengthened his input into the establishment of the code’s new judicial system in 2004.

Following the Lawdons lead, Richmond and Melbourne Football Clubs also established lawyer-based fan clubs this year.

For more information on the clubs contact:

Essendon Lawdons: Tony Howard QC, ph 9225 7068 or email

Richmond Tigers at Law: Greens List barristers’ clerk Michael Green, ph 9225 7222 or email or

Melbourne Devils Advocates: Megan Travers, ph 9652 1141 or email


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