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Criminal solicitor Adam Raydon Magill struck off for bail breaches

In 2018, criminal lawyer Adam Raydon Magill was one of a few lawyers charged with defrauding Legal Aid Queensland and laundering money for “serious and organised crime”.

Subsequently, he was granted bail on strict conditions on his own undertakings.

The following year, Magill was charged with numerous breaches of bail, which he was subsequently convicted of.

On 21 November 2019, the Queensland Law Society Incorporated determined that Magill was not a fit and proper person to continue to hold a practicing certificate and exercised its power under s 61(2) of the Legal Profession Act 2007 to cancel his practicing certificate.

On 18 February 2020, Magill’s appeal against the decision to record convictions with respect to five breaches of bail was dismissed by the District Court.

On 8 July 2020, the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) dismissed Magill’s application for a review of this decision, with Justice Daubney making the following ominous observations:

“the repeated breaches of bail undertaking are illuminative of shortfalls in [Magill’s] character of attributes which are absolutely fundamental for practising legal practitioners…

[Magill’s] conduct in repeatedly breaching his bail undertakings, and particularly his conduct in doing so shortly after having been dealt with by the Chief Magistrate, is indicative of a cavalier attitude to one of the most basic and essential attributes of a practising legal practitioner. A person who repeatedly breaches promises which have been solemnly given is not a person in whom the judiciary, the profession, and the public can have confidence as a legal practitioner…

For these reasons, this Tribunal has concluded on all the evidence now before it that it is not satisfied that [Magill] has the intrinsic personal character and professional capacity needed to command the confidence, respect and trust of the judiciary, the profession, clients, and the public at large, nor is it satisfied that [Magill] can be relied on in the predictable future to obey and uphold the law.”

On 10 June 2022, the DPP presented an indictment in the District Court charging Magill with a number of serious charges, including money laundering and defrauding Legal Aid Queensland.

Legal Services Commissioner submitted to QCAT that Magill’s conduct in the breaches of bail showed he was no longer fit to remain a lawyer, irrespective of the future outcome of the District Court charges.

Somewhat unusually, QCAT was asked to rule on Magill’s permanent fitness to practice despite the serious charges he faced, including money laundering and defrauding Legal Aid Queensland, not having yet been resolved. This was one of the grounds raised for Magill in resisting his removal from the roll of lawyers.

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Jarryd Hayne imprisoned after sexual assault convictions

Last week, Jarryd Hayne was again found guilty by a jury of sexual assault in Newcastle on the evening of the 2018 grand final.

This followed two previous trials, in which the first ended in a hung jury, and the jury in his second trial found him guilty of performing oral and digital sex on the complainant without her consent. That conviction was set aside on appeal with a re-trial ordered.

Jarryd Hayne’s bail has today been revoked, before he is due to be sentenced.

Full story: https://sterlinglawqld.com/jarryd-hayne-imprisoned-after-sexual-assault-conviction/

Jarryd Hayne again found guilty of sexual assault

Former rugby league superstar Jarryd Hayne has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman in Newcastle for the second time.

This follows two previous trials, in which the first ended in a hung jury, and the jury in his second trial found him guilty of performing oral and digital sex on the complainant without her consent. That conviction was set aside on appeal with a re-trial ordered.

In the third trial, Hayne again pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting the Newcastle woman on the evening of the 2018 grand final.

Full story: https://sterlinglawqld.com/jarryd-hayne-again-found-guilty-of-sexual-assault/

Why do you need a lawyer?

Why do you need a lawyer? On some level this is a basic and obvious question, but there is a lot more to the answer than first meets the eye. Although it seems like a pretty obvious question, there are in fact a number of advantages of having a lawyer.

A lawyer usually has special knowledge and experience acquired from their qualifications and their years of legal practice. A lawyer knows the law, should know the procedures, and will be able to prepare documents and handle your case in the most effective way. By engaging a lawyer, you are taking advantage of the knowledge and skills that he or she possesses, which should benefit your case enormously.

Lawyers know what points and arguments are most relevant and effective, and which ones are less so. Experienced lawyers know of the temperament and expectations of particular judges, and are able to tailor their approach accordingly. Lawyers can effectively advise you of the advantages and disadvantages of a proposed course of action.

In contrast, relying on the advices of people who are not legally qualified is a very dangerous thing to do, even if such people mean well. There are a lot of myths in the community about the legal system and how it works. By speaking with a lawyer, you can find out whether what you have heard is in fact true, and if not your understanding of your matter will become more accurate and realistic.

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Stewart Boyd’s stunning upset in District Court after horse kick

The following facts were uncontentious:

  • from about 5 October 2017, the Plaintiff Stewart Boyd lived at 328 Biddaddabba Creek Road, Biddaddabba, Queensland (“the property”);
  • Businessman Tony Govesis owned and occasionally visited the property, where he had exclusive use of part of the main residence;
  • Des Trindall, a struck off securities advisor, lived at the property and occupied the balance of the main residence;
  • Mr Boyd, Trindall and Govesis each owned horses;
  • Govesis’ horses were depastured at the property;
  • a website advertised horse-training services at the property (“the website”);
  • the website listed the names of Trindall and Govesis, and their contact telephone numbers;
  • on 3 November 2017, at the property, Mr Boyd was kicked by a horse owned by Donna Koitka (“the incident”);
  • following the incident, Govesis required Mr Boyd — who had previously lived rent-free at the property — to commence paying rent; and
  • as a result of the incident, Mr Boyd suffered injuries and loss.

It was alleged that Trindall and Govesis were inter alia negligent for failing to provide a safe system of work or to provide appropriate equipment.

3 differing accounts

At the trial, three parties each gave substantially differing accounts as to what occurred leading up to the incident. In summary:

Mr Boyd’s evidence was that he was approached and encouraged to take up residence at the property, and to work horses there, by statements separately made to him by Trindall and Govesis that he could live rent free, he would not be required to make payments towards the utilities and he would receive an income of between $50,000 and $150,000.

Trindall’s evidence was that he merely acted as an intermediary between Mr Boyd and Govesis and he left the meeting of 14 October 2017 after some 30 minutes of “small talk”.

Govesis’ evidence was that he never spoke with Trindall about getting someone on the property to work with horses and he had no dealings with Mr Boyd prior to the incident, and only saw Mr Boyd in passing when he went to the property to mow the lawns.

Trindall’s credibility

Trindall gave evidence that Mr Boyd had offered him an aeroplane if he provided a statutory declaration saying that he was employed by Govesis. That evidence was retracted by Trindall when it became apparent that that statutory declaration was executed as a result of an order of the District Court, and the claim that Mr Boyd promised him an aeroplane had nothing to do with it.

Trindall’s evidence included another bizarre claim that Mr Boyd had demanded about $5,900 from him on Facebook. However, no copy of the Facebook message was produced, and Trindall admitted that he had been ordered by the District Court to pay the sum of $5,905.80, and that was the amount to which he was referring.

Trindall’s evidence concerning the website was equally troubling. He denied that the website had anything to do with him, and claimed that Mrs Trindall was proficient at designing and building websites, and in 2017 advertised and promoted their business relating to horse services. But he conceded that he was involved in promoting the website, he took videos for it and the website was used for a business being conducted at the property.

Govesis’s credibility

Govesis’s evidence about the number of times he had met Mr Boyd was contrary to his own statutory declaration which had claimed he had only met Boyd once in passing.

Govesis’s evidence was that he was happy to allow Mr Boyd to live at the property without paying rent until after the incident when he was no longer able to work horses. There was no evidence other than his own assertion that the Trindalls had been paying him less rent after Mr Boyd was injured. That was not accepted by Trindall, and no bank statements or records were produced that could have supported this claim.

Especially critical was the evidence of Govesis that Mr Boyd would have to pay rent after the incident — having been allowed rent-free accommodation before the incident — because he “needed to pay his way”.

Govesis, who was agitated in the course of his cross-examination on behalf of Mr Boyd, then decided to answer each question asked of him with “I don’t know”, sometimes even before the question was finished.

The unchallenged evidence

There was no evidence that Mr Trindall or Mr Govesis took any steps to mitigate the risk of Mr Boyd being kicked by a horse at the property. It is plain that they breached their duties of care because they made no effort to or pretence at discharging those obligations.

On the unchallenged evidence:

(a) there was a simple and practical way to mitigate the risk, by the provision of a horsewalker, crush or other barrier to protect a person working, breaking and training horses; and

(b) this precaution is one commonly taken by people involved in those activities.

There is not a jot or tittle of evidence to suggest that it was either impracticable, or economically unviable, to adopt a measure which could have saved Mr Boyd from serious injury.

  • On the Plaintiff’s evidence, largely unchallenged and entirely uncontradicted:

(a) the provision and use of appropriate safety equipment, in the form of a horsewalker, crush or other barrier, would have prevented Mr Boyd’s injuries; and

(b) had such equipment been made available, Mr Boyd would have used it.

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When is a Judge disqualified for bias?

A decision-maker being impartial is one of the core requirements of natural justice.

In the 19th century, Lord Campbell in Dimes [1852] EngR 789 said that “no man is to be a judge in his own cause”.

As a majority of the High Court noted in Ebner v The Official Trustee in Bankruptcy [2000] HCA 63:

“Fundamental to the common law system of adversarial trial is that it is conducted by an independent and impartial tribunal. Perhaps the deepest historical roots of this principle can be traced to Magna Carta (with its declaration that right and justice shall not be sold)”.

Legal meaning of biased

Bias in the law is a decision-maker making a decision because of factors other than the merits of the case, rather than different treatment of the parties.

Therefore, the fact that a decision-maker disbelieves, or is critical of, a party or a witness does not, of itself, indicate bias: Ramadan v New South Wales Insurance Ministerial Corporation, unreported, New South Wales Court of Appeal, 7 April 1995 (“Ramadan“) at 3 per Kirby P, at 11 per Rolfe AJA. Furthermore, it is permissible for decision-makers to make known their preliminary views for the purpose of ventilating issues. Even where preliminary views are strongly held, there will be actual bias only if they are incapable of being altered.  Also, it is not always sufficient to show that a decision-maker has displayed irritation or impatience or has even expressed sarcasm, and that whether such matters show actual bias remains a question of fact: see Galea v Galea (1990) 19 NSWLR 263 at 279 per Kirby ACJ.

In Reg. v. Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission; Ex parte Angliss Group (1969) 122 CLR 546, it was said that:

“requirements of natural justice are not infringed by a mere lack of nicety but only when it is firmly established that a suspicion may reasonably be engendered in the minds of those who come before the tribunal or in the minds of the public that the tribunal or a member or members of it may not bring to the resolution of the questions arising before the tribunal fair and unprejudiced minds. Such a mind is not necessarily a mind which has not given thought to the subject matter or one which, having thought about it, has not formed any views or inclination of mind upon or with respect to it.”

Full story: https://sterlinglawqld.com/when-is-a-judge-disqualified-for-bias/

Chief Justice prohibits Graeme Page KC from practicing as a barrister — Sterling Law QLD

Former barrister Graeme Page’s career may have ended today after the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Queensland ordered an injunction restraining him from engaging in legal practice. The Legal Services Commission had brought an application in the Supreme Court just last Friday. A person from the Legal Services Commission this afternoon confirmed to…

Chief Justice prohibits Graeme Page KC from practicing as a barrister — Sterling Law QLD

The case law of lawyers bills in England, India, Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong

For a very long time in Commonwealth legal systems, the legal profession has been regulated for the benefit of clients of lawyers and the public at large. Among other things, there has been a recognised public interest in protecting those liable to pay legal fees from overcharging by lawyers. One of those protections is and has been the legal requirement for a bill to be provided so that the client can seek advice on the fees and charges.

As a result, one of the many modern obligations that lawyers in English legal systems have to comply with in the course of legal practice is to provide clients and any other persons liable for their fees with proper bills before such persons can be liable for or sued for such fees.

Full story: https://sterlinglawqld.com/the-case-law-of-lawyers-bills-in-england-india-australia-singapore-and-hong-kong/

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