Legal Articles

Defamation Damages Update

by | Defamation

In our article on defamation damages, we gave an overview of how a court comes to an assessment of damage to reputation and feelings based on a libel or slander of character. The damages for non-economic loss is stated in the SA Defamation Act, 2005 to be $250,000, or such adjusted figure as gazetted from… Read more »

In order to validly make a Will, a testator must have testamentary capacity.  Section 7 of the Wills Act, 1936 empowers the Supreme Court of South Australia to authorise a Will to be made on behalf of a person who lacks testamentary capacity, in certain circumstances.  Such Wills are known as a Statutory Wills. In… Read more »

Retirement villages provide accommodation for older people who wish to live independently but in a communal setting. It is important to understand that a retirement village is not an aged care facility and is not suitable to accommodate people with dementia or other illness where a high level of care is required.  Residents who become… Read more »

A contract for the sale and purchase of a small business should not be completed unless a Vendor’s Statement, also known as a Form 2, has been provided to the purchaser. The Land and Business (Sale and Conveyancing) Act 1994 (“Act“) and the Land and Business (Sale and Conveyancing) Regulations 2010 (“Regulations“) set out the… Read more »

A Retirement Village Deferred Management Fee (“DMF”) is the single largest expense associated with a retirement village contract. Because it is such a large expense it needs to be properly understood. What is a Deferred Management Fee? The DMF is the fee charged by the retirement village operator to generate income. That income is used for… Read more »

Where two or more people own property there needs to be complete understanding between the parties as to their respective rights and obligations.  This is particularly so where the co-owners are not married.  Very often the parties will assume they share the same views on how a property is to be maintained and whether or… Read more »

Retirement Village Disputes

by | Retirement Villages

Retirement Village disputes will inevitably arise from time to time. It is a byproduct of communal living. The disputes can be between the residents or between the residents and the retirement village operator. The residence contract will set out the procedure for resolving these disputes. Retirement Village Disputes between neighbours The Residence Rules, which form… Read more »

If someone defames you, legal liability generally doesn’t depend upon whether that was malicious or not. It generally doesn’t matter if it was intentional or not.  (Actual malice can be relevant to damages, however, as an aggravating element). Malice irrelevant Bill sends a general-public Facebook message that says “Mike Savile is a pedo”. Mike sues… Read more »

Is it necessary to obtain legal advice before signing a Retirement Village contract? A prospective resident will notice a statement on the Retirement Village contract documents recommending that legal and financial advice be obtained. This statement must be included to comply with South Australian legislative requirements (Retirement Villages Act, 2016 – s21(2)(c)(iii)). The statement alludes… Read more »

Mediation – Why Bother?

by | Court Disputes

In legal disputes, Mediation is often raised as an alternative to Court proceedings. Why? Why not leave it to the Judge or, alternatively, simply sit down with the enemy and arrange a truce over a coffee? Let’s look at these possibilities – Trial or Negotiation – and come back to Mediation. The Trial Model The… Read more »

In most commercial transactions the parties will need to negotiate the terms before agreeing on the final details.  Successful contract negotiation is not just about who has greater bargaining power – it is also about research, planning and following some well recognised guidelines. Examples of these transactions include; shareholder agreements, partnerships dissolutions, commercial leases, the sale… Read more »

Drawing the Line: Finality in Litigation

by | Court Disputes

The Court promotes finality in litigation. That is, once a Court has given a judgment which is ‘perfected’ (broadly speaking, a court’s equivalent to ‘signed, sealed and delivered’), then the matter is over. This is subject to certain exceptions, the most significant of which are: (1) a statutory right of appeal; and (2) a right… Read more »

What is Testamentary Capacity? In order for a will to be valid, a testator must have testamentary capacity at the time the will was executed. The test for determining testamentary capacity is set out in the English case of Banks v Goodfellow (1870) LR 5 QB 549; namely that the testator must be of sound… Read more »

Leaving a Franchise

by | Franchises

Before Leaving a Franchise The best advice we can give you before leaving a franchise is the same as we would give before entering a franchise – read the franchise agreement and disclosure statement and, above all, get independent legal advice before you sign anything.  This will help you avoid some of the more common… Read more »

Justice must not only be done; it must be seen to be done. One key part of that commandment is that a court, when reaching a decision, must give reasons for that decision. Why is it Important for Courts to Provide Reasons? A court hearing any appeal from, or judicial review of, the decision needs… Read more »