Legal Articles

Defamation Time Limits

by | Defamation

Don’t Let Sleeping Slanders Lie The old law stated that in an action in defamation (to use the old language, libel and slander), the aggrieved party had six (6) years to sue. This was drastically changed in the noughties by legislative reforms to defamation law across the Australian States, where the time limit was changed… Read more »

Can someone who kills another person inherit under the deceased’s last will?  Thankfully this questions only arises occasionally but it is obviously a scenario that can cause significant further upset to an already difficult situation. What is the Forfeiture Rule? The forfeiture rule is a rule of public policy which prohibits a person who unlawfully… Read more »

Secret Recordings of Private Conversations

by | Court Disputes

A recent South Australian Supreme Court decision – Nanosecond Corporation v Glen Carron (2018) has clarified the critical aspects of the Surveillance Devices Act 2016 as to the use of secret recordings of private conversations in civil litigation. In Nanosecond, a plaintiff had used his mobile phones to record 20 conversations with various persons in… Read more »

Facebook Defamation

by | Defamation

A recent case in the South Australian District Court, Johnston v Aldridge confirmed that the old ‘notice board rule’ applies to online secondary publishers and Facebook defamation.  Just as the golf club was liable for defamatory material posted on its notice board once it had been brought to their notice; just as Google had a… Read more »

We have spoken before about the critical 21 day time limit of a statutory demand (see: “How to deal with a Statutory Demand” and “Statutory Demand: the 21 day guillotine”) which is often ignored by a debtor company and generally results in payment of the debt, costs and interest. Debtor Company Has 21 Days to… Read more »

Unfortunately it is not uncommon for landlords to encounter problems with tenants who do not pay rent on time.  To make matters worse, this type of tenant is often late with rent payment and often won’t pay until they have received multiple requests from the landlord or their managing agent.  In my experience, no amount… Read more »

Option to Renew Commercial Lease

by | Property & Leases

The Retail and Commercial Leases Act 1995 (“Act“) provides that a lease governed by the Act must have a minimum term of 5 years including options. The parties to the lease, and particularly the tenant, may not want to commit to a 5 year term so an option to renew the lease will provide the… Read more »

Buying a Franchise – Pros and Cons

by | Franchises

Thinking about buying a franchise? There are several factors that need to be considered. What’s good and what’s bad about a franchise? Franchises – The Good 1. The business is already up and running There will be an initial outlay of money for the franchise but the purchaser/s should hit the ground running. There shouldn’t… Read more »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »