Legal Articles

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Malicious Falsehood as an Alternative to Defamation Defamation The law of defamation, whilst complex (at times, needlessly so), is generally known and understood. In Australia, the States have codified defamation law into statutes. While these are not completely uniform, for the most part they align. They contain limitations on the right of action for defamation. … Read more »

Acquiring Land By Time

by | Property & Leases

In South Australia, we follow the Torrens title system as devised by the great Sir Robert Torrens.  In essence, this means a person with an interest and estate in land acquires it by registration.  Thus the Torrens title system is referred to as ‘title by registration’ rather than ‘registration of title.’ A person with a… Read more »

When a lawyer draws a Deed describing an agreement between parties and how that agreement is to be carried out, the Deed will often follow a traditional format. First, the Deed will contain “Recitals” (sometimes styled as “Background” or “Objectives”) which set out the narrative or background to the agreement contained in the Deed. The… Read more »

In a previous article (How to Deal With a Statutory Demand), we assured you that the 21 day window to apply (by filing the application and serving it on the applying creditor) to set aside a Statutory Demand could not be extended. The scheme set up by the Corporations Act is strict and inflexible on… Read more »

Recently, Beger & Co Lawyers acted for commercial tenants who were being evicted by their landlord because their lease arrangements were coming to an end.  Despite vigorous opposition by the landlord, our clients won a Court Order to extend their lease term so that they can stay in their shop for at least 5 years…. Read more »

Can you keep extending a commercial lease? Of course a landlord and tenant can, either by the tenant duly exercising a right of renewal in the tenancy agreement itself, or, when that runs out, by agreement between landlord and tenant for a formal extension. The same terms can be retained, subject to agreed variations on matters… Read more »

Defaming Public Figures

by | Court Disputes, Peter Jakobsen

In defamation law, there is a defence of Qualified Privilege.  A defamatory statement will not make the defendant liable if there was a legal, social or moral interest or duty to say it, and the person spoken-to had a corresponding duty or interest to hear it.  And the statement must be reasonably necessary to the… Read more »