Court Disputes Articles

In our experience, resolving a dispute favourably is usually due to a number of factors. These are some of the factors that contribute to a successful outcome when you have no choice but to litigate. Respect the little things: Most successful entrepreneurs focus on the big picture, but they know that the minutiae must also be covered…. 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 »

The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption was established in 1988 under Premier Greiner, who later, famously, lost office due to one of its investigations.  The NSW ICAC has become famous, and some may say notorious, more so in light of its recent investigation into a senior Crown prosecutor, Ms Cunneen SC. The High Court delivered… Read more »

Ostensible Authority

by | Commercial Transactions, Court Disputes

Ostensible authority of an agent is imposed by the law as a way of preventing a principal from repudiating a deal instituted by someone who appeared to have authority for that principal where it would be unconscionable to a third party to do so. If a principal (P) such as a corporation, partnership or an individual uses a person… Read more »

In 2013, the SA Parliament passed the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act. It will determine administrative matters but will also have a civil jurisdiction that is still in the process of crystallisation. Therefore, depending on what types of civil cases it can hear, there is a possibility of quicker, cheaper and less technical… Read more »

The Independent Commissioner Against Corruption Act 2012 established the Office of Commissioner Against Corruption, an office held by the Honourable Bruce Lander QC, formerly a Supreme and Federal Court Justice. Recently, the Commissioner made a significant point. He is required to prepare directions and guidelines (and has done so) governing reporting of matters that concern… Read more »

There have been several recent developments in building law relevant to anyone involved in a building dispute in South Australia. Security for payments In recent years, SA has adopted a security for payments system that fast tracks payments and limits disputes (in commercial building matters). This means that a builder in an appropriate case can… Read more »

Legal Costs Penalties for Successful Litigants

by | Court Disputes

The standard rule in the law is that ‘costs follow the event’. In other words, the loser in a Court case should pay the winner’s costs, in exceptional cases in full, usually some partial contribution. However, there are exceptions to the general rule. One of these exceptions is brought into focus when conduct (misconduct) of… Read more »

The question of ‘who starts’ a case is usually uncontroversial. The Plaintiff gives an opening address, the Plaintiff and Plaintiff’s witnesses give evidence and are cross examined; then Defendant outlines the defence and calls defence witnesses. Sometimes however, issues arise as to whether the Defendant should ‘go first’. The courts refer to the party that… Read more »

A company is a legal entity and is therefore considered for most intents and purposes as a separate ‘person’. As such, it retains rights of privacy over its financial records. However, certain persons have legal rights to such records: TYPES OF DISCLOSURE Large companies have to provide an annual report to members (shareholders). Public listed… Read more »

Indemnity Legal Costs in SA Litigation

by | Court Disputes

After deciding various arguments during a Court action and after giving judgment at the end of a Court case, the Court will also hand down rulings as to who pays the legal costs. The Court will strive to award costs on the basis of what is fair but there are a number of complexities involved…. Read more »

Illegal Contracts are Void

by | Commercial Transactions, Court Disputes

A Contract may be invalid for a number of technical or practical reasons but what of a contract that is completely valid according to normal contractual requirements but it is nevertheless void? This can happen with the contractual doctrine against illegality. Illegality often comes from a conflict between the terms of the contract and legislation…. Read more »

Defending a Negligence Claim in Court

by | Court Disputes

Whether you are in some relationship that attracts a legal duty of care, the question of negligence may arise when something goes wrong. Because of legislative changes on negligence claims, it is now more likely that a Plaintiff making a claim for damages will cast the net widely in an attempt to rope in anyone… Read more »

Some hundreds of years ago, the common law created the simple and radical concept of an action for breach of contract. If a legally binding contract has been created, and a party either fails to discharge his or her obligations under the contract or repudiates the contract, the other party may take action in respect… Read more »

To the intelligent layman, the phrase in a loan agreement stating that the monies loaned are “payable on demand” suggests that the right to sue arises only after a demand is actually made. Naturally, a lawyer will tell you it is more complicated than that. For a variety of reasons, some purely historical, “payable on… Read more »