Sara Mardon

Playing a numbers game

BUYING a 1800 number can be fraught with pitfalls for the unwary, as one West Perth firm recently found.Office Solutions, a West Perth-based computer firm, allocated its marketing budget to a Yellow Pages advertisement with a 1800 number.

Casual workers come in from the cold

UNFAIR dismissal suits are now available to many casual employees following a decision by the Federal Court, which went against intervention and submissions from the Federal Government.

Ballot box reform too late

VOTING and enrolling in the recent Federal election was easier than enrolling in under-seven’s football. With no identification checks at any stage in the electoral process, one wonders how secure and accurate the results are.

Disparity in payouts a sign of the times

COUNCILS, schools, sporting groups and doctors are feeling the pinch of negligence actions and an uncertain insurance environment.

Law’s insurance sting

THE collapse of HIH, national mergers and a fickle market have resulted in a rapid re-arrangement of Perth’s insurance lawyers. Any firm directory that is more than a few months old now would be of little use.

Getting to the court on time

A REGIONAL court has become the first in WA to take advantage of the benefits of new, high-tech communications in a bid to reduce the costs associated with getting witnesses to appear in court.

Budget cuts threaten court bottleneck

WA could lose its title of having the fastest justice in Australia if a rumoured 6 per cent cut to justice funding in next week’s State budget creates even bigger delays to obtaining trial dates for commercial disputes.

Government refutes fears of Privacy Act compliance

THE Federal Government has dismissed concerns that new privacy legislation for the private sector will be a burden on business similar to the compliance nightmares associated with Y2K and GST.

Choosing an effective path for prosecution

MOST businesses are victims of crime perpetrated by an employee at some time. Do you call in the police? Can you sack the employee? Dealing with fraud committed by an insider can be a legal and industrial minefield.

Legal spectator sport warrants close attention

THE race for evidence following the HIH corporate collapse is becoming a spectator sport, watched by many interested punters.

Legal questions over litigation funding

US-STYLE litigation is here. Despite legal concerns regarding the legality of funding arrangements, the recent finance broking scandal has thrown the whole issue into the public arena.

Privilege under pressure

THE confidential nature of the relationship between clients and their solicitors is being chipped away, with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission leading the latest foray against legal professional privilege.

The law of many lands

PERTH-based companies are becoming increasingly international in their outlook, not just in the search for new business, but also to widen their shareholder base, boosting demand for specialist legal services.

Court sets limit on duty of care

THE Full Court of the Supreme Court has ruled in favour of a Perth doctor who was sued by the family of a deceased patient because he refused to provide advice on a course of action he had advised against.

Legal chiefs dismiss tax scandal claim

WA legal chiefs have dismissed any suggestion that the State’s barristers could be embroiled in a widespread tax avoidance scandal which has engulfed as many as 500 practioners in NSW.